Health by Chocolate
How enjoying a little chocolate might actually help your health.
Which Type of Chocolate Has the Most Calories and Fat?
By far the lowest-calorie, lowest-fat form of chocolate is cocoa (the
unsweetened type). A serving of 3 tablespoons has about:
- 60 calories
- 1.5 grams fat
- 0 grams saturated fat
- 3 grams fiber
The equivalent in unsweetened baking chocolate is 1 square (1 ounce), which
- 140 calories
- 14 grams fat
- 9 grams saturated fat
- 4 grams fiber
By comparison, a typical 2-ounce serving of semisweet or milk chocolate
(with sweetener and other ingredients added) contains:
- 270 calories
- 17 grams of fat
- 10 grams of saturated fat
Semisweet chocolate adds around 3 grams of fiber per 2 ounces, while milk
chocolate typically contributes zero. The mostly insoluble fiber in cocoa comes
from the seed coat on the unprocessed cocoa bean.
All of this brings us to Health by Chocolate Rule of Thumb
#3: For a better flavonoid-to-calorie ratio, choose cocoa powder
whenever possible for baking and making hot chocolate.
Don't Forget the Calories
One thing most chocolate bars have in common is calories. An ounce of
sweetened chocolate will cost you about 150 calories -- that's about six to
seven chocolate kisses. Here's my take on it as a chocolate lover: Those six
kisses are worth every calorie.
But here's a word of caution: The health benefits of chocolate may disappear
if you are adding the calories above and beyond your regular intake. This could
mean you're adding pounds along with the flavonoids.
Researchers from the University of California at Davis said it best in a
scientific review on cocoa and chocolate flavonoids published in the
Journal of the American Dietetic Association. They concluded that
people may benefit from including a variety of flavonoid-rich foods as part of
a healthful diet -- and dark chocolate, in moderate amounts, can be part of