Dark Chocolate: A Great Gift That’s Good for Your Heart and Health

Is Dark Chocolate Healthier than Other Chocolate? Yes! 

If you’re looking for a great Valentine's Day gift — or a little something for yourself — you can make a healthier choice with dark chocolate.  

Why is dark chocolate a healthier option? Darker chocolate has less added sugar and has more cacao (the primary ingredient in chocolate). Cacao contains antioxidants known as flavonoids, which can help prevent heart disease and cancer. These flavonoids are diminished as cacao is processed, such as in milk and white chocolate. In fact, most white chocolate does not contain any cacao.  

So, although dark chocolate might taste a bit more bitter than milk chocolate, it’s the way to go if you’re looking for a healthier chocolate option. 

What Is the Healthiest Type of Chocolate? 

When choosing dark chocolate, look for varieties that are 70 percent cacao. They provide a good balance between having health benefits without being too bitter to enjoy. And if you enjoy the higher cacao content, go for it! Generally, the more cacao, the more health benefits. 

As with all treats, it’s best to enjoy dark chocolate in moderation, though. One to two ounces of dark chocolate per day can have great health benefits, but indulging in more cuts down on those benefits. And make sure to avoid chocolates that contain oils and other additives like high fructose corn syrup. These ingredients (and the extra processing) limit the health benefit of cacao.  

What If I Don’t Like Dark Chocolate? 

You can still enjoy milk or white chocolate, but just be sure to consume a smaller portion such as “fun size” or “bite-size” options. Even though they don’t have as many health benefits, occasionally enjoying sweeter chocolates is okay, especially on holidays. Just pay attention to portion sizes, and only enjoy on special occasions. And always balance out sweet choices with healthy foods and physical activity.  

Incorporate Dark Chocolate into Your Snacks with Chocolate Blueberry Superfood Bark! 

Dark chocolate combined with blueberries and almonds makes a great superfood snack. Blueberries contribute fiber and phytonutrients while the almonds contribute additional fiber and heart-healthy fats. Give this recipe a try to satisfy your sweet tooth and health goals! This treat is great for storing in the refrigerator for a small piece at a time or for sharing with friends and family. 

Ingredients  

  • 24 ounces of dark chocolate
  • 1¼ cup of fresh blueberries  
  • 1 cup whole raw almonds  

Directions  

  1. Slowly melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave, stirring regularly. While the chocolate is melting, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

  2. Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper in a layer approximately ¼- to ½-inch thick.  

  3. Wait about 2 minutes for the chocolate to cool a little; then sprinkle the almonds and blueberries onto the melted chocolate. 

  4. Transfer the baking sheet to the fridge for 40 minutes and allow the chocolate to firm completely.  

  5. Break the chilled chocolate into rough pieces of “bark.” Store in a lidded container at room temp and eat within two days. 

Visit Our Stores for All Your Favorite Snacks! 

Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, American Heart Month, or simply trying to improve your everyday diet, choose dark chocolate and other healthy foods on your next shopping trip. And you can always check our weekly ad for great deals! 

We wish you a happy and healthy Valentine's Day! Thank you for choosing Family Fare.