Ah chocolate... we go to it when we are stressed... it is readily available at celebrations... and hey, let's keep it around just in case, right?
I MUST confess.... it is my staple. Yes, I eat a small piece of chocolate almost daily, and I make no apology for it. I just make sure that chocolate I choose is high in cocoa content (70% or higher, usually 85%), and as low in sugar as possible.
Now you might be wondering how to tell which chocolate has the lower sugar content... Well, that is what we are going to talk about today!
The image above is a compilation of 4 different chocolate images at my local grocery store. Same brand, 4 different types of chocolate: milk chocolate (37% cocoa), mint chocolate (60% cocoa), 70% dark chocolate, and 85% dark chocolate.
Now, if we look at the nutrition facts panel, the FIRST thing we need to look for is the 'serving size' because we need to know on how big of a portion all the nutrient information is base: in this case, "per 12 squares" or "40 g". Now, 40g might not mean much to you, but the bars are 100g bars. So we can think of the amount as 40% of the chocolate bar [40g divided by 100g, then multiply by 100 to make it a percentage]. Unfortunately, we need to check serving sizes of all the foods we are comparing because serving sizes are not standardized. In this case with it being the same brand, the serving size is the same. Yay! We wont have to do more crazy conversions!
Ok... so sugar content in the chocolate:
For the milk chocolate (blue chocolate wrapping), in a 40g portion, you would get 18g of sugar. What does that mean? Good question. There are 4tsp/g of sugar. So if we divide 18g by 4tsp/g, we get 4.5tsp sugar per 40g portion.
For the mint chocolate (green chocolate wrapping), in a 40g portion, you would get 15g of sugar. So if we divide 15g by 4tsp/g, we get 3.75tsp sugar per 40g portion.
For the 70% dark chocolate (dark brown chocolate wrapping), in a 40g portion, you would get 11g of sugar. So if we divide 11 by 4tsp/g, we get 2.75tsp sugar per 40g portion.
For the 85% dark chocolate (black chocolate wrapping), in a 40g portion, you would get 6g of sugar. So if we divide 6g by 4tsp/g, we get 1.5tsp sugar per 40g portion.
See how I did that? You can use this formula to calculate the amount of tsp of sugar in any food!
Now, if you are wondering whether the sugar is naturally occurring or if it is added sugar, then you need to check the ingredient list. It will be listed in order of WEIGHT. So the heaviest will be first (e.g. water), and the least heavy will be last (e.g. spices).
As always, if you have any questions, send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Wishing you the best of health, Eliana