There’s a wide variety of chocolates available on the market – each ranging in their color, taste, and texture. And as it turns out nutritional content. Chocolate bars are delicious, we all know this…but could it be compromising your health? Let’s break down the world of store-bought chocolate bars to ensure that you’re getting the biggest flavor payoff, without sabotaging your well-being.
The Great Chocolate Debate: Dark, Milk, and White
The difference between dark and white chocolate is striking. In fact, when choosing a chocolate bar, it’s best to steer clear of all white chocolates. Unlike dark and milk chocolate that are made from cocoa solids, white chocolate doesn’t contain any. Plus its chock full of sugar, milk, and other nasty additives.
It’s safe to say that dark chocolate is your best bet. Here are just a few of its scientifically-proven benefits:
- A powerful source of antioxidants
- Improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure
- Decreases oxidized LDL; lowering cholesterol in both men and women
- Drastic decrease in heart disease risk
- Improves blood flow to the skin, protecting it against sun-induced damage
- Boosts short and longterm cognitive function
Dairy: The Ugly Truth
Roughly 75% of the world’s population are intolerant and unable to break down lactose as adults. Known as “lactose intolerance,” this health ailment results in unpleasant digestive symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and other related issues. If you’re one of the lucky 25% who don’t experience digestive-related issues upon consuming dairy, unfortunately, you’re not in the clear. Other health issues directly linked to the consumption of dairy, include:
- Acne and skin flare-ups
- Increased risk of prostate cancer
- Linked to higher ovarian cancer risks
- Increased rates of multiple sclerosis
- Plays a pivotal role in the triggering of type 1 diabetes
All Sweeteners Aren’t Created Equal
Cocoa and milk aren’t the only ingredients in chocolate…it is a sweet after all! The type of sugar in chocolate varies widely – from fructose to date sugar, our sweet tooth knows no bounds.
The Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used widely across several chocolate bar brands. Unfortunately, highly refined sugars, like HFCS, are harmful to your health and wellbeing. To date, HFCS has been linked to the following conditions:
- Significant risk of weight gain and obesity
- Increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Susceptibility to liver damage
- High likelihood of mercury exposure
But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little sugar in our lives! Instead of heavily processed and highly refined sugars, try opting for these healthy, more wholesome options instead:
Chocolate Bar: Do’s and Don’ts
Based on the ground we’ve covered here, let’s put it to the test. The next time you come across the chocolate aisle or are in need of a serious sweet tooth fix, steer clear of the bars you should avoid and gravitate towards healthier, more wholesome options.
Top 10 Chocolate Bars to Avoid
- Kit Kat
- Mars Bar
- Cookies ‘n’ Cream Bar
- Coffee Crisp
- Dairy Milk Bars
- Kinder Suprise Eggs
Chocolate Bars Worthy of Indulging in
- Giddy Yoyo
- Alter Eco
- Plus, check out this video to learn how to easily make your own!
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