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6 healthy ways to satisfy your chocolate cravings

Nutritionist Rania Batayneh, MPH is the author of the best-selling book, The One One One Diet: The Simple 1:1:1 Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. She holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan.

How to satisfy your sweet tooth and still be healthy

On any given day you can find over 35 million tagged posts using #chocolate on Instagram. Let’s be honest, we don’t need a holiday or a reason to enjoy the confection. Remember, everything in moderation. Check out these six chocolate treats you can indulge in and feel good about!

More: 12 Convenient grocery-store foods that are actually good for you

Workout-recovery wonder drink

How to satisfy your sweet tooth and still be healthy
Image: fairlife

Chocolate milk does a body good, especially when you enjoy it after a workout. In three related studies, researchers compared the recovery benefits from drinking low-fat chocolate milk post-exercise with plain water and sports drinks. In high-endurance athletes, the results showed a post-workout chocolate-milk fix can result in improved performance, aerobic fitness and adaptation and better body composition. There you have it! Low-fat chocolate milk makes a perfect alternative to sports drinks that contains only sugar and no protein. With 13 grams of protein per serving, fairlife reduced-fat chocolate milk has 50 percent more protein than ordinary chocolate milk. Bonus: It has half the sugar of regular chocolate milk and is lactose free, so it's a great post-workout boost for everyone.

A little bit of sweetness for your day

How to satisfy your sweet tooth and still be healthy
Image: Heavenly Organics

Honey is my sweetener of choice. I mix it into yogurt, tea and smoothies. When I came across Heavenly Organics Chocolate Honey Patties, I found a new secret weapon to also satisfy my sweet tooth! These delicious bite-size patties have a dark-chocolate shell made from 100 percent cocoa and are filled with 100 percent organic raw white honey. Made with four ingredients or less, each patty is also under 60 calories. With flavors like mint, double chocolate and pomegranate, you can satisfy your craving for chocolate any day of the week. Bonus: they're non-GMO and gluten, dairy and soy free.

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A new road trip favorite

How to satisfy your sweet tooth and still be healthy
Image: PureOrganic

Two words: Crispy Clusters. This already sounds indulgent! Add a superstar lineup of organic ingredients, like quinoa and amaranth, and you’ve got yourself a balanced snack to enjoy in the morning on your yogurt or even take along on a road trip! Pure Crispy Clusters contain only 5 grams of sugar, 120 calories and 3 grams of fiber/serving. And they come in three flavors: chocolate pecan, honey peanut and salted caramel. Bonus: As with all Pure’s products, they are non-GMO project verified, gluten-free and vegan.

Loco for coco

How to satisfy your sweet tooth and still be healthy
Image: Chobani

If you're looking for an alternative to ice cream or other desserts, look no further than the Chobani Flip line. I personally love the Almond Coco Loco flavor — even the name is fun! It’s made with creamy Chobani greek yogurt, which naturally bumps up the protein. Add antioxidant-rich dark chocolate and almonds, and you’ve got a satisfying treat that is good for your waistline — and your tastebuds.

Indulge at breakfast

How to satisfy your sweet tooth and still be healthy
Image: KindSnacks

If busy mornings are the norm in your house, then convenience is king. If you are looking for an on-the-go breakfast that also includes whole grains, check out KIND breakfast bars, made with five super grains — oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa. Unlike breakfast bars that are loaded with sugar, these will provide you with sustained energy. With 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and only 11 grams of sugar, you can enjoy this treat with a Greek yogurt to bump up your protein, and maybe try spreading almond or peanut butter on it for added healthy fats.

An afternoon pick-me-up

How to satisfy your sweet tooth and still be healthy
Image: Somersault Life Company

I don’t know about you, but my craving for chocolate usually kicks in midafternoon. One of the things I look for is a balanced snack that will fuel me until dinnertime, as I usually head to the gym in the afternoon. Somersaults Dutch Cocoa crunchy bites contain 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving. They are also low in sugar — less than 4 grams per serving. Sunflower seeds, the number one ingredient in these nuggets, contain healthy fats, making this a great go-to chocolate snack!

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