The 7 Best Chocolates of 2022, According to a Dietitian

Indulge in the dietitian-approved Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Bars

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With a high polyphenol content (specifically flavonoids), 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. This makes it an easy and tasty treat to indulge in when you're in the mood for dessert. The best chocolates have a high percentage of cocoa or cacao with little to no additives.

Reviewed & Approved

The Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Bars are our top pick because they have no additives and come in a variety of delicious flavors. If you're looking for a simple dark chocolate option, go with the Green's & Black's Organic Dark Chocolate Bar.

Since dark chocolate is on the bitter side, many are made with added sweeteners. It's important to look out for the added sugars in the chocolate you plan on buying. Emulsifiers like lecithin are also an important ingredient to check for since these can add sugars to the bar, too. To help you find the best chocolate for your needs, we researched various options, considering nutrition, dietary allergies, certifications, and price.

Here are the best chocolates, according to a dietitian.

Best Overall: Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Bars

4.8
Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Bars

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Certified Organic

  • Fair Trade

  • Carbon Neutral

Cons
  • Variety pack may not contain all flavors

What do buyers say? 600+ iHerb reviewers rated it 4 stars or above.

Organic, Fair Trade, and carbon-neutral, Alter Eco tops our list with its delicious chocolate varieties and sustainable approach to production. These chocolates contain between 47% to 90% cacao, no artificial additives, and come in either bars or truffles with flavors including Sea Salt, Brown Butter, and Burnt Caramel. All of their products are certified Gluten-Free, and the dark chocolate sea salt and various other flavors are also vegan. The dark chocolate sea salt variety is made from four simple ingredients—organic cacao beans, organic raw cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, and sea salt. Note that two flavors in this variety pack, Quinoa Crunch and Coconut Toffee do have more than 10 grams of sugar.

Not only does Alter Eco use simple, organic ingredients in their products, but they are a B Corporation committed to alleviating inequality while fighting climate change. Their foundation helps farmers transition to regenerative agriculture. If you're looking for a chocolate bar that satisfies taste, quality, and ethics, look no further!

Price at time of publication: $50

Protein per serving: 2 grams | Fiber per serving: 3 grams | Iron per serving: 3 mg (15% Daily Value) | Saturated fat per serving: 8 grams | Added Sugar per serving: 9 grams | Calories per serving: 180

A NOTE ABOUT ORGANIC

The USDA bans the use of GMOs in organic products. This means that all Certified Organic products are also always non-GMO. However, if a product is not Certified Organic, you can only be sure it is non-GMO if it bears a non-GMO label.

Best Simple Dark Chocolate: Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate Bar

Green & Blacks Organic Dark Chocolate Bar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Certified Organic

  • Fair Trade

  • Vegan (varies by flavor)

Cons
  • May not be as flavorful as other options

The 70% cacao dark chocolate bar is vegan and made with four simple ingredients—chocolate liquor, cane sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla. Green & Black's doesn't only do simple though—they offer over ten flavors, including Raspberry Hazelnut, Sea Salt, Mint, and Ginger. 

Originating in London, Green & Black's original products are certified Organic and Fair Trade, while their new Pure line is sourced through a third party verified cocoa sustainability program called Cocoa Life. They are named after their commitment to sourcing and quality—the green represents ethical sourcing while the black represents high quality and chocolate intensity.

Price at time of publication: $45

Protein per serving: 3 grams | Fiber per serving: 3 grams | Iron per serving: 2.9 mg (15% Daily Value) | Saturated fat per serving: 8 grams | Added Sugar per serving: 9 grams | Calories per serving: 170

Best Chocolate Chips: Enjoy Life Baking Dark Chocolate Morsels

Enjoy Life Baking Dark Chocolate Morsels

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Allergy-Friendly

  • Certified Vegan

  • Non-GMO

Cons
  • Pricey for chocolate chips

  • Not Organic or Fair Trade

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. 

Enjoy Life was built on creating allergy-friendly foods. All of their products are gluten-free and do not contain 14 other common food allergens. This vegan chocolate is made with 69% cacao and contains just two ingredients: unsweetened chocolate and cane sugar. One small serving has an impressive amount of fiber and iron. Note that the nutrition panel for this and Raaka bars may make it seem like they are lower in calories, saturated fat, and sugar than the other picks, but it is simply because the serving sizes are smaller.

Price at time of publication: $34

Protein per serving: 1 gram | Fiber per serving: 2 grams | Iron per serving: 15% Daily Value | Saturated fat per serving: 3.5 grams | Added Sugar per serving: 5 grams | Calories per serving: 70

Best Single-Serve Chocolate Bar: Raaka Pink Sea Salt Mini Dose Bar

Raaka Chocolate Mini Dose Bars

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Certified Organic

  • Transparent Trade

  • Perfectly Portioned

Cons
  • Can be expensive

Rather than carrying around a full-size chocolate bar, pack your bag with a few Raaka Mini Dose Bars for a sweet bite when you need it most. Raaka is a Brooklyn, New York-based company that makes small-batch, organic, single-origin chocolate.

After harvesting the cacao fruit and removing the seeds (cocoa beans), the first step in making chocolate involves fermenting the cacao beans in the pulp of the surrounding cacao fruit. After a drying process, most cacao beans are roasted before the chocolate is made, but Raaka uses unroasted beans in order to maintain the slightly fruity flavor of the cacao fruit. Since different cacao beans have different flavor profiles, Raaka's flavored bars are inspired by the flavors of the beans used to make them.

The Pink Sea Salt Mini Dose Bar is vegan and made with all organic ingredients: cacao beans, cane sugar, maple sugar, cacao butter, and Peruvian pink sea salt. Beyond this, Raaka practices something called transparent trade, where they purchase their cacao from cooperatives or grower organizations directly at a price higher than Fair Trade, publishing the price they pay inside their wrappers.

Price at time of publication: $29

Protein per serving: 1 gram | Fiber per serving: 1 gram | Iron per serving: .7 mg (3% Daily Value) | Saturated fat per serving: 2 grams | Added Sugar per serving: 3 grams | Calories per serving: 42

Best Chocolate Candy: UnReal Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Gems

4.8
UnReal Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Gems

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Vegan & Non-GMO

  • Fair Trade

  • 5 grams of protein

Cons
  • Higher sugar than other options on this list

  • Not Certified Organic

If you’re looking to satisfy your craving for chocolate candy from childhood, try Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Gems for a healthier, more ethical, and entirely plant-based alternative. Unreal chocolate products contain a higher antioxidant content, fewer additives, and less sugar than most conventional candies. Other varieties include Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups, Milk Chocolate Gems, Dark Chocolate Caramel Peanut Nougat Bars, and Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars.

The Dark Chocolate Peanut Peanut Gems have a few more ingredients than the other chocolate options on this best healthy chocolates list, consisting of: chocolate liquor, cane sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla, roasted peanuts, peanut oil, gum acacia, beet juice, spirulina extract, organic tapioca syrup, and carnauba wax. However, notice that the peanuts give them added protein and the ingredient list is relatively simple, natural, and a big step up from conventional candies!

Price at time of publication: $35

Protein per serving: 5 grams | Fiber per serving: 3 grams | Iron per serving: 2.4 mg (15% Daily Value) | Saturated fat per serving: 6 grams | Added Sugar per serving: 18 grams | Calories per serving: 220

Best Iron Source: Hu Salty Chocolate Bars

Hu Salty Chocolate Bars

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Vegan & Paleo-friendly

  • Certified Organic

  • Fair Trade

Cons
  • Expensive

Organic and Non-GMO, Hu salty chocolate bars are organic, fair trade, vegan, and paleo-friendly, and one serving contains 20% of your daily value of iron. They 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. The founders are passionate about fueling wellness by swapping out highly processed ingredients with simple, healthy ones. Hu represents getting back to human, from better ingredients to encouraging more physical activity, play, sleep, and laughter.

Price at time of publication: $21

Protein per serving: 2 grams | Fiber per serving: 3 grams | Iron per serving: 4 mg (20% Daily Value) | Saturated fat per serving: 8 grams | Added Sugar per serving: 8 grams | Calories per serving: 180

Best Creative Flavor: Theo Chocolate Organic Milk + Dark Chocolate Classic Sampler Variety Pack

Theo Chocolate Sampler Variety

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Certified Organic

  • Fair Trade

  • Lower in Saturated Fat than other options

Cons
  • Contains Dairy

Not only is this Theo bar bursting with chocolate, toffee, and coffee flavoring, but it's also Organic and Fair Trade. With over thirty chocolate bar flavors, you’ll be sure to find one that suits your taste buds. The Coffee Toffee Dark Chocolate bar is made using a simple list of organic ingredients: cocoa beans, cane sugar, toffee (sugar, butter, corn syrup, water, salt), cocoa butter, and ground coffee beans. Because it includes other ingredients, this Theo flavor has a lower cacao content than other choices and therefore less iron.

Theo is committed to stable prices for cacao farmers and full transparency through every step of their purchasing and production process. The company's emphasis on community is evident from the resources on their website—from chocolate classes and factory tours to sharing farmer stories and recipes.

Price at time of publication: $43

Protein per serving: 2 grams | Fiber per serving: 3 grams | Iron per serving: 1 mg (6% Daily Value) | Saturated fat per serving: 5 grams | Added Sugar per serving: 10 grams | Calories per serving: 160

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.

How We Selected

We reviewed several products and brands available at top online retailers and consulted with trusted peers in dietetics, including our team of Registered Dietitians.

We considered availability, price, nutrition, and taste, as well as sourcing and manufacturing practices. Nutritionally, we looked for chocolates that were at least 60% cocoa or cacao for a higher antioxidant content, and limited added ingredients. We also prioritized brands with USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade certifications as well as transparent sourcing practices.

What to Look for in Healthy Chocolate

Cocoa or Cacao Percentage:

The higher the cocoa or cacao percentage and the fewer other added ingredients, the higher the antioxidant benefits and the higher the iron content, 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.

Sugar:

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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 iron 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.

5 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Katz DL, Doughty K, Ali A. Cocoa and chocolate in human health and diseaseAntioxid Redox Signal. 2011;15(10):2779-2811. doi:10.1089/ars.2010.3697

  2. McEvoy M. Organic 101: Can Gmos be used in organic products? United States Department of Agriculture. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2013/05/17/organic-101-can-gmos-be-used-organic-products.

  3. Transparent trade: how we source cacao at raaka chocolate. Raaka Chocolate.

  4. Fair Trade Certified. Why Fair Trade.

  5. Crozier SJ, Preston AG, Hurst JW, et al. Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and productsChemistry Central J. 2011;5(1):5. doi:10.1186/1752-153X-5-5