The 7 Best Healthy Chocolates of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Indulge in these Antioxidant Powered Treats

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When it comes to chocolate, not all products are created equal. Some chocolate can be high in sugar and additives, and many popular chocolate candy bars don't actually contain much chocolate at all. Don't despair chocolate-lovers; there's good news! Dark chocolate is an antioxidant-packed indulgence with tons of health benefits.

The polyphenol content (specifically flavonoids) in dark chocolate provides a high concentration of antioxidants that may help to control blood sugar levels, prevent oxidative damage, enhance immunity and help prevent the risk of heart disease. Cacao is also a good source of fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

Dark chocolate is a healthier choice than white or milk chocolate. To make dark chocolate, cacao (the seed or bean of a cacao fruit) is mixed with cocoa butter (the cold-pressed oil from the cacao bean) as well as sugar and other flavorings. Dark chocolate does not contain milk solids and is made from 50-90% cacao. The higher the cacao percentage in chocolate, the higher the antioxidant content, so look for products with at least 60% cacao. Most dark chocolate contains saturated fat from the cacao butter and added sugar, so it is best consumed in moderation.

Here, the best healthy chocolates on the market:

Best Overall: Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Bars

Organic, Fair Trade, and carbon-neutral, Alter Eco tops our list with their delicious chocolate varieties and sustainable approach to production. These chocolates contain no artificial additives and come in either bars or truffles with flavors including Sea Salt, Brown Butter, and Burnt Caramel.

The Super Blackout Bar contains 90% organic cacao beans, organic cocoa butter, organic raw cane sugar, and organic vanilla beans. One serving (30 grams) has 200 calories, 18 grams of fat, and 3 grams of sugar.

Best Budget-Friendly: Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate Bar

Dark chocolate can be expensive, so we like Green & Black for a more affordable option. With a smooth finish and complex flavor, this chocolate will satisfy any sweet tooth. They offer over ten flavors, including Raspberry Hazelnut, Sea Salt, Mint, and Ginger. 

The 70% Dark Chocolate Bar contains all organic ingredients, including bittersweet chocolate, cane sugar, vanilla extract, and cocoa butter. One serving (30 grams) has 170 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 9 grams of sugar.

Best Chocolate Chips: Enjoy Life Baking Dark Chocolate Morsels

Making chocolate chip cookies or banana bread? Swap in Enjoy Life Baking Chocolate chips in your recipe for an added antioxidant boost in your baked treats. Dark chocolate chips will yield a slightly more bitter taste than milk chocolate, so be sure to adjust the portions accordingly. 

This chocolate is made with 69% cacao and contains just two ingredients: unsweetened chocolate and cane sugar. One tablespoon has 70 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 5 grams of sugar.

Best Single-Serve Chocolate Bar: Raaka Chocolate Mini Dose Bars

Dark chocolate is a nutrient-rich, sweet treat. Try Raaka Mini Dose Bars to help you stay mindful of your portions. Raaka is a small-batch, organic, single-origin chocolate that contains unroasted chocolate. This perfectly portioned option features a slightly fruity flavor from the cacao fruit. 

The Pink Sea Salt Mini Dose Bar is made with all organic ingredients, including cacao beans, cane sugar, maple sugar, cacao butter, and Peruvian pink sea salt. One bar (8 grams) contains 42 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 3 grams of sugar.

Best Chocolate Candy: UNREAL Chocolate Complete Variety Pack

If you’re looking to satisfy your craving for popular chocolate candies on the market, try Unreal for a healthier alternative. Unreal chocolate products contain a higher antioxidant content, fewer additives, and less sugar than most conventional candy bars. Varieties include Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Dark Chocolate Covered Peanuts, Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars, and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Nougat Bars.

The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups contain dark chocolate, peanuts, organic cane sugar, organic palm oil (sustainably sourced), organic peanut flour, organic blue agave inulin, sea salt, and sunflower lecithin. One cup (15 grams) has 80 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 5 grams of sugar.

Best Vegan: Hu Salty Chocolate Bars

The delicious flavors and simple ingredient list of Hu Vegan Chocolate Bars make them a great choice for vegans and non-vegans alike. Organic and Non-GMO, the chocolate bars come in various flavors, including Crunchy Mint, Vanilla Crunch, Salt, and different nut butter flavors. Try the flavors with puffed quinoa if you’re looking for a bar with an added crunch.  

The Salty Dark Chocolate Bar is 70% cacao, containing just four ingredients: organic cacao, organic unrefined coconut sugar, organic fair-trade cocoa butter, and sea salt. One serving (30 grams) has 180 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 9 grams of sugar.

Best Organic: Theo Chocolate Sampler Variety

USDA organic, non-GMO, and Fair Trade, Theo Chocolate is made with a few minimally processed ingredients with big flavor. Theo uses essential oils to create their delicious flavor varieties and seasonal favorites like Peppermint Crunch and Cranberry Orange. With over thirty chocolate bar flavors, you’ll be sure to find one that suits your taste buds.

The Extra Dark bar is made with 85% cocoa, containing all organic ingredients: cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, and ground vanilla bean. One serving (28 grams) has 180 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 4 grams of sugar.

Final Verdict

Try Alter Eco for their delicious varieties and sustainable approach. Looking to keep your chocolate portions in check? Go for Rakaa Single Dose Bars.

What to Look for in Healthy Chocolate

Cocoa or Cacao Percentage:

The higher the cocoa or cacao percentage, the higher the antioxidant benefits, so look for a product with at least 60% cocoa or cacao solids. Cacao contains higher levels of antioxidants than cocoa, so go for cacao-based chocolate bars when possible.


Some chocolate bars can have a lot of added sugars. Look for bars that contain less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. 

Ingredient List:

Look for products with whole ingredients like cacao, cocoa, and cocoa butter. Choose chocolates without added emulsifiers like lecithin and skip those that have artificial sweeteners like sorbitol.


What does Fair Trade mean? 

Fair Trade refers to the practice of creating fair and sustainable trading practices, primarily between farmers in developing countries with producers in developed countries. Companies that practice Fair Trade pay farmers based on fair value as opposed to general market values. Fair Trade also promotes improved social and environmental standards and transparency. There are different Fair Trade certifications, including Fair Trade Certified and FairTrade America.

Why should I buy organic chocolate? 

Products that are USDA Certified Organic meet certain standards around growing practices and additives as defined by the USDA. Organic chocolate is made from cacao beans that are grown using organic farming practices instead of relying on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. The choice to go organic is a personal one and must be weighed with other factors such as availability and price of the product. 

What's the difference between cacao and cocoa? 

Cacao is the seed, sometimes referenced as the bean, of a cacao. Raw cacao is fermented and dried to create cacao nibs, or cold-pressed and milled into cacao powder. Cocoa is also made from cacao seed, but it is processed at a higher temperature, yielding a less nutrient dense and less antioxidant rich product in comparison with cacao. However, both products have been proven to have antioxidant benefits.

Why is dark chocolate healthier than milk chocolate?

Dark chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa or cacao than milk chocolate, so it contains a higher amount of antioxidants derived from the cacao plant. Additionally, dark chocolate is typically lower in sugar and higher in fiber and does not contain any milk solids.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a Registered Dietitian, Anne Carroll, MS, RD uses her clinical expertise to cut through marketing claims and get down to the science. These are all products that she has researched, vetted, and would recommend to her clients in private practice and incorporate into her own diet.

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Article Sources
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