It’s time to stop fighting and admit the truth: we simply can’t live without chocolate. When that early morning/mid-day/late night craving comes around, nothing else will do. But that doesn’t mean you should let a little chocolate craving ruin an otherwise healthy day.
In fact, plenty of research shows that there are numerous benefits to eating chocolate. Cleveland Clinic explains how certain types of chocolate are great for your heart, and doctors at the University of Texas tout the health benefits of drinking chocolate milk after a long work out.
Of course not all chocolate is good for you. But if you do it right, you can have your chocolate and eat it too! Here are five guilt-free ways to get your chocolate fix.
1. Chocolate soy milk
Available in both regular and dark chocolate flavors, soy milk is one healthy way to quiet your chocolate cravings. Soy milk contains more calcium than regular milk, and is a great source of low-fat protein. Drinking soy milk is also a way to get in your daily vitamins, as it contains ample amounts of vitamins A, D2, and B12. If you’re looking to cut down on sugar, you can even opt for the light version! Check out the nutrition information for Silk chocolate soy milk here.
2. Dark chocolate covered nuts
Nuts and chocolate is one of the oldest combinations in the books, but who knew it could be healthy? Choose nuts that are known to be especially nutritious (almonds, walnuts, and chestnuts, just to name a few) and cover them in dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and high levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The University of Michigan even includes it in their food pyramid!
4. Hot chocolate
This is one childhood favorite that should remain a part of your chocolate repertoire. While it may not have much nutritional value, a pack of Nestle hot chocolate only contains 80 calories when mixed with water, making it a guilt-free way to satisfy your craving. Mix it with skim milk instead and get the added benefit of some extra protein and calcium!
5. Granola bars with chocolate
Granola bars come in hundreds of varieties, many involving chocolate! Granola bars are a filling snack that offers various nutritional benefits, depending on the brand. If you’re looking for a good place to start, try Kind’s dark chocolate nuts and sea salt bar, Nature Valley's oats and dark chocolate bar, or Luna’s dark chocolate coconut bar.