Can’t live without chocolate? You aren't alone! According to Department of Commerce data, U.S. chocolate confectionery companies manufactured about 3.4 billion pounds of this decadent treat in 2004. So, it's no wonder chocolate is the comfort food choice for so many. Nutritionist Joy Bauer was invited on the “Today” show to give the chocoholic lowdown.Yes, it’s true dark chocolate provides potent antioxidants that enhance your health, but you’ll only find excessive sugar, fat and calories in your mainstream favorites. These are the facts….
Premium grade dark chocolate has been shown to protect blood vessels and promote overall cardiac health. These benefits come from a hefty dose of disease fighting antioxidants called flavonoids. Furthermore, dark chocolate has no added milk fat,… instead contains cocoa butter, a fat that naturally occurs in cocoa beans. Cocoa butter is mainly made up of stearic acid, oleic acid and palmitic acid — fats that have a fairly neutral effect in regard to an individual’s cholesterol level. Dark chocolate typically comes in three popular varieties: unsweetened baking chocolate, bittersweet chocolate and semisweet chocolate.
Milk ChocolateThe most common type of chocolate consumed by Americans is milk chocolate. This chocolate contains less cocoa liquor, has more added sugar and is mixed with whole milk solids. Milk chocolate does not provide the same amount of antioxidants found in dark chocolate and contains a considerable amount of milk fat, which can adversely affect cholesterol levels.
White ChocolateSome say white chocolate is not really chocolate because it doesn’t contain chocolate liquor. Instead, it’s a mixture of cocoa butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla flavoring — offering none of the beneficial antioxidants.
Chocolate’s Growing Portion Distortion!
Over the years, larger portions have become the norm. Here are examples of how we go from 108 calories for a fun size pack, to more than 750 calories at the movie theatre.
- M&Ms fun size (108 calories, 5.5 grams fat)
- M&Ms standard vendor size 1.69 ounce (240 calories, 10 grams fat)
- M&Ms king size 3.14 ounce (446 calories, 19 grams fat)
- M&Ms movie theatre size 5.3 ounce (752 calories, 31 grams fat)
Approximate calorie counts of America’s chocolate favorites
- Chocolate donut (340 calories, 17 grams fat)
- Godiva chocolate, 3 pieces (220 calories, 5 grams fat)
- Milk chocolate bar (250 calories, 14 grams fat)
- Chocolate milkshake (580 calories, 20 grams fat)
- Chocolate layer cake (400 calories, 20 grams fat)
- Brownie fudge sundae (871 calories, 43 grams fat — 22 saturated fat)
- Starbuck’s grande hot chocolate (450 calories, 24 grams fat, 13 saturated fat)
Chocoholic Reality Check
QUESTION: How many additional calories do you consume each year (on the average), if you eat one serving of daily chocolate?
ANSWER: 87,360 calories and more than 5,000 grams of fat.
That’s the potential for up to 25 pounds of weight gain each year! Or, you can burn off these extra calories bywalking one hour each day (calculated at 3.5 mph for 140 pound woman) for a total of 1,277 miles per year. That’s like walking from Boston to Miami!
QUESTION: How many additional calories do you consume each year (on the average), if you eat two servings of daily chocolate?
ANSWER: 174,720 calories and more than 10,000 grams of fat.
That’s the potential for up to 50 pounds of weight gain each year! Or, you can burn off these extra calories by walking two hours each day (calculated at 3.5 mph for 140 pound woman) for a total of 2,554 miles per year. That's like walking from New York to Los Angeles.
QUESTION: How many additional calories do you consume each year (on the average), if you eat three servings of daily chocolate?
ANSWER: 262,080 calories and more than 15,000 grams of fat!
That’s the potential for up to 75 pounds of weight gain each year! Or, you can burn these calories offby walking an extra three hours each day (calculated at 3.5 mph fro 140 pound woman) for a total of 3,833 miles per year. That's like walking from New York to Alaska!
Swap high calorie chocolate favorites for portion-controlled satisfying sweets. Your chocolate stays BUT your extra padding goes!
Decadent chocolates for 150 calories or less
- Chocolate Tootsie Pops
- Chocolate low-fat ice cream — 1/2 cup scoop (Edy’s Light, Healthy Choice, Breyer’s Light, Turkey Hill fat free, etc,)
- 1 ounce dark chocolate
- Low-fat chocolate ice cream pops (Healthy Choice, Skinny Cow-Silhouette, Yoplait, Smart One’s)
- Banana slices and strawberries dipped in light Hershey’s chocolate syrup
- Plain, non-fat yogurt mixed with LITE hot cocoa packet
- Non-fat pudding (Jell-O brand fat free, Swiss Miss fat free)
- 2 Dove dark chocolate miniatures
- 2 Hershey’s miniatures
- 1 Fun Size chocolate bar (M&Ms, Kit Kat, Milky Way, etc)
- 3 bite size mniature cocolates
- 5 chocolate Hershey Kisses
- Chocolate licorice — 4 sticks
- 2 small Godiva chocolates
- Chocolate Egg Cream, homemade (seltzer, skim milk and light chocolate syrup)
- Low-fat chocolate mousse (see Joy’s recipe below
Joy Bauer’s Low-fat Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries
1 cup reduced-fat whipped topping1 package of sugar-free, fat-free chocolate pudding mix1-1/2 cups skim milk, cold20 strawberries, whole
In a mixing bowl, first pour skim milk, then add dry chocolate pudding mix — whip with a wire whisk for 5 minutes. Pudding will thicken.Stir 1 cup reduced fat whipped topping into the pudding mixture and gently whip.Divide into four serving dishes and arrange each serving with 5 whole strawberries to dip.
Nutrient Analysis (Per 1/2 cup serving + 5 strawberries)Calories: 125 Protein (gm): 4.5Carbohydrates (gm): 20Total Sugar (gm): 9Total Fat (gm): 2.4Saturated Fat (gm): 2Cholesterol (mg): < 5Sodium (mg): 378Fiber (gm): 2Vitamin D (IU): 37Calcium (mg): 121Vitamin C (mg): 35
To learn more about Joy Bauer and healthier eating habits, visit .