(1 minute read)
Did you know the average Brit will consume 250 teaspoons of sugar this easter?
Pretty frightening… however, hope is not lost… I have a simple swap for you so that you can still enjoy your chocolate egg over easter but with half the sugar content!
First things first, is dark chocolate always healthier? The simple answer is no… there are many dark chocolate bars out there with the same sugar content as milk chocolate. People opt for dark chocolate because it has a reputation for being healthier however than milk chocolate, but if you ask most people why it's healthier most people don’t actually know.
Dark chocolate can be higher in antioxidants (which have many benefits to your health) and much lower in sugar than milk or white chocolate, however, there is a real emphasis on CAN BE because many dark chocolate bars are actually no better than milk chocolate. Low-quality dark chocolate can have lots of additives and just as much sugar with very low levels of cocoa solids and therefore antioxidants or any other good properties. You have to read the label and go for a good quality (not necessarily expensive) dark chocolate that doesn’t add things like soy lecithin and more sugar to compensate for the bitter taste.
Take these brands:
Bournville dark chocolate (by Cadbury) is labelled as dark chocolate but only contains 36% cocoa solids (lots of other ingredients ) and 58g of sugar per 100g. This is actually higher in sugar than most milk chocolates (green and blacks milk chocolate has only 46g of sugar per 100g).
Green and blacks dark chocolate, has minimal ingredients, 85% cocoa solids and only 14g of sugar per 100g.
Lint dark chocolate with 85% cocoa solids again has only 14g of sugar per 100g.
Sainsbury’s Belgian dark chocolate with 72% cocoa solids has 25g of sugar per 100g.
That is a huge difference- you don’t need to buy an expensive brand, just look at the label!
Look for the sugar content per 100g on the label and find one that is lower than 20g of sugar per 100g. By finding dark chocolate with a higher % cocoa solids you will find they have lower sugar content and the higher cocoa solids means higher antioxidant levels which is where chocolate gets its name for the health benefits. Ideally, choose dark chocolate with 85% or more cocoa solids, this is likely to be lower in sugar.
Enjoy your chocolate in moderation this easter!
BSc Sports Science, Women’s Fitness Specialist and Personal Trainer