But I Just Want Some Chocolate!?! by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, April 12, 2010
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I admit it — I’m a full-fledged chocoholic! If there are treats on the table, I’ll always go for anything with chocolate. Fellow chocolate lovers, rejoice: Small amounts of the sweet stuff can easily be part of a healthy diet. Learn our tricks to satisfy your chocolate cravings without going overboard.
Choose Healthy Chocolate
An ounce of milk or dark chocolate contains around 150 calories and 9 grams of fat. To get the health benefits of the antioxidants in chocolate, choose the darker variety. The higher the cocoa content, the more bitter it tastes, so you’ll want to go for a dark chocolate that tastes good to you (which will vary from person to person).
Keep Portions in Check
No matter which type of chocolate helps zap your cravings, size does matter. What’s the proper amount of chocolaty goodness? Well, to help put portions in perspective, here are a few chocolate treats under 150 calories:
- York Peppermint Patty (1 piece): 140 calories, 2.5 grams total fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat
- Hershey’s Bliss Dark Chocolate (4 pieces): 141 calories, 9 grams total fat, 6 grams saturated fat
- Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses (5 pieces): 100 calories, 7 grams total fat, 4 grams saturated fat
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Miniatures (3 pieces): 126 calories, 7 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat
- Snickers Bar Miniatures (3 pieces): 128 calories, 7 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat
Easy Ways to Satisfy
If candy is not your thing, here are some simple tricks to curb those chocolate cravings.
- Add cocoa powder to your smoothie
- Try a hot cocoa made with skim or low fat milk
- Top a peanut butter sandwich with a teaspoon or two of chocolate spread
- Add dark chocolate chips to a trail mix
- Dip fresh fruits (like berries, apples and bananas) in chocolate fondue
Cooking up some chocolate treats can also be a healthier alternative — they’ll have fewer chemicals and preservatives. Plus, you’ll be able to pronounce all the ingredients!
Chocolate recipes to try:
- Dark Chocolate Bark
- Chocolate-Covered Banana Pops
- Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
- Chocolate Fondue
- Chocolate-Dipped Clementines
- Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Cheesecake Brownies (pictured)
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »