Chocolate—surely one of the best foods ever created—has been dubbed a superfood in recent years. This accolade is less about chocolate’s heavenly taste and more about the stellar health benefits it has to offer. It’s now perfectly okay to indulge in your favorite sweet treat because you know you’re doing more for your body than just satisfying a craving.
However, while both dark chocolate vs milk chocolate holds a special place in our hearts, only one of them may actually be healthful enough to warrant more than one pleasurable chocolate moment per day. Just so you’re aware of exactly what each type of chocolate is bringing to the table, let’s take a moment to compare the benefits of dark chocolate vs milk chocolate.
Benefits of Dark Chocolate vs Milk Chocolate
Benefits of Milk Chocolate
- Generally speaking, milk chocolate tends to have a lower calorie content than an equal portion of dark chocolate.
- Along with the slightly lower calories, milk chocolate boasts lower fat levels than its dark counterpart—including lower saturated fat levels.
- Thanks to milk being the main ingredient, milk chocolate boasts more than twice the calcium of dark chocolate.
- If you’re sensitive to the effects of caffeine, it would be wise to reach for milk chocolate, which has roughly four times less caffeine than dark chocolate.
Benefits of Dark Chocolate
- While dark chocolate has a higher fat content than milk chocolate, this isn’t the full story on fat. When it comes to healthy, monounsaturated fats, dark chocolate comes in with nearly two times more.
- Dark chocolate contains half the sugar found in milk chocolate—a perk for diabetics and anyone else looking to slash sugar consumption.
- Chocolate of any sort doesn’t seem like a sensible source for fiber but, surprisingly, it is. Well, dark chocolate is, anyway—it offers four times more fiber than is found in the same amount of milk chocolate.
- Enjoying daily dark chocolate will go a long way in fighting anemia. A half bar contains over 25% of your recommended daily iron intake, compared to the 6% found in the lighter version.
- In terms of additional minerals, dark chocolate comes in ahead of milk chocolate hands down. With higher levels of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc, it’s almost a complete meal in itself—almost.
- We mainly hear about the benefits of dark chocolate merely because it contains large amounts of heart-healthy alkaloids—a significant advantage over milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is also a rich source of flavonoids, which are known for their antioxidant powers. Because milk chocolate is so highly processed, it loses many of these health benefits.
In moderation, chocolate is definitely something you can enjoy, though dark chocolate seems to pack a bit more of a nutritional punch. When buying, look for that with higher cocoa content, and always check the label to ensure you’re buying something with real ingredients and no fillers.