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8 Healthy Chocolate Bars Full of Flavor & Low in Sugar

If you love chocolate, try these healthiest chocolaty choices that dietitians love.  
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino
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Chocolate is often considered an occasional treat, but if you choose the right healthy chocolate brand, you can enjoy it more frequently and reap some serious benefits from the myriad bioactive compounds present in cacao. Dark chocolate is considered one of the longest-known functional foods, dating back to 400 AD. It is rich in bioactive flavonoids including catechins, anthocyanins, and procyanidins.

Research shows that enjoying dark chocolate has positive health benefits, from reducing inflammation, and relaxing blood vessels to lowering blood pressure and improving overall cardiovascular health. One review article published in the journal Nutrients reported that chocolate consumption was inversely correlated with coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The authors noted that two to six servings per week was considered optimal for reducing one's risk.

However, not all chocolate bars are created equal. You want chocolate that provides a higher percentage of flavonoid-packed cocoa solids. The healthiest bars will provide at least 70% cocoa. Cocoa (or cacao) is loaded with polyphenols as well as providing some iron, zinc, magnesium, and many other essential minerals. Unfortunately, milk chocolate lacks the polyphenols and essential nutrients that make dark chocolate a healthier option.

How to choose healthy chocolate bars:

  • Look for those with at least 60% cacao (cocoa), but higher is even better.
  • Compare added sugars and choose a bar that has the least amount of added sugar.
  • When possible, look for those that are organic and made with non-GMO ingredients for the health of the planet.
  • If you eat a plant-based diet, choose bars that are dairy-free and certified vegan.

Here are the eight best chocolate bars dietitians love due to their nutritional benefits.

Hu Simple Dark Chocolate Organic 70% Cacao

Hu Simple Dark Chocolate Organic 70% Cacao
30 g:  190 calories, 14 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 3 g protein

This bar is great because it has a high percentage of cacao and is certified organic. It's made with just three ingredients: organic Fairtrade cacao, unrefined organic coconut sugar, and organic Fairtrade cocoa butter. The brand doesn't use any refined sugar, cane sugar, or sugar alcohol in its bars.

Spring & Mulberry Date-Sweetened Mulberry Fennel Dark Chocolate (72% Cacao)

Spring & Mullberry Date-Sweetened Mulberry Fennel Dark Chocolate
Spring & Mulberry
1/2 bar (30g): 130 calories, 11 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 2 g protein

With just six ingredients, you'd be hard-pressed to find another dark chocolate bar on the market with the nutritional benefits that Spring & Mulberry's Mulberry Fennel bar does for the flavor punch it delivers. This healthy chocolate earns a spot on our list because it doesn't use any refined, added sugars—it's solely sweetened by dates—and it contains an impressive 3 grams of fiber, which totals 11% of your daily recommended intake of the under-consumed nutrient.

GATSBY Sea Salt Extra Dark

GATSBY Sea Salt Extra Dark

1 ounce: 60 calories, 4 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 130 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (4 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 1 g protein

This is one of my favorite healthier chocolate bars. It tastes so great and has such a good proposition that even Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner from Shark Tank are investors. I like that it's significantly lower in calories and added sugar compared to milk chocolate bars and even the best dark chocolate bars. GATSBY chocolate bars have less than half the calories and about 75% less sugar than a traditional chocolate bar because the primary sweetener is allulose, a natural zero-calorie sweetener that most closely resembles sugar in taste and function. With 4 grams of fiber, this chocolate bar can also help keep you satisfied longer. It's also non-dairy and gluten-free.

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Alter Eco 70% Cacao Sea Salt Organic Dark Chocolate

Alter Eco 70% Cacao Sea Salt Organic Dark Chocolate
Alter Eco
4 sections (30g): 180 calories, 13 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (3 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 3 g protein

"I love that this healthy chocolate bar is 100% plant-based, USDA-certified organic, certified gluten-free, and made with simple, recognizable ingredients," says Los Angeles-based registered dietitian Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD. "It's rich without being bitter and it really melts in your mouth, which not all dark chocolates do." What's more, these bars provide fiber, iron, and magnesium and the brand supports fair wages for farmers and sustainable agriculture.

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Lily's Salted Carmel Milk Chocolate Style Chocolate Bar

Lily's Salted Carmel Milk Chocolate Style Chocolate Bar
30g: 130 calories, 11 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 75 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (10 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 2 g protein

Lily's is a favorite brand made without added sugar, but does have Stevia for sweetness, explains Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, an award-winning registered dietitian. "The bars are certified gluten-free and made with non-GMO ingredients. "When I crave chocolate, I prefer milk chocolate (especially caramel), so I pop an ounce of this chocolate bar." While this bar will lack the same bioactive compounds present in dark chocolate with high cacao counts, its nutritionals are still impressive with low sugar and high fiber counts.

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Macalat Organic Sweet Dark Chocolate

Macalat Organic Sweet Dark Chocolate
2 pieces (12g): 70 calories, 6g (3.5 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 0 net carbs) 1 g protein

The advent of a new chocolate category, this organic sweet dark chocolate is actually sugar-free. Macalat is made with organic superfoods including organic Peruvian cacao, lucuma, cinnamon, vanilla bean, monk fruit, and organic mushroom extract. The marvelous mushroom extract acts to cut the bitter notes of the cacao, so the bar has a rich, sweet taste but with zero sugar and zero net carbs. It's perfect for anyone living a carb-controlled lifestyle but who wants to enjoy chocolate. You need to taste it to believe it!

Alter Eco Deep Dark Quinoa Crunch

Alter Eco 60% Cacao Deep Dark Quinoa Crunch
Alter Eco
4 sections (30g): 170 calories, 11 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (2 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 2 g protein

This organic bar has 60% cacao, so you'll get the phytonutrient antioxidants from polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins, notes Amidor. It has no GMOs, no soy ingredients, no corn ingredients, no additives, no artificial ingredients, and it's vegan. Plus, you'll get a crunch of whole-grain quinoa in every bite!

Alter Eco 85% Cacao Raspberry Blackout

Alter Eco 85% Cacao Raspberry Blackout
Alter Eco
4 sections (30g): 190 calories, 16 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 2 g protein

This super dark bar is among the highest in beneficial cacao, with 85% cacao. It has less added sugar and more fiber than many of its premium dark chocolate peers. Made with smooth dark chocolate and contrasted with the tart red raspberry for a delicious combo. This bar delivers on taste and quality and is made with eco-friendly ingredients, notes registered dietitian Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, author of From Burnout to Balance.

This story has been updated to include new information, fact-checking, and copyedits.

Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD
Julie Upton is an award-winning registered dietitian and communications specialist who has written thousands of articles for national media outlets, including The New York Times, US News & World Report, and USA Today. Read more about Julie
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