Best Weight Loss Advice: Is Dark Chocolate Good for Weight Loss?

Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)
Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)

General Physician | 6+ years

Is dark chocolate good for weight loss
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“When life gives you dark chocolate, you don’t have to find any other sweet alternate!” Chocolates are irresistible treats that give you immense joy no matter how young or old you are! Dark chocolate even comes with multiple benefits for your health. So, is dark chocolate good for weight loss too? Read on to find out now!

Contents:
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    Is Dark Chocolate Healthy? Nutritional Profile of Dark Chocolate
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    Dark Chocolate: Benefits for Weight Loss
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    How to Have Dark Chocolate for Weight Loss?
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    How Much Dark Chocolate is Good for Weight Loss?
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    What is the Best Time to Have Dark Chocolate for Weight Loss?
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    What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Dark Chocolate?
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    What are the Other Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?
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    Don’t Have Time To Read?
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    FAQs
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Is Dark Chocolate Healthy? Nutritional Profile of Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is prepared from the fruit of the cacao tree – Theobroma cacao. The fruit contains beans that are fermented and roasted to make chocolate.  Dark chocolate contains 50 to 90% cocoa solids (the parts of the cocoa beans that remain after the cocoa butter is extracted) and milk chocolate has 10 to 50% cocoa solids, the rest of it being milk and sugar.  Dark chocolate is known to be the healthiest form of chocolate. This is due to the presence of antioxidants such as flavonoids along with fibre, carbohydrates, fats, potassium, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, and other micronutrients. Dark chocolate is not only low in sugar, but also a rich source of compounds such as flavanols, polyphenols, and theobromine, all of which are beneficial for overall well-being. The following is the nutritional profile for 100 g of 2 varieties of dark chocolate (based on the concentration of cocoa solids).
Nutrient Dark Chocolate (60 to 69% Cocoa) Dark Chocolate (70 to 85% Cocoa)
Energy 579 kcal 598 kcal
Water 1.25 g 1.37 g
Protein 6.12 g 7.79 g
Fibre 8 g 10.9 g
Total Lipids (fat)
  • Saturated
  • Monounsaturated
  • Polyunsaturated
  • Trans
38.3 g 22 g 11.5 g 1.22 g 0.079 g 42.6 g 24.5 g 12.8 g 1.26 g 0.03 g
Carbohydrates 52.4 g 45.9 g
Sugars 36.7 g 24 g
Theobromine 632 mg 802 mg
Caffeine 86 mg 80 mg
Source: USDA
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Dark Chocolate: Benefits for Weight Loss

Dark chocolate is regarded by many as a superfood because it has been linked with multiple health benefits including improved overall health and reduced risk of heart disease. But why is dark chocolate good for weight loss? Let’s understand in detail!

You can include dark chocolate in your weight loss diet because it:

Improves Insulin Sensitivity

Some studies suggest that dark chocolate may help improve insulin sensitivity in your body. This can reduce the levels of insulin in your blood, which may promote weight loss and reduce the storage of fat in your body.

Reduces Appetite

Studies have shown that consumption of dark chocolate promotes weight loss by reducing your hunger pangs and increasing the feeling of fullness in your stomach. This may be due to the fibre and protein content of dark chocolate.

Another piece of research showed that eating dark chocolate may reduce levels of ghrelin, the hormone that manages hunger.

Improves Mood

Dark chocolate may contribute to your mental health by helping manage your mood. Those who struggle with mental health may eat for comfort and even end up overeating. This could lead to further weight gain.

Dark chocolate can help enhance your mood and you may feel better equipped to manage your weight loss journey.

How to Have Dark Chocolate for Weight Loss?

Some of the best ways to add dark chocolate to your weight loss diet include:

  • Chop some dark chocolate and add to your breakfast bowl of oats or any other cereal of your choice.
  • Grate some dark chocolate and add it to your hot cup of unsweetened milk.
  • Melt some dark chocolate and drizzle it on your fruit salads or sandwiches.

How Much Dark Chocolate is Good for Weight Loss?

Though it may help with weight loss, it is important to remember that dark chocolate is still quite high in fat and calories. 100 g of dark chocolate has more than 570 calories and 38 g of fat. Excessive consumption of dark chocolate can derail your weight loss plans and may even lead to weight gain.

It is best to limit your daily consumption of dark chocolate to not more than 28 g in a day. Choose options that are lower in added sugars and have at least a 70% cocoa content.

What is the Best Time to Have Dark Chocolate for Weight Loss?

There is no such thing as the best time to have dark chocolate for weight loss. You can enjoy it at any time of the day, as a dessert or a snack between your meals.

What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Dark Chocolate?

  • Eating too much dark chocolate may lead to weight gain as it is rich in fats and high in calories.
  • Dark chocolate contains high levels of theobromine and caffeine. Excessive consumption of theobromine and caffeine can cause symptoms such as headache, loss of appetite, restlessness, reduced quality of sleep, etc.
  • Some dark chocolate products may also contain added sugar, and eating too much of it can be harmful to your health. Apart from leading to weight gain due to the excess calories, added sugar may increase the risk of chronic health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

What are the Other Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?

  • The flavanols present in dark chocolate can stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which can help relax your blood vessels and reduce resistance to blood flow, thus lowering your blood pressure.
  • Studies suggest that the theobromine and polyphenol content in dark chocolate may help reduce the levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol) and increase the levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein or “good” cholesterol) in your blood, which can prevent the risk of heart disease.
  • Dark chocolate may improve the functioning of your brain by improving the blood flow to your brain. The presence of stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine also helps dark chocolate enhance brain function.
  • The flavanols in dark chocolate can help protect your skin from sun damage, increase skin hydration, and improve blood flow to the skin.
  • Dark chocolate contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation in the body.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Dark chocolate is the healthiest form of chocolate with 50 to 90% cocoa. It is rich in antioxidants, fibre, carbohydrates, fats, potassium, iron, and other micronutrients.
  • Dark chocolate may be beneficial for weight loss as it improves insulin sensitivity, reduces appetite and improves mood. 
  • Chop and add some dark chocolate to your breakfast cereal, grate some and add to your cup of unsweetened milk, or melt some and drizzle it on your fruit salads or sandwiches.
  • It is important to limit your daily consumption of dark chocolate to 28 g a day as it is high in fat and calories. Excessive consumption of dark chocolate can affect your weight loss efforts and may cause weight gain.
  • You can enjoy dark chocolate at any time of the day, as a dessert or as a snack between your meals.
  • Some of the risks of overconsumption of dark chocolate include weight gain, symptoms such as headaches, loss of appetite, restlessness, etc., and increased risk of chronic health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.
  • The other benefits of dark chocolate include lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, improved brain function, better skin health, and reduced inflammation in the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, dark chocolate should not make you fat when consumed in moderation. It is best to limit your consumption of dark chocolate to not more than 28 g per day. However, dark chocolate is high in fat and calories, so consuming more than the recommended quantity may lead to weight gain.

Dark chocolate is the best kind of chocolate for weight loss. It may aid in weight loss by reducing your appetite and hunger, enhancing your mood, and improving insulin sensitivity. Dark chocolate is high in cocoa content, which is a great source of flavonoids. Compared to dark chocolate, milk chocolate contains less cocoa and has added milk solids, sugar, and cream. Its nutritional quality is minimal as compared to dark chocolate.

While opting for dark chocolate for weight loss, it is important to look for high-quality varieties. Opt for the ones that are lower in added sugars and come with at least a 70% cocoa content.

Yes, dark chocolate is good for weight loss. Dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity and reduces the storage of fat in the body, lowers your appetite and improves your mood. Thus, it may help with weight loss.

Dr. Pakhi Sharma
Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBS
(General physician, 6+ years)
An expert in obstetrics and medical emergencies, Dr. Pakhi Sharma, an alumni of Sri Devaraj Urs University of Higher Education and Research Centre, is a general physician working at Phablecare. She has 6+ years of work experience spread across gynaecology and obstetrics, family medicine, and medical emergencies at renowned hospitals and clinics.

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