For those times when your cocoa urge is just too strong to ignore, here are eight healthy ways to indulge without any guilty afterthoughts.
On a good diet day, snack time usually means celery and hummus, or maybe Greek yogurt with cereal and fruit. What it doesn’t mean? Giving into your chocolate cravings – no matter how much your office vending machine tempts you.
Hold that thought: Turns out, there is such a thing as a healthy chocolate snack. If you’re a chocoholic, don’t deprive yourself! If you make chocolate completely off limits, there’s a good chance you’ll go overboard the next time something rich and chocolately is placed in front of you.
Plus, enjoying chocolate treats in moderation has been linked to better moods, decreased stroke risk, and improved heart health.
The Perfect Chocolate Bite
When in doubt, go simple and reach for plain ole dark chocolate. The higher the cocoa content, the more antioxidants and the greater the health benefits, so aim for at least 65 percent cacao.
Two squares of Ghirardelli Twilight Delight ($2.79 each, at grocery stores) or seven Hershey’s Special Dark Kisses ($3.19 to $3.29, at grocery stores) are around 140 calories. (Be sure to check the label on your chocolate of choice so you don’t over-indulge.)
Emerald’s Cocoa Roast Almonds little 100-calorie packs ($3.69 for box of seven, at grocery stores) take the portion control guess work out of the picture. Each delightfully addictive handful is dusted in cocoa powder, so you get a hint of chocolate along with the crunchy nuttiness of almonds, which are high in fiber and vitamin E.
A Sweet Chocolate Fruit Topper
Drizzle two tablespoons of chocolate syrup over a half cup of sliced strawberries for around 150 calories. You’ll reap the berries’ fiber and vitamin C-boost along with chocolate’s antioxidants.
A Little Chocolate Luxury
For an indulgent treat, splurge on a box of Godiva Parfait Chocolates ($22 for an 8-piece box). These rich, bite-size versions of bakery favorites include chocolate éclairs, death by chocolate, and mocha are surprisingly less than 60 calories a piece.
A Vitamin-Rich Chocolate Drink
Sip Zico chocolate coconut water ($2.99 to $3.99 each, at grocery stores) and get a double benefit: a potassium boost and a cure for your chocolate craving. Refrigerate or stash in the freezer for about an hour for an especially delicious, milkshake-like drink. Since coconut water is known for its super-hydrating benefits, the drink makes a perfect post-workout treat.
Cereal Spiked with Chocolate
Chocolate for breakfast? Why not! Special K Chocolatey Delight (prices vary, at grocery stores) combines the cereal’s famed flakes with chunks of creamy chocolate. There are just 120 calories in a serving plus iron and fiber, making it the perfect treat for the morning or dessert.
Kozy Shack Pudding
When it’s a creamy, chocolatey treat that you crave, consider Kozy Shack Chocolate Pudding. They come in great portion-controlled 6-packs with just 110 calories per individual pudding cup. They’re a good source of calcium and made without preservatives or hydrogenated oils. This is truly a tasty and satisfying treat.
Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters
Sometimes I get hit with not just a chocolate craving, but a chocolate and caramel craving! It used to be hard to satisfy this one without totally breaking the calorie bank. But now thanks to Skinny Cow we have Dreamy Clusters. They are super tasty, available in both milk and dark chocolate, and come in 120 calorie pouches.
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