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New naturally-sweetened chocolate bars

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If you’re a chocoholic, by now you know that chocolate is really good for your health...but sugar isn’t. So you can have chocolate bars as long as they don’t contain any sugar. For most of us, this defeats the fun of having a chocolate bar. Of course, you could get the kind made with artificial sweeteners, but those artificial sweeteners bring a host of health problems with them. So up until now, it was tough to avoid the kind of chocolate bar with sugar in it.

Now you can get chocolate bars sweetened with natural sweeteners that are actually good for you. These new Coco Polo bars are available at Nutra Foods Huber Heights, which just received a new shipment of them because they had sold out of their first shipment. You can choose from milk chocolate or dark chocolate bars, and either flavor also comes with or without almonds.

The dark chocolate bars are 70% dark chocolate, and if you’re a dark chocolate lover, you will love these, because they have that strong, authentic chocolate flavor. The milk chocolate bars are 39% milk chocolate, and they taste noticeably sweeter. I tried both flavors, and I like them both, although my taste runs to the sweeter bars.

So I’m sure you’re wondering how they’re sweetened. It’s with a blend of stevia, erythritol, and inulin. You may be familiar with stevia as a no-calorie natural sweetener with a sometimes bitter taste, but there is no bitter aftertaste with this sweetener combination. Erythritol is made from sugar in a process that involves yeast and fermentation, but it has no calories and does not raise blood sugar. The inulin—a prebiotic chicory derivative—seems to cancel out the bitterness of the mix.

This sweetener combination tastes good and may even be appropriate for many diabetics. A few people with sensitive digestion may (or may not) find that erythritol gives them gas. This can be minimized by taking fennel capsules when you eat the bars, which Nutra Foods also keeps in stock, or just chew fennel seeds. Fennel is a natural reliever of gas.

Here are the ingredients: chocolate liquor, almonds, non-GMO erythritol, inulin, cocoa butter, non-GMO soy lecithin, vanilla, and reb A (a stevia extract). The bar contains 19 grams of healthy fat, 14 grams of carbs, and only 1 gram of sugars.

Chocolate liquor, if you’re not familiar with it, is often used in chocolate products. It isn’t liquor per se but rather a fermented cocoa bean product that unsweetened baking chocolate is made from.

Now for the “free” designations. The bars are sugar free, gluten free, have no stevia aftertaste. They’re also vegan, are made from fair trade cocoa, and are non-GMO.

Chocoholics, this is what we’ve been waiting for—a chocolate bar we can eat without guilt and without worrying about cranking our blood sugar up too high. These are nice-sized 2.82-oz. bars that are more than big enough to satisfy your chocolate cravings. It’s really the sugar and other ingredients in regular chocolate bars that keep your cravings turned up, so these won’t do that to you.

These bars are $5.59 apiece at Nutra Foods, so get them while they last. Yes, the price is higher than those GMO-laden, toxic white-sugar-filled commercial candy bars you’re used to, but you’re getting bars that won’t hyperstimulate your appetite or erode your health. If you’ve been waiting for a naturally sweetened chocolate bar, your wait is over. Give one a try and see what you think.

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