Do you often find yourself standing in the checkout line at the grocery store with a basket full of healthy food choices only to have the chocolates on the shelf next to you scream your name? If you’re disciplined enough and way too dedicated to your workout/diet plan, you’ll ignore them completely. However, most of us have to wait in line only to be tempted enough to add a delicious, nutty caramel chocolate to our shopping list. It tastes good in the moment, but you feel awful after the fact; especially if you’re working your butt off to lose weight in the gym.
Fret not! Here’s how you can avoid making a horrible treat choice by knowing how to choose a healthy chocolate.
1. Avoid the word ‘flavour’
When having a look at the ingredients list, if the word ‘flavour’ appears in it, stay clear. Artificial flavouring, in any form, is bad for you. Put it down this instant!
2. Read the ingredients list, not the nutritional panel
Naturally, we all tend to read the nutritional panel in order to see how many kilojoules are present. However, we forget to look at the ingredients list, because all chocolates tend to have the same ingredients, right? Wrong.
3. Stay clear of milk/white chocolate
Flavours and milk protein concentrates are found in milk and white chocolate; ingredients which should not be added to your diet or general lifestyle. Thus, if you see a white or milk chocolate, don’t even bother reading the ingredients list.
4. Does it contain vegetable oil?
By reading the ingredients list, you’ll quickly discover whether your chosen chocolate contains vegetable oil. If so, don’t choose it. Vegetable oil has no place in a healthy chocolate choice.
5. Hate dark chocolate? Choose carob
It’s known that dark chocolate tends to be the healthy choice, but many avoid choosing a healthy chocolate due to the fact that dark chocolate isn’t for everyone. Instead, choose carob – a naturally sweet ingredient that comes from the carob tree.
6. Aim for 70% or higher cacao contents
The higher the cacao contents, the less sugar is present. The less sugar present, the healthier the chocolate. Although those types of chocolates may be a little bit expensive, you’ll only need one every once in a while.
7. Choose cacao not cocoa
Many confuse cocoa for cacao, when in fact, there’s a big difference. The main ingredient of chocolate is cacao powder which has plenty of health benefits being a rich source of antioxidants and magnesium. Cocoa, on the other hand, is a more refined version of cacao, often mixed with sugar.
8. Opt for quality over quantity
The higher the quality of chocolate, the less you need to satisfy your craving. Yes, it may be more costly than the unhealthier versions, but it’s definitely worth it when you consider the benefits. So go on, do yourself a favour and treat yourself to a healthy chocolate!
Read: Fat Fails: 7 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight
So the next time you find yourself stuck in the checkout line at the grocery store, tempted to get your hands on an unhealthy chocolate, keep the above-mentioned health tips in mind to make a smart treat choice. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself every once in a while, but why not choose a healthy treat which will make you feel better over an unhealthy once that’ll only set you back?