Dark chocolate is known to be better for you than milk or white chocolate but why, exactly, is that the case? My name is Sarah and I’m a dietitian and Health Advisor here at Pack Health and I did a little digging to get the full scoop on dark chocolate. I started by looking into the health benefits of dark chocolate and compared them to my personal taste test favorites.

Here’s what we know:

01 Dark chocolate is an excellent source of a wide variety of antioxidants. Antioxidants are what helps fight free radicals (the bad guys) in your system. They help slow down the damage that can be done to your body from the effects of oxidation or oxygen in the body.

02 One antioxidant, in particular, flavanols which are also found in fruits and vegetables, have been found to have a beneficial cardioprotective effect on individuals with cardiovascular risk. Some benefits include decreasing blood pressure, lowering lipid levels, and decreasing blood glucose concentration.

03 Flavanols have also been linked to the improvement of insulin sensitivity and can help decrease insulin resistance. Insulin regulates our blood sugar which helps prevent other health conditions.

 

For my taste test, I tried 4 different dark chocolate bars that can be found at your local Walmart. I judged each bar on bitterness, sweetness, and creaminess. Check out my personal preference:

The darkest bar, Ghiradelli Intense Dark 86% cacao had a very light sweetness, no creaminess, and was the most bitter.

 

Sam’s choice Swiss Dark chocolate bar was 60% cocoa with a sweet and dull bitterness, but also slightly creamy.

I found Hershey’s Special Dark bar to be sweet with no bitterness. It was s more creamy than the others, which I enjoyed.

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The Dove Dark Chocolate bar was the sweetest, had mild bitterness, and was the most smooth. It definitely felt the most like milk chocolate!

Even healthy things can become unhealthy, which is why it is important to remember moderation. When eating dark chocolate, be sure to check the nutrition label on the bar. Even dark chocolate still has a large number of calories, but can be incorporated into a healthy diet when choosing reasonable portion sizes. Another note: grab the darkest bar your taste buds enjoy. Dark chocolate bars range in cocoa percentages up to 94%. The larger the amount of cocoa, the greater the health benefits. Try some dark chocolate today and start enjoying those health benefits (and the delicious flavor! Join in on the chocolate fun this week by checking out the #chocolateweek!

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