When a carrot stick isn’t curbing your sugar craving, these chocolate bars provide both sweetness and nutrition

When a carrot stick isn’t curbing your sugar craving, these chocolate bars provide both sweetness and nutrition

Looking for a nutritious snack? Recent studies suggest a nibbling on a chocolate bar isn't as bad as you think.

Sure, the fat and sugar added to make bars tasty detract from the healthful benefits, but chocolate does have a lot going for it: it’s high in antioxidants and contains serotonin, which is a natural anti-depressant and has cancer fighting properties.

The typical candy bar has an ingredients list that reads like a chemistry experiment, and enough sugar and fat to exceed your daily limits. And if cocoa butter and cacao are crowded out by sugar, corn syrup, milk, fat, and palm oil, you’re not doing your body any good.

Choose wisely, though, and you can get the most out of from your sweet treat. Read on for the best bars and remember – a few squares is all you need.

Green & Black's Dark

Green & Black's Dark

The magic ingredient in chocolate is cacao, a substance that’s bitter and chalky when raw, but becomes undeniably delicious when mixed with sugar and fat. Packed with healthy ingredients like flavonoids and theobromine, bars such as Green & Black's Dark – with at least 70% cacao – offer the biggest benefits.

Lindt Milk Chocolate
Credit: Lindt

Lindt Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate has fewer benefits than dark chocolate because it has less cacao. If you prefer the creamy taste, look for a bar like Lindt milk chocolate, which sticks to the basic ingredients: sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate and skim milk.

Denman Island Chocolate Toasted Hazelnut Bar

Denman Island Chocolate Toasted Hazelnut Bar

Whether you like dark or milk chocolate, adding a few nuts – like those in a Denman Island Chocolate toasted hazelnut bar – can boost the nutritional content of your bar. Relatively high in fibre, hazelnuts offer calcium, B-complex vitamins and are rich in manganese and copper.

Divine Chocolate with Strawberries

Divine Chocolate with Strawberries

While white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate (so it doesn’t have any of the benefits of cacao), if you like the sweet confection, seek out one that has cocoa butter, milk and real vanilla. Options like Divine Chocolate with strawberries even throw in a few berries for added anti-oxidants.

Make Your Own Chocolate

Make Your Own Chocolate

Of course, you can always try making your own. This simple three-ingredient chocolate can be modified for any taste buds.

  • 2-3 Tbsp. organic cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted) – no substitute
  • 1-2 Tbsp. honey, agave or maple syrup
  • Mix well

Pour into moulds and freeze until hard. Keep refrigerated until you want a piece.