Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, University of Nebraska in Lancaster County
"Having a piece of chocolate at the end of a meal is really not a bad strategy (for weight control). You're already pretty full and less likely to overeat and sit down and eat the whole box. I find myself that having the most delicious chocolate I can think of in a small amount at the end of the meal really helps me end the meal! It's a satisfying finish and I know I'm finished then. You need to keep the sensory pleasure in there, too."
Source: Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of Volumetrics: Feel Full on Fewer Calories
There are very few of us that dislike dessert, especially if it contains chocolate! What could be quicker and tastier than a luscious piece of chocolate candy for dessert. Eaten in moderation, chocolate may be good for our health, especially dark chocolate!
It is possible to eat a small piece of chocolate candy (sometimes more!) at the end of a meal and stay under 100 calories. This is fewer calories than we consume from most desserts. A small piece of chocolate may be the only "diet pill" you need.
Check the calories in a candy is on the Nutrition Facts label on foods. For most small candies, the label will be on the larger package rather than individually wrapped pieces.
Choose a chocolate candy you really enjoy. Take time to savor the flavor as you eat it.
Benefits of dark chocolate
Chocolate contains flavonoids, the same substances we hear about in red wine and green tea. These flavonoids may help protect against heart disease. Dark chocolate is higher in flavonoids than other forms of chocolate.
Dark chocolate has a slightly bitter flavor. It may be more appealing to adult taste-buds than to those of children.
Calories still count
Eaten as part of an overall healthy diet, chocolate can help limit calories, may be heart healthy and adds an extra sparkle to the end of a meal. Eating chocolate need not be a guilty pleasure — moderation is the key. As writer Samuel Butler said, "Half the vices which the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderate use rather than total abstinence."