Healthy Substitutions for Milk Chocolate

These days, there’s no shortage of articles about how healthy chocolate is. Don’t get me wrong, chocolate can have lots of health benefits, but only if it’s dark enough. It’s easy to be fooled by Dove or Hershey’s “dark” chocolate. Surely that must be healthy…right? In reality, big name brands like these do not use a high enough percentage of cacao for them to really be beneficial. They come with so much fat and sugar that it would kind of cancel out any goodness.

When shopping for chocolate, try to buy ones that have at least 60-70% cacao to reap the benefits. Brands such Ghirardelli, Godiva, Lindt, and Endangered Species to name a few all have varieties that are dark enough. It’s important to always read the ingredients and look at the nutrition facts to know if it truly is clean.

However, there can be an extra layer of complication to chocolate shopping if you’re allergic to tree nuts like me. Although all of the brands I just mentioned are totally clean and great options, they are processed on equipment with nuts or in the same facility with them.


After a long search for safe, clean, dark chocolate, I finally found one that qualifies! As I browsed the chocolate section of  my local Trader Joe’s one day, I was getting discouraged as usual…that is until I stumbled upon their Dark Chocolate Lover’s Bar! It is 85% cacao and is not even made in facility with nuts! The allergy statement explains how the manufacturers are very careful about segregating allergens, but it is “made on shared equipment with milk”. The chocolate does contain soy lecithin as well, so unfortunately this wouldn’t be safe for any of my soy or dairy allergic readers.

If you’re not used to really dark chocolate, try to ease into it. When I dove head first into 85%, I’ll admit it was tough to get used to. Then again, it was my only option, so I just dealt with it and now I love it! If allergies aren’t an issue for you, try taking a gradual approach. Start with something like 50% and work your way up to 60%, 70%, and maybe even 85 or 90! (Honestly, I don’t think I could handle anything darker than 85%, but if you can, that’s fabulous!)

Overall, when it comes to chocolate, the darker it is the better. 60% cacao is about as low as you can go to still reap the benefits. As always, read ingredients and if you struggle with nut allergies (or even if you don’t), I definitely recommend Trader Joe’s “The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar”.

What are your favorite types of dark chocolate? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!




7 thoughts on “Healthy Substitutions for Milk Chocolate”

  1. I love this post! Not only does it keep my attention by attracting my sweet tooth, it’s informational for anyone looking to make some healthy switches. While not mentioned in this post, I maintain the belief that white chocolate should be stricken down as a lie, a sugary coated chalk haha.
    I wanted to stop by and let you know I nominated you for the Liebster Award. If you accept, visit the link below for rules and questions.
    Happy blogging!
    -Author S

    1. Wow! Thank you so much! I’m honored to be nominated for the award–it really means a lot and I definitely accept.
      By the way, I totally agree on the white chocolate. It’s essentially sugar with the consistency of chocolate! 0% cacao 🙂

      1. I’m so glad! I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with for answers and facts. Feel free to drop the link by when you post it.
        White chocolate is just…chalky milk fat and sugar. Though I do eat milk chocolate more often, dark chocolate is just as good!
        -Author S

      2. Will do! Happy blogging!

      3. Thank you so much! Happy blogging to you as well!
        -Author S

  2. ladyfi says:

    I love real dark chocolate that is fair trade and organic. It’s quite easy to get over here in Sweden, where I live.

    1. Oh yum! That’s great that it’s so easy to find. Fair trade and organic is always best when possible!

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