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July 30, 2012 at 8:00 AMComments: 8 Faves: 2

Top 10 Diet-Friendly Chocolate Indulgences

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This Author

When the urge for something rich, smooth, and full of that chocolately goodness strikes, it can be REALLY hard to resist. As a dietitian, people expect that my advice for these cravings will simply be to deny them - but why hold back when you can satisfy your taste buds with one of these delicious and waist-friendly options?!

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#1. Dark Chocolate

mini dark chocolate bar

Serving: 1 Small Bar, Calories: 90, Fat: 5.5g, Carbs: 10g

As true dark chocolate comes with added health benefits, by favoring dark over white or milk chocolate, you may find it easier to justify caving into those cravings.

Dark chocolate offers powerful antioxidants and "flavonoids" - compounds found to help lower blood pressure by dilating our blood vessels while also fighting off inflammation. In contrast, while dark chocolate contains roughly 50 milligrams of catechins (a type of flavonoid) per ounce, milk chocolate contains a mere 15 milligrams. Plus, because dark chocolate possesses such a pure flavor profile, the richer flavor may be able to quench your craving for less – meaning fewer calories for you!

Stonyfield Non-Fat Chocolate Underground Yogurt#2. Stonyfield’s Organic Non-fat Chocolate Underground Yogurt

Serving: 1 Container, Calories: 170, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 37g

This yogurt could easily be confused for pudding and when you consider the added calcium, potassium, and protein - how can you go wrong? Learn More

CacoaVia#3. Cocoa Via

Serving: 1 Packet, Calories: 30, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 5g

Now if you don’t happen to have Stonyfield’s ridiculously amazing yogurt on hand, a packet of dark chocolate Cocoa Via mixed into your plain or vanilla yogurt will certainly do the trick for only 30 calories. You can also use it in your oatmeal, shake, or milk. Cocoa Via offers pure cocoa extract, providing chocolate in its purest form and providing you with the greatest health benefits through 250 milligrams of cocoa flavanols per packet.Learn More

#4. Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder

dark chocolate cocoa powderServing: 1 Tbsp, Calories: 12, Fat: 1g, Carbs: 3g

Similar to Cocoa Via, unsweetened cocoa powder and to the Hershey’s brand you likely have in your cabinet for baking, unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder is also a great source of true cocoa. In a pinch, it makes a tasty addition to vanilla yogurt or perhaps even your steaming bowl of oatmeal. You can also combine it with a dash of sugar (or your favorite sugar substitute) to prepare a nice cup of hot cocoa. Learn More

#5. Light Chocolate Silk OR Dark Chocolate Almond Milk OR Fat-Free Chocolate Milk

Light Chocolate SilkDark Chocolate Pure Almond Silkfat free chocolate milk

Light Chocolate Silk Serving: 1 Cup, Calories: 119, Fat: 2g, Carbs: 22g

Dark Chocolate Almond Milk Serving: 1 Cup, Calories: 120, Fat: 3g, Carbs: 23g

Fat-Free Chocolate Milk Serving: 1 Cup, Calories: 150, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 26g

If you were to scope out my fridge, you would surely find a carton of Light Chocolate Silk Soy Milk looking right back at you. Ranging from 90-120 calories, one-cup of chocolate milk can easily tame your hunger pain. Only my husband knows how often I reach for my chocolate milk. Whether cold or steaming hot, this treat is always within reach! It may also surprise you to know that many Olympic Athletes are reaching for chocolate milk as their post-workout snack, but with the healthy combination of protein and carbohydrates, I can certainly understand why! Learn More: Light Chocolate Silk    Learn More: Dark Chocolate Almond Milk

#6. Chocolate Animal Crackers

chocolate animal crackerServing: 16 Crackers, Calories: 130, Fat: 3g, Carbs: 23g

Though they're far from being nutrient-rich, these tasty treats are fairly low in calories at only 130 calories for 16 crackers. Besides, for a greater nutrient bang for your buck, you can always mix them in with nuts, dried fruit, and whole grain cereal to make your own unique trail mix. Learn More

#7. No-Sugar-Added Hot Chocolate

no sugar added hot cocoaServing: 1 Packet, Calories: 60, Fat: 1g, Carbs: 10g

While some options contain a touch of calcium, most hot cocoa mixes are not exactly brimming with nutrition. However, at a mere 25-50 calories per serving, this chocolate addition is still one of my favorites and a single packet can go a long way! The package may say to use 1 packet per cup of water or milk, but I often stretch the flavor for at least 2 or 3 cups instead. If you’re not in the mood for hot cocoa, try sprinkling the powder onto a serving of vanilla yogurt or ice cream for an even richer treat!  

dark chocolate covered almonds

#8. Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

Serving: 13 pieces, Calories: 210, Fat: 15g, Carbs: 19g

Protein, fiber, AND the sweet taste of chocolate. Need I say more?

#9. Chocolate Frosted Mini Wheats

chocolate mini wheatsServing: 52 pieces, Calories: 200, Fat: 2g, Carbs: 45g

Though it's certainly not low carb (45 grams) nor calorie (200 calories), chocolate frosted mini wheats are at least 100% whole grain, provide a healthy amount of fiber (6 grams) and a fair amount of protein (5 grams) per one cup (or 52 biscuits). This nutrient-rich option will quickly fill you up and satisfy those taste buds! Learn More

#10. Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

justin's chocolate hazelnut spreadServing: One 32g Package, Calories: 190, Fat: 19g, Carbs: 10g

If Nutella is already at home in your breakfast routine, I urge you to swap it out for Justin’s version instead. Each 2 tablespoon serving will save you 14 grams of sugar (nearly 4 teaspoons!) over the competition. Prefer almonds or peanuts instead? No problem, Justin’s offers a chocolately spread in either form! Learn More

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Now that I have shared a few of my favorite chocolate fixes, I’m dying to know how you satisfying your cravings? What sweet tricks do you have in your cupboard?  

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8 Comments

  • Yum! This weekend I had some massive chocolate cravings, especially after swimming with friends. For a couple of my yogurt & oatmeal breakfasts this week, I've added a chocolate explosion:

    One is cafe mocha flavored, featuring vanilla extract, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and a few small squares of dark chocolate that I roughly chopped and shaved as a mix-in.

    The other is chocolate-covered strawberry, roughly the same as the other, but instead of coffee I added diced fresh strawberries and used some low-fat strawberry-pomegranate yogurt along with the plain.

  • Quite creative, Dave!

  • Chocolate strawberry reminds me of my childhood. We live just a mile or two from a huge strawberry farm (Siepel's, I believe). We'd stop in at their little store, after swimming lessons, to buy fresh-picked berries and they always had the biggest, most amazing berries dipped in dark chocolate for sale at the register. We were each allowed one, and they were absolutely incredible.

  • Oh man, sprouty....that sounds so incredibly good!

  • Hard to trust this diet advice when the facts simply don't.add.up. E.x. Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds. 210 calories/serving, 19g Carb and 15 g Fat. Let's do some simple caloric arithmetic that ANY dietitian should be capable of. (19g Carb * 4calories/g) + (15g Fat * 9calories/g) = 211 total calories WITHOUT even taking protein into account. Hmmmm that number is already greater than what's listed and doesn't even have protein (4calories/g) in the equation! The chocolate almonds have driven you nuts.

  • 13 almonds would have about 3 grams of protein, according to some quick searches on Google. That would equate to an approximate additional 12 calories. The reason I say 'about' and 'approximate' is that these numbers are not exact. It's 3.32 grams of protein according to a nutrition facts label that doesn't round. It could be 14.5 grams of fat and 18.5 grams of carbs (we do not know, have to trust the label which rounds). And the 9/4/4 multiplier is rounded as well. You'll find people using variations on these.

    Lastly, the grams of carbs includes the dietary fiber, which are calculated out in the calories (1.8 * 4 = 7.2 calories removed, round that to 2 * 4 and it's 8). If you cannot digest it, how many calories are you getting out of it?

    Put all this together and the answer is it's close enough. Maybe it is:
    (18.5 * 4) + (14.5 * 9) + (3.32 * 4) - (1.8 * 4) = 210.58 calories

  • I satisfy my chocolate craving by eating a few Dark Chocolate M&M's they are great!

  • Excellent feedback, Sprouty!

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