AD | This post features products that have been gifted to me in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest and my own.
It’s fair to say that most of us love chocolate! But would you reach first for the milk or dark bar? Milk and white chocolate may taste nice but it generally has a higher sugar content and a lower percentage of cocoa than its dark counterparts. The healthiest component of chocolate is the cocoa itself, which is one of the reasons why dark chocolate is usually a healthier option! In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the health benefits of cocoa, as well as other great reasons to eat and enjoy dark chocolate on a regular basis.
Some people would say that by opting for the health benefits of dark chocolate, you have to compromise on taste. But this is just not true! It’s all about choosing brands that get the right balance between taste and high cocoa content. This brings us to my featured brand: FATSO.
FATSO is a dark chocolate brand that aims to prove that dark chocolate is just as delicious as milk. They produce 4 unique flavours, all of which contain 60% cocoa and 3 of which are suitable for vegans. They deliberately make their chocolate bars extra chunky and packed with flavour – they are basically a chocoholic’s dream!
Not only do FATSO produce delicious, flavoursome chocolate, but they are also an ethical, sustainable company. Their sole cocoa supplier is Luker’s Farm, Colombia which is a 100% ethical, family-owned business and co-operative. They grow their cocoa sustainably, and they also work in the community to improve social welfare, biodiversity and farming practices. FATSO’s packaging is sustainable too – their chocolate comes in biodegradable, compostable film inside a cardboard box.
I received the 3 vegan flavours from FATSO to include in this post, and as you can imagine, I could not wait to try them! The first thing I noticed was the creative marketing. All the chocolate bars have such unique names and interesting pictures on the packaging. This makes them look like such a fun, high-quality brand with a strong personality! I’ll be sharing more thoughts about FATSO chocolate as we go through the post.
10 Reasons To Eat and Enjoy Dark Chocolate
1. It’s delicious!
Let’s start with a very obvious reason to eat and enjoy dark chocolate. It tastes good! Especially when you opt for a quality brand such as FATSO. Here are my thoughts on the 3 delicious flavours I received from FATSO:
If you ever need an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast, this is it! The flavour of Morn’n Glory is ‘Cornflake, Toast & Marmalade’ – not something you would expect in a chocolate bar, and I love that FATSO has really thought outside of the box with their chocolate flavours. The bar tasted like orange chocolate (the marmalade) but with a crispy texture, which must come from the cornflakes (there really are cornflakes in the ingredients!). I couldn’t especially taste toast but I think a crispy orange chocolate is what they were going for, and achieved!
The flavour of King’s Ransom is “Mint, Pistachio & Cocoa Nibs” and to me, the predominant flavour was mint. It was really nice mint chocolate, but not so unusual. The cocoa nibs gave a slight crunch, but I couldn’t really taste the pistachio – I would have liked to have seen bigger pistachio chunks. But interestingly, my friend who I shared the chocolate with liked this one the best, and could apparently taste the pistachio! So it just shows that everyone’s taste buds differ.
Home Run‘s flavour is “Salted Pretzel, Whole Almond & Honeycomb”, which is such an unusual flavour! I could taste all the flavours in this one, especially the pretzels, and it was really yummy. This was my favourite flavour out of the three because I found it the most ‘different’ and outside of the norm. I also like salted flavours so I found this one really moreish!
Overall, the flavours of these chocolate bars were fantastic, and even the ones I didn’t find so unusual were still top-notch orange and mint chocolate! The chocolate was rich and dark, but not bitter or overpowering, which allowed the flavours to come through.
2. It’s full of nutrients
Cocoa is a nutrient-rich food, containing iron, zinc, magnesium and copper. Additionally, it contains flavanols, which are natural compounds with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties. The darker the chocolate, the more flavanols it contains, and indeed, flavanols are what give dark chocolate its bitter taste. Dark chocolate is also a source of fibre.
3. It improves digestion
Dark chocolate is a source of prebiotics, which help create the right conditions for good bacteria to thrive in your gut. This results in better digestion and lowers the risk of constipation. Eating a little dark chocolate every day can keep things moving smoothly!
4. It makes you happier
It’s a bit of a cliche to eat chocolate when you need cheering up, but there is truth to it. Dark chocolate contains tryptophan, a substance that helps the brain produce serotonin, a feel-good hormone. Therefore, it genuinely can make you feel happier! That’s a great reason to enjoy dark chocolate.
5. It satisfies chocolate cravings
Sometimes I really fancy some chocolate, and nothing else will do. I’m sure I’m not the only one! Dark chocolate is a good way to satisfy chocolate cravings while also getting the health benefits of cocoa. It’s also richer and more intense than milk chocolate, which brings us to the next point…
6. You need less of it to feel satisfied
Because dark chocolate is usually quite rich, you’ll probably feel like you’ve had enough after a few squares. This is good because despite dark chocolate being healthy up to a point, it does still contain sugar and fat, so you couldn’t really consider it healthy to eat, say, 5 bars of it at once. Thankfully, you probably wouldn’t get to that point even if you tried, because it’s just too rich.
The FATSO chocolate bars are really chunky, which I love! Even just one square provides a satisfying mouthful that lasts for a while, and I’ve only really found myself eating 3 or 4 squares at once. This means the bars last for quite a long time. The only thing I would say is that the imagery on the FATSO website is perhaps a little misleading. While the bars are chunky, they don’t actually have huge chunks of ingredients in them like the images show on the website, where you can see whole nuts and pretzels sticking out of the bars. They are still packed with ingredients but in mostly much smaller pieces!
7. It’s usually vegan
Another advantage of dark chocolate is that it’s usually vegan. This is obviously an advantage if you’re a vegan like I am, but even if you’re not, many people like to make a few vegan swaps for the benefit of the environment, animals and health, so it’s good to know that your chocolate choices are supporting these benefits.
As mentioned earlier, 3 of the fatso flavours are vegan (the 4th flavour is actually 70% dark chocolate but it has caramel pieces in it which contain milk and butter.) In general, dark chocolate will be vegan unless it contains some extra added ingredient that happens not to be vegan.
8. It usually contains less sugar
Dark chocolate usually contains less sugar than milk or white chocolate – but watch out as this isn’t always the case. Choose higher cocoa percentages if you are looking to cut down on sugar. The FATSO bars are 60% cocoa, which is not as high as some dark chocolate, and they do contain sugar, high up in their ingredient lists. But they succeed in a compromise between high cocoa content and a sweet, indulgent taste.
9. It can keep you alert
Dark chocolate naturally contains a small amount of caffeine, which can help to keep you alert. Therefore it’s a good snack if you need an energy boost during the day. For the same reason, it’s best not to consume dark chocolate too close to bedtime, because it could keep you awake at night.
10. It may help your dental health
Chocolate is not usually seen as something that’s good for your teeth, but there are a couple of reasons why dark chocolate is not so bad. Firstly, the lower sugar content of dark chocolate clearly makes it a better option for your teeth compared to milk chocolate or sugary sweets. On top of that, dark chocolate contains polyphenols which actually inhibit the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Therefore it might actually be good for your teeth after all!
Will you be eating more dark chocolate?
If this post was the excuse you were looking for to eat more chocolate, well, you’re welcome! Just make sure to choose dark chocolate so you can get all the benefits outlined in this post.
I highly recommend checking out FATSO and their delicious chocolate bars. They cost £6.50 a bar, which may seem expensive for a bar of chocolate, but they really are chunky bars and a little goes a long way! Also, the money is going towards a good cause, supporting livelihoods and biodiversity in Colombia.
FATSO bars would make a great gift too. The interesting packaging increases their gifting appeal, and they also offer a couple of different bundles so you can gift a set of flavours. I’m already considering stocking up on FATSO chocolate for Christmas gifts (if I can resist eating it all myself first!)