HFG investigates rich, dark chocolate — all in the name of scientific research, of course.…
What are the benefits?
A large study from Denmark confirms dark chocolate really is good for you. Eating just 30 grams (2–3 squares) a week cuts your chances of irregular heartbeat by 21 per cent, thanks to the cocoa.
Cocoa has a group of antioxidants called flavonoids, which give the dark stuff its deep, slightly bitter flavour, and have been linked to improving heart health. Dark chocolate’s extra cocoa means more antioxidants and less sugar.
How to choose
Consider quality and quantity. Research suggests milk may interfere with your body’s absorption of the flavonoids, which explains why milk chocolate is not as good for you as the dark variety.
So, look for chocolate with a minimum of 70 per cent cocoa solids and slowly savour 2–3 squares (25–30g), the perfect portion for a healthy waistline. The rich, bitter flavour helps you eat less, too!
Indulge your dark side
Here are four ways you can enjoy cooking with dark chocolate — and stash a treat in the freezer for later.
Bake bananas with a few squares tucked inside the skins
Melt and drizzle over fresh, whole strawberries
Grate and sprinkle over a cappuccino or hot chocolate
Dip fruit into melted dark choc, then freeze for a snack.
HFG’S top picks
Cadbury Coco 70% Dark $4.40 per 100g block
Per 25g serve: 594kJ (142cal), 11.6g fat, 7.2g sat fat, 7.0g sugars
Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Mild Dark $4.20 per 100g block
Per 25g serve: 633kJ (151cal), 12g fat, 7.3g sat fat, 7.3g sugars
Green & Black’s 70% Cocoa Organic Dark $4.40 per 100g block
Per 25g serve: 602kJ (144cal), 10.5g fat, 6.3g sat fat, 7.2g sugars
Alter Eco 70% Cocoa Deep Dark Sea Salt $5.49 per 80g block
Per 25g serve: 578kJ (138cal), 10.8g fat, 6.5g sat fat, 7.5g sugars