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Light vs Dark Chocolate - How to differentiate?

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Manufacturers of light, or milk, chocolate, claim that their product is better for health because it contains milk, and milk provides

protein and calcium.

Supporters of dark chocolate point to the higher iron content and levels of antioxidants in their product.

So what’s the difference between light and dark chocolate anyway?

Ingredients and health benefits. While it’s clear that dark chocolate is king when it comes to health benefits, many folks still reach for the milk chocolate to satisfy their sweet tooth craving.

Dark chocolate demolishes its lighter counterpart in the health department every time. Part of this is due to the higher density of cacao. Dark chocolate bars have at least 60 percent cacao content. And what’s so good about cacao? Polyphenols OR Antioxidants.

Antioxidants help protect the cells in your body from damage, preventing tissue degradation and reducing the risk of major diseases such as heart disease. Additionally, the average dark chocolate bar has half the sugar and four times the fiber of a milk chocolate bar.

They also generally have higher iron content, more magnesium, and about twice the potassium of milk chocolate. While the fat content is about the same in both types of chocolate, dark chocolate has more cholesterol-neutral fat and significantly less carbohydrates.

When it comes to taste, it varies on every tongue. Dark chocolate has low sugar levels, so it naturally tastes slightly bitter.

Light chocolate, on the other hand, is much sweeter. It contains cocoa solids that are diluted with milk, cream, and sugar. This combination of ingredients gives it a smoother and creamier texture than dark chocolate. It also has a duller taste than dark chocolate, which is typically why younger children prefer it.

Regardless of the type of chocolate you’re eating, quality can vary greatly. Low quality dark chocolate can have a rigid and severe taste. Poor-quality milk chocolate can taste like a melted candle.

Big companies often use artificial ingredients to mimic a desirable taste, whereas smaller companies, strive for a distilled taste by ensuring only the highest quality cacao beans are used in their products.

A milk chocolate bar may still be the go-to dessert, but if you're looking to temper that craving with a healthier mindset, consider giving dark chocolate some of your time. It’s the kind of dessert you don’t have to feel guilty about, and you might even enjoy the higher cacao content!

The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of cocoa, and so, in theory, the higher the level of antioxidants there will be in the bar.

P.S. - Unsweetened chocolates and 100-percent cocoa products are available for purchase at Exbaco.