Dark Chocolate vs. White Chocolate

These chocolates not only fall on opposite ends of the color spectrum, but they also fall on opposite end of the nutrition spectrum too.  Let’s take a closer look at them to find out.

CHOCK FULL OF CHOCOLATE:  Dark chocolate is comprised of cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar.  It contains little if any milk solids.  Because its main component is cocoa solids, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants act as anti-inflammatory agents in the body, may help decrease blood pressure, increase cardiovascular health, and help fight disease.  Dark chocolate also contains small amounts of iron which is essential in the body for carrying oxygen into cells. 

White chocolate is made of milk, sugar, and cocoa butter, but lacks cocoa solids therefore, is not actually considered chocolate.  Its main ingredient is milk so it contains a little calcium.  All in all, white chocolate lacks the health benefits that are found in dark chocolate.  It is caffeine free.

Even though dark chocolate does show health benefits, it should still be eaten in moderation because it also contains sugar and fat.

Who wins? Dark chocolate due to the added antioxidents it contains. 

TIP:  When choosing sweet treats opt for dark chocolate.  Many dark chocolate have the percentage of cacao listed on the label (70-99%).  The higher the percentage the more antioxidants and less sugar it contains.  But be aware the higher the cacao percentage the more bitter the taste of the chocolate!

Julia E. Salomón, MS, RDN, CD; Community Health Improvement Leader, Affinity Health System 
Taylor Gawlik, Dietetic Intern, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay