10 of the Lowest Calorie Chocolate BarsUPDATED ON Jun 27, 2023
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Who doesn’t love a good chocolate bar? But if you’re calorie counting, the thought of indulging in chocolate may seem out of reach. However, more brands are creating lower-calorie chocolate bars, and some surprising classics may fit your calorie targets.
Are lower-calorie chocolate bars healthier for you?
Short answer, no.
Raw cacao used to make chocolate is naturally high in calories. Depending on your source, it can range from 250-450 calories per 100g.
To keep chocolate as low-calorie as possible but still enjoyable to eat, food manufacturers use ingredients such as sweeteners, emulsifiers, bulking agents, flavours and vegetable fats. None of these ingredients are health-promoting. In fact, some of these ingredients, such as artificial sweeteners, can actually be doing more harm than good. A number of studies have cited negative side effects from their consumption including weight gain. Ironic given most people opt for a low-calorie product in the hope it won’t lead to expansion of their waistline.
It’s worth keeping in mind, none of these chocolate bars are marketed as “low-calorie” chocolate as most of them contain the same calories as a small meal. But these are some of the lowest-calorie chocolates you’ll find on the market.
If you’re wanting to find the healthiest chocolate bar, you need to look beyond calories.
Tips to finding a healthier chocolate bar
If you’re looking to find a healthier chocolate bar, calories shouldn’t be your main focus. Remember, raw cacao has lots of health benefits but is naturally high in calories!
I recommend you focus on the ingredients used and recognise that any chocolate bar is a treat! If it’s loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners and flavours, you won’t enjoy any of the health benefits cacao has to offer.
- Look at the ingredients list opting for chocolate bars with fewer ingredients and those that are real, whole foods.
- Go as dark as your taste buds can handle (raw cocoa is naturally bitter).
- Steer clear of chocolate bars with creamy centres.
- If looking for a flavour or crunch, stick with nuts.
- Avoid the supersized chocolate bars.
- Make sure you check out what a portion is to avoid over eating.
- Enjoy your chocolate bar by eating mindfully. It will help you feel more satisfied.
10 of the lowest calorie chocolate bars
If you’re wanting a chocolate bar with the lowest calories, look no further. We’ve got a list of the top 10 – some of which may actually surprise you.
Just a reminder, these aren’t healthy chocolate bars. We’re only ranking them based on their calorie content per 100g, not the quality of ingredients! I have added a little comment regarding the ingredients and nutrient profile to help you make a decision that’s right for you.
Coles No Added Sugar Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Chips
Calories per 100g: 267 cal
Carboyhdrates per 100g: 10.7g
Sugar per 100g: <1.0g
Total Fat per 100g: 21.7g
Protein per 100g: 3.6g
Ingredients: Reduced Fat Dark Chocolate [Sweetener (965), Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Vegetable Emulsifiers (476), Sunflower Lecithin (322)], Sugar-Free Peppermint Chips (5%) [Sweetener (953), Natural Flavour, Natural Colour (Turmeric)], Peppermint Oil.
Nutritionists’ Verdict: The Coles No Added Sugar Dark Chocolate is very low in calories and carbohydrates for a chocolate bar but not great when it comes to ingredients. Using reduced-fat chocolate means they have to add more flavour which they’ve done in the way of sweeteners and “natural” flavours.
But if it’s calories you’re focusing on, The Coles No Added Sugar range is much lower than most chocolate bars on the supermarket shelves.
Cadbury Fry’s Turkish Delight
Calories per 100g: 372 cal
Carboyhdrates per 100g: 74.5g
Sugar per 100g: 51.8g
Total Fat per 100g: 7.8g
Protein per 100g: <1.0g
Ingredients: Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Water, Milk Solids, Cocoa Butter, Gelling Agents (1401, 440), Cocoa Mass, Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, 476), Raising Agent (575), Colour (163), Acidity Regulator (331), Flavours, Cornstarch.
Nutritionists’ Verdict: Got to say, I was surprised to see a somewhat traditional chocolate bar on the list particularly when the first two ingredients are sugar. Seriously, half the chocolate bar is sugar!
There are also several numbers on the list, so it’s not one I would opt for, even if calories were my focus. If you’re a Turkish delight lover, go enjoy the real thing!
Well Naturally Bar Milk
Calories per 100g: 434 cal
Carboyhdrates per 100g: 11.1g
Sugar per 100g: 10.5g
Total Fat per 100g: 36.8g
Protein per 100g: 7g
Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Polydextrose, Milk Solids, Natural Sweeteners (Erythritol, Steviol Glycosides), Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Natural Flavours.
Nutritionists’ Verdict: Well Naturally have made a big impact on the sugar-free market with their chocolate bars. They’ve subbed the sugar for Erythritol and Stevia which has kept the calorie and sugar content relatively low. Erythritol and stevia are good natural options when it comes to sweeteners and far better than the artificial sweetener, aspartame.
If you’re looking for a low-calorie chocolate bar that actually tastes like real chocolate, this is a pretty good option.
Milky Way 2 Share Chocolate Bar
Calories per 100g: 442 cal
Carboyhdrates per 100g: 73.0g
Sugar per 100g: 57.8g
Total Fat per 100g: 14.8g
Protein per 100g: 2.8g
Ingredients: Sugar, Glucose Syrup (Sources Include Wheat), Milk Solids, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Vegetable Oil, Barley Malt Extract, Vegetable Fat, Egg White, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Salt, Natural Flavour (Vanilla Extract).
Nutritionists’ Verdict: Milky Way was a favourite of mine as a kid and another surprise that it made it on the list and at #4 no less. With three types of sugar, vegetable fat and oil and emulsifiers, the Milky Way is certainly not earning points on ingredients. At 57.8% sugar, you might want to share this chocolate bar with 4 people instead of two!
X50 Choc Zero – Dark Chocolate with Organic Almonds
Calories per 100g: 444 cal
Carboyhdrates per 100g: 54.5g
Sugar per 100g: 2.1g
Total Fat per 100g: 18.6g
Protein per 100g: 6.3g
Ingredients: Cocoa Liquor, Prebiotic Tapioca Fibre, Chicory Root, Cocoa Butter, Organic Almond (9%), Coconut Milk Powder, Monk Fruit, Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Natural Flavour.
Nutritionists’ Verdict: Sitting in the middle of the list is X50 Choc Zero – Dark Chocolate with Organic Almonds. These are from a smaller, health-focused brand that can be purchased online. As far as nutrients go, these look pretty good with no added sugars, preservatives, soy, dairy, artificial colours or flavours.
Monk Fruit is their sweetener of choice which is great for those counting calories as they don’t contain any calories or carbs.
Nestle Mint Pattie
Calories per 100g: 446 cal
Carboyhdrates per 100g: 84.8g
Sugar per 100g: 70g
Total Fat per 100g: 9.9g
Protein per 100g: 3.1g
Ingredients: Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Vegetable Fat [Emulsifiers (492, Soy Lecithin), Antioxidant (Citric Acid)], Milk Solids, Cocoa, Gelatin, Emulsifiers (492, Soy Lecithin), Antioxidant (Citric Acid), Flavours, Salt.
Nutritionists’ Verdict: Let’s be frank. At 70% sugar, the Nestle Mint Patties are more of a sugar bar than a chocolate bar. I mean, cocoa isn’t even in the top 5 ingredients used and I highly doubt they even use real mint to flavour it. Next!
Mars Chocolate Bar
Calories per 100g: 452 cal
Carboyhdrates per 100g: 70.9g
Sugar per 100g: 57.5g
Total Fat per 100g: 16.7g
Protein per 100g: 3.3g
Ingredients: Sugar, Glucose Syrup (Sources include Wheat), Milk Solids, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Barley Malt Extract, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Salt, Egg White, Natural Flavour (Vanilla Extract).
Nutritionists’ Verdict: Are you surprised as much as I am that the Mars Bar made it on the top 10 lower-calorie chocolate bars? Not a lot of goodness to talk about in this chocolate bar which is the calorie content of a small meal, 57.5% sugar and is filled with a lot of inflammatory ingredients.
Well Naturally No Sugar Added Chocolate Hazelnut
Calories per 100g: 454 cal
Carboyhdrates per 100g: 10.8g
Sugar per 100g: 9.9g
Total Fat per 100g: 39.3g
Protein per 100g: 7.8g
Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Polydextrose, Milk Solids, Natural Sweeteners (Erythritol, Steviol Glycosides), Roasted Hazelnuts (10%), Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Natural Flavours
Nutritionists’ Verdict: Another Well Naturally product makes it onto the list. Compared to the Well Naturally Bar Milk, this has more calories likely due to the addition of the roasted hazelnuts. The sugar content is slightly less though which may be a win for you.
Atkins Endulge Bar Milk Chocolate Mint Crisp
Calories per 100g: 463 cal
Carboyhdrates per 100g: 7g
Sugar per 100g: 6.1g
Total Fat per 100g: 34g
Protein per 100g: 4.9g
Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Maltitol, Polydextrose, Milk Solids, Cocoa Mass, Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, 476), Flavour, Sweetener (Sucralose).
Nutritionists’ Verdict: The Atkins Endulge Bar Milk Chocolate Mint Crisp uses Maltitol as its main sweetener to keep the calories lower than a traditional chocolate bar. This is a sugar alcohol that contains half as many calories as sugar almost as sweet. It’s still a carbohydrate and can cause digestive upset when regularly consumed so one thing to be mindful of.
Calories per 100g: 466 cal
Carboyhdrates per 100g: 80.5g
Sugar per 100g: 68.6g
Total Fat per 100g: 14.8g
Protein per 100g: 1.5g
Ingredients: Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Milk Solids, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Raising Agent (500), Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, 476), Hydrolysed Milk Protein, Flavours.
Nutrititonts’ Verdict: Rounding out the top ten is the popular Crunchie. I’m surprised that it did make it on the list but I’m more surprised that a Chruncie which is is described by Cadbury as containing “golden hokey pokey honeycomb” doesn’t actually contain any honey!
This sugar bomb that is the size of a small meal really should remain on the supermarket shelves. If you’re counting calories, prioritise your calorie for real food.
The Coles No Added Sugar Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Chips is the lowest calorie chocolate bar that’s readily available. Most chocolate bars, however, creep up to the calories of a small meal.
As a nutritionist, my advice is to always consider the big picture and not just focus on the calories. In particular, consider the quality of ingredients you are consuming.
When it comes to chocolate bars – find a favourite with the best quality ingredients, ditch the guilt and just eat the chocolate bar!