What Makes Healthy Chocolate and Why It’s Better for You

June 16, 2023

What Makes Healthy Chocolate and Why It’s Better for You

Chocolate would be perfect if only it were healthy! We’ve all had this nagging thought as we bite into a fudge brownie or chocolate bar. Did you know that delicious chocolate can also be good for you? Here at TCHO, we make scrumptious and wholesome plant-based chocolate and vegan treats for everyone. Whether you have a medical condition like diabetes or prefer a plant-based diet, we’ll show you how to enjoy healthy chocolate as often as you’d like. 

If you’re ready to switch to healthier chocolate, let us show you what’s in our dark chocolate and oat milk vegan chocolate bars. For the bakers in the house, we even have baking chocolate for you to try. We know you’ll love the taste and wholesome simplicity of our chocolate baking discs and non-alkalized cocoa powder. It’s simple and easy to enjoy nutritious, delicious treats and ingredients when you select the right products.

In this guide, our TCHO pros will show you the healthiest chocolate types, including plant-based and vegan chocolate. We will also explain the ingredients to look for and avoid when making recipes. Discover the benefits of better chocolate for children and adults. Then sample chocolate such as dairy-free and low-sugar options. You’ll learn why TCHO is a better choice for your favorite snacks and baked goods. We hope you’ll also find inspiration for new dessert ideas! 

healthy chocolate defined

What Is Health-ier Chocolate? 

What is the definition of healthy chocolate and how is it different from other chocolate types? To put it simply, healthy chocolate is created with nutrition and quality in mind. Some chocolates, like the ones here at TCHO, are plant-based or vegan. They also have lower carbs and less sugar to help accommodate conditions like diabetes or dairy allergies. One of the healthiest types of chocolate is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has a higher cacao percentage and less sugar and cocoa butter than other chocolate types. This cacao is rich in flavanols, a type of antioxidant that is linked to a lower risk of heart disease. 

Chocolate Ingredients to Avoid (and Better Substitutions) 

The best chocolate is free of unhealthy ingredients. One thing you can do is avoid harmful products commonly found in chocolate bars and baking chocolate. TCHO chocolate never includes these ingredients. Instead, we make swaps and substitutions to ensure our chocolate is just as good for you as it is delicious. Here are some essential ingredients to avoid and what you can use instead: 

High fructose corn syrup

This high-sugar, GMO sweetener offers no nutritional value. Instead, it can contribute to the risk of developing conditions like diabetes or heart disease. Swap out chocolate with high fructose corn syrup for those with organic sugar or natural sweeteners like maple syrup. 

Hydrogenated oils

This ingredient found in unhealthy chocolate is a source of trans fats that can negatively affect heart health. You can avoid hydrogenated oil when you cook and bake with heart-healthy oils instead. Some of the best options include olive and avocado oils. 

Artificial flavors

Artificial flavors may taste like the real thing, but they don’t provide nutritional value. Swap out ingredients like artificial mint or vanilla for real ingredients. 

Artificial colors

Fake colors and synthetic food dyes can cause allergic reactions and may even trigger hyperactivity in children. Avoid artificial colors in chocolate and choose natural coloring from sources like beta-carotene or beet juice. 


According to the National Institutes of Health, soy and soy lecithin can cause allergic reactions and digestive upset in those with soy sensitivity. Research on estrogen-like substances found in soy may cause you to take another look at soy ingredients. Recipe substitutes such as sunflower lecithin found in our Holy Fudge chocolate bar will help to create healthy, tasty chocolate. 

chocolate ingredients to avoid

Better For You Chocolate Ingredients from TCHO

Quality chocolate should always include organic ingredients like organic cacao beans and cocoa butter. At TCHO, you’ll find these delicious ingredients and more. We use organic cane sugar and coconut oil. You’ll also find organic vanilla beans in many of our chocolate bars like fudgy single-origin Dark Duo and Aww Nuts! dark chocolate filled with sea salt and almond butter. 

Discover All of the Delicious Chocolate That TCHO Has to Offer

Types of Quality Chocolate 

When shopping for quality chocolate, take a closer look at the ingredients list on plant-based chocolate or vegan chocolate bars. Then carefully inspect the nutrition labels on low-sugar chocolate or low-carb chocolate. Browse selections of organic chocolate for even more choices. The following types of chocolate are usually healthier than others if they don’t include ingredients to avoid. It's a good sign if the chocolate features a simple ingredient list with organic products and healthier sweeteners. Here’s a little more information on each type of chocolate so you can make the best choices for you and your recipes: 

Plant-Based Chocolate

Plant-based chocolate is chocolate that is made with mostly plant-based ingredients. Some plant-based chocolate is also vegan. Common plant-based ingredients in chocolate include organic cacao and cocoa butter. You’ll also see coconut oil and sunflower lecithin. 

Organic vanilla beans and cane sugar help to sweeten chocolate and give it a natural depth of flavor. Other common plant-based products found in chocolate like our Toffee Time bar include organic gluten-free oat flour and cashew butter. Plant-based ingredients make for healthier chocolate because they don’t contain additives or artificial flavors. Ingredients made from plants also tend to be lower in fat and carbohydrates than high-fat and high-sugar options. 

Vegan Chocolate

Vegan chocolate is made without animal ingredients. Common animal ingredients in chocolate include dairy milk and milk powder. Unhealthy chocolate labels may have dairy ingredients like whey or butter oil. Other non-vegan products in chocolate include malt and lactose. 

tcho oatally awesome

When you choose vegan chocolate bars and baking chocolate from TCHO, you’ll see dairy-free ingredients like oat flour and oat milk. In fact, non-dairy oat milk is what makes our creamy milk chocolate as you’ll find in our Oatally Awesome bite-size chocolates and our bold coffee truffle-filled Choco Latte bar. 

Vegan chocolate has more nutrients than non-vegan products, so you get the benefits of eating chocolate without unwanted extras. You’ll also enjoy the advantages of eating plant foods, like reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. A vegan chocolate bar or dessert will make you feel better about your choices than chocolate made with unhealthy sweeteners and artificial ingredients. You’ll also like that your vegan chocolate supports animal welfare and a cleaner planet. 

Low-Sugar Chocolate 

Lower-sugar chocolate is always a healthier option for your diet. It’s an especially great choice for people who live with diabetes and still want to enjoy a delicious dessert. If you’re looking for chocolate with the lowest sugar, shop TCHO dark chocolate bars and baking chocolate. 

Chocolate with a high cacao percentage has fewer sugary additives than milk chocolate or white chocolate. Instead, rely on quality cacao from the world’s best cacao farms to impart unforgettable flavor. We always recommend our lush, fruit-forward Born Fruity bar for those searching for something sweet. Cacao from Peru with deep fruit notes and a crisp finish will satisfy you with only seven grams of sugar in the entire chocolate bar. 

With less sugar in chocolate bars like Born Fruity, you can enjoy a square without guilt. We also recommend working with our low-sugar or no-sugar baking chocolate. Dark & Bitter is our unsweetened baking chocolate created with 100% pure cacao. Enjoy a smooth and one-of-a-kind chocolate flavor for your chocolate desserts. Make more diabetic-friendly baked goods with TCHO Super Powder unsweetened and non-alkalized cocoa powder. Roasted cacao nibs are the perfect no-sugar option for topping your treats. Crush This nibs are so delicious you can even put them on a salad!

TCHO Recipe Oat Milk Chocolate Mousse

Low Carb Chocolate

For many people with chronic health conditions, low-carb chocolate is better for you chocolate. Carbohydrates can impact medical conditions like diabetes. Diabetics may use a low-carb diet to keep their blood glucose on track. Sometimes a low-carb plan is part of the ketogenic diet. While it’s also referred to as the “keto diet,” a ketogenic diet plan focuses on healthy fats and adequate protein while lowering carbohydrates. 

There are many reasons to discuss a keto diet with your doctor, including heart disease and epilepsy. According to Cleveland Clinic, ketosis can also benefit some people with neurologic conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. TCHO chocolate has fewer grams of carbohydrates than traditional highly processed chocolates, so it’s a better choice for those who are on a low-carb or keto diet. 

We always recommend our Globe Trotter assortment of bite-size dark chocolate squares for a satisfying vegan treat without the guilt. If you’re searching for low-carb baking essentials, grab a bag of our Sweet & Sassy 66% bittersweet dark chocolate with only 7G total carbohydrates. You’ll also like our Hella Dark 81% with only 6G carbs and deep notes of red fruit and cocoa. 

Organic Chocolate

TCHO chocolate is always made with organic ingredients, so you know you make healthy choices every time you bite into one of our bars. Our cocoa beans are responsibly sourced from farms with the highest standards in harvesting pure cacao. When you choose organic chocolate, you won’t be exposed to harmful pesticides or fertilizers. Your treats won’t include harmful additives or colors. Instead, they’ll feature the flavors and nutrients that make cacao and chocolate so special. 

healthy chocolate benefits

Benefits of Choosing Healthier Chocolate 

It’s easy to feel good about the ingredients in healthier chocolate. The plant flavanols in dark chocolate have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to protect heart health and reduce the risk of chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Healthier dark chocolate bars from TCHO include minerals like iron and magnesium. They also have polyphenols, which can help promote gut health. 

Try dark chocolate bars and baking chocolate with more than 70% cacao for the most antioxidants and heart-health benefits. TCHO cacao truffle-filled dark chocolate and Dark & Bitter unsweetened baking chocolate are two examples of delicious, fudgy flavor with plenty of nutrition. As a bonus, you’ll add more fiber and protein to your diet. 

Wholesome, organic ingredients give parents peace of mind and may even help to avoid food allergies or sensitivities. When you pick TCHO chocolate bars, you’re giving your kids less sugar and carbs. You’re also giving them trace minerals and plant flavonoids their body can use to stay healthy. When you pick a healthier chocolate bar, you know you’re avoiding harmful additives and ingredients. 

Recipes Using Health-ier Chocolate  

Are you ready to try healthy recipes with chocolate? From dairy-free options to plant-based treats, there is something wholesome and nutritious for everyone. Let us give you some ideas from our TCHO pros and favorite plant-based bakers to kickstart your journey of using better chocolate. Once you start baking in your home kitchen, you’ll realize just how fun and easy it is to make healthier desserts and baked goods. 

Vegan Chocolate Recipes

The best part about quality vegan chocolate recipes is that they don’t lack flavor. Take one bite of our Dark Chocolate Raspberry Sorbet recipe, and you’ll see why you won’t miss animal ingredients! This unforgettable sorbet features tart raspberry preserves and TCHO Super Powder. Kosher salt and vanilla extract give this chocolate dessert its delicious, decadent flavor. Add granulated sugar and TCHO Hella Dark 81%, and you have a dark chocolate sorbet that works perfectly with berries and deep fruit notes. 

While we’re thinking about cool and refreshing chocolate recipes, you have to try Elegant Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse. TCHO Sweet & Sassy 66% combined with aquafaba turns rich and fudgy ganache into a light, airy treat. We flavor the mousse with organic sugar and oat milk, so it tastes just as satisfying as it looks in a ramekin or glass cup. Vanilla extract and salt add depth of flavor to this tasty vegan dessert.  

tcho oat milk chocolate

Plant-Based Chocolate Recipes 

A delicious plant-based recipe should make you feel good inside and out. Our recipe for Chocolatey Honey Cake is the plant-based goodness you’re looking for. The ingredients list features oat milk and avocado oil. Non-alkalized Super Powder cocoa powder and vanilla make this chocolate cake rich and delicious. To create a chocolate ganache, use TCHO Sweet & Sassy 66% dark chocolate with oat milk and a splash of vanilla. If you don’t want to use honey, you can always sub agave. For this cake, we also use an organic egg replacer. 

Now, it’s time for a plant-based cookie. Chocolate Tahini Snowflake Cookies are so unique and delicious, everyone who tries your recipe will want a second helping. You’ll use TCHO Real Fudgy 70% and nutritious ground flaxseeds. TCHO Super Powder and plant-based butter make these cookies rich and chocolatey. Include dark brown organic sugar and plenty of tasty tahini for an inviting, nutty flavor you won’t soon forget. This fun and easy cookie recipe takes just 30 minutes to complete. 

Dairy-Free Chocolate Recipes 

Our recipe for The Cookie offers a classic chocolate chip cookie taste and is completely dairy-free. Ingredients like egg replacer and vegan butter sticks create a soft cookie without sacrificing texture or flavor. You’ll also use nutrient-rich ingredients like old-fashioned oats and coconut oil. Toasted, salted pecan halves impart a satisfying and nutty experience, while orange zest and dark brown sugar take this recipe over the top. 

You’ll be dreaming of The Cookie even though it’s dairy-free. Every bite is full of our TCHO 60.5% Choco Charms, a baking chocolate with a charmingly sweet taste of roasted dark chocolate. If you prefer to drink your chocolate, try our one-of-a-kind Blue Corn Hot Cocoa recipe. A combination of blue cornmeal and TCHO Hawt Chocolate will tantalize your taste buds while offering more nutrition and plant-based goodness than your average hot cocoa drink. Oat milk keeps this recipe dairy-free, but you’ll also include sugar and Mexican sea salt. Cook in a heavy bottom casserole with lid and flavor with Vietnamese cinnamon or a dash of orange zest. 

Chocolate Recipes for Diabetes

Our drinking chocolate recipes are an excellent choice for dairy sensitivities, but they’re also a smart snack when you live with diabetes. If you need to watch your blood sugar but love chocolate flavor, drinking chocolate is rich and fudgy but doesn’t have to include sweetener. Our Golden Milk Drinking Chocolate recipe makes for the perfect dairy-free drink! Get cozy with 8 oz. of dairy-free milk and ½ a cup of TCHO Hawt Chocolate drinking chocolate crumbles. Add spices like ground turmeric or cardamom. We also like the flavors of ginger and black pepper. 

recipe golden milk drinking chocolate

Batches of Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Cookies call for a granulated sugar substitute and TCHO baking chocolate made with lower sugar. Feel free to swap out semisweet chocolate chips for bittersweet chocolate baking discs. Choose plant-based butter and pure vanilla extract for a satisfying chocolate cookie flavor. 

Another idea is to melt baking chocolate and drizzle it over fruit. You can even dip your fruit in chocolate! Dark chocolate covered strawberries and bananas taste amazing, especially with our Real Fudgy 70% or Real Fruity 68%. Cover your fruit in healthier chocolate, and then top with coconut flakes or chopped nuts. A banana pop or handful of chocolate-covered blueberries are enough to power you through the day or serve as a satisfying dessert. Get imaginative with citrus fruit like oranges or lemons. Nearly every berry is excellent for dipping in chocolate, including raspberries and cranberries. 

Enjoy Quality, Tastier Chocolate 

Quality chocolate is a real way to satisfy your sweet tooth and make better choices for your body.  There are many reasons to choose healthier chocolate bars and baked goods, including a vegan or plant-based diet. Having diabetes or watching your heart health makes it easy to switch to something a little more nutritious. Lower sugar chocolate with nutrients and antioxidants makes it simpler to serve dessert. Whether your children are into dark chocolate or prefer creamy oat milk chocolate, TCHO’s vegan and plant-based options will ensure everyone gets to enjoy something sweet. 

Pick up a bar of TCHO chocolate and see for yourself! Take a glance at our ingredients and nutrition facts. You’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re making smarter choices for your health. We’ll be thrilled to see you smile when you bite into our delicious chocolate!  


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