Look, no chocolate bar is ever going to be healthy. But what sort of life doesn’t involve the occasional treat? According to our resident dietitian, though, you can make wiser choices.
Whether it’s a cheeky handful of choc treats with your morning cuppa, a bar at your desk in the afternoon or a row on the couch after dinner, many of us have a hard time saying ‘no’ when chocolate is on the table. Creamy and oh-so delicious, it’s easy to see why.
Now, I’m sure you don’t need a dietitian to tell you that chocolate is in the ‘treat’ food basket. Full of added sugar and saturated fat which aren’t good news for your teeth and heart respectively, chocolate offers little nutritional value but stacks of calories – meaning it can easily contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess over time.
This might surprise you, but I don’t really believe in picking ‘healthier’ treat foods – after all, chocolate is still chocolate, regardless of what it says on the nutrition information panel. Instead, I think it’s perfectly healthy to enjoy your favourite treats guilt-free every now and then, as long as the foundation of your diet is healthy wholefoods.
That being said, if I absolutely had to make a decision on healthier vs. less healthy chocolate choices, here’s my ranking order of popular milk chocolate bars, from the lightest choices to those a little more indulgent.
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Popular milk chocolates, ranked from healthiest to least healthy
- Snickers Crisper
Per 40g bar (2 pieces): 820kJ, 2.8g protein, 3.6g sat fat, 17.6g sugar
- Summer Roll
Per 40g bar: 786kJ, 2g protein, 4.7g sat fat, 17g sugar
Per 30g bar: 665kJ, 2.3g protein, 5.6g sat fat, 17.2g sugar
- Turkish Delight
Per 55g bar: 868kJ,
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Per 42g pack (2 cups): 944kJ, 4.6g protein, 4.6g sat fat, 21.5g sugar
Per 46g bar: 1010kJ, 4g protein, 5.9g sat fat, 19.7g sugar
- Cadbury Twirl
Per 39g packet (two bars): 876kJ, 2.8g protein, 7.4g sat fat, 22.4g sugar
- Kit Kat
Per 45g bar (4 fingers): 974kJ, 3g protein, 7g sat fat, 22.6g sugar
- Kinder Bueno
Per 43g pack (2 bars): 1018kJ, 3.6g protein, 7.4g sat fat, 17.8g sugar
Per 40g packet: 920kJ, 2.2g protein, 7.4g sat fat, 23.8g sugar
- Milky Way
Per 53g bar: 1020kJ, 1.6g protein, 3.9g sat fat, 31.4g sugar
- Mars Bar
Per 53g bar: 1020kJ, 1.9g protein, 4.4g sat fat, 30.6g sugar
Per 50g bar: 975kJ,
Per 50g bar: 1050kJ, 2.2g protein, 6.8g sat fat, 24.5g sugar
Per 50g bar: 1120kJ, 2.5g protein, 9.5g sat fat, 26g sugar
- Cherry Ripe
Per 52g bar: 1040kJ, 2.2g protein, 10.4g sat fat, 24.9g sugar
- Violet Crumble
Per 50g bar: 990kJ, 1.2g protein, 8.3g sat fat, 32.9g sugar
- Cadbury Dairy Milk Milk Chocolate
Per 50g bar: 1120kJ, 3.8g protein, 9.6g sat fat, 28g sugar
Per 56g packet (2 bars): 1154kJ, 2.1g protein, 11.9g sat fat, 26.9g sugar
Per 60g bar: 1290kJ, 2.2g protein, 10.5g sat fat, 29.5g sugar
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practicing dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.