A Hershey’s dark chocolate kiss is a bite-sized, teaspoon-shaped piece of chocolate made by The Hershey Company. These popular chocolates have a distinctive flat bottom and pointed tip that is easily recognizable. Hershey’s kisses come in several varieties, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and flavors like caramel, coconut, peppermint, and more. This article will focus specifically on the calorie content of Hershey’s Special Dark mild dark chocolate kisses.
Dark chocolate is appreciated by many for its rich flavor and antioxidant content. However, some people wish to monitor their calorie intake from chocolate. When enjoying chocolate in moderation, knowing the calorie content can help you stay within your daily caloric goals. So how many calories are actually in one of these iconic chocolates? Let’s find out.
Nutrition Facts for Hershey’s Special Dark Mild Dark Chocolate Kisses
To determine the calories in a Hershey’s dark chocolate kiss, we’ll need to examine the nutrition label and ingredients. Here are the key nutrition facts for a single Hershey’s Special Dark mild dark chocolate kiss (22g or 0.8 oz):
As you can see, a single Hershey’s Special Dark mild dark chocolate kiss contains 110 calories. This calorie count is for one kiss that weighs 22g or 0.8oz.
It’s also helpful to understand where those calories come from. Based on the nutritional breakdown, the majority of calories in a Hershey’s dark chocolate kiss come from fat (63% of calories) and carbohydrates (37% of calories). The predominant type of fat is saturated fat. There are also 11g of sugar per kiss. So the calories come from a combination of fat, carbohydrates, and a small amount of protein.
Calorie Density of Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses
Now that we know there are 110 calories in a single kiss, we can compare the calorie density to other foods. Calorie density allows us to understand how many calories there are per gram of food. Here is the calorie density for a Hershey’s dark chocolate kiss:
– 110 calories per kiss
– 22g per kiss
– 110 calories / 22g = 5 calories per gram
This calorie density is moderate compared to other foods. For example, oils like olive oil can have around 9 calories per gram. Nuts, seeds, dried fruits, crackers, and fatty meats also tend to have a higher calorie density. On the other hand, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean proteins like chicken breast tend to have a lower calorie density.
So among high-calorie sweet treats, Hershey’s kisses have a moderate calorie density at 5 calories per gram. It’s lower thanespecially donuts, cookies, cakes, and chocolates with add-ins. But it’s higher than fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and other lighter snacks. This can help guide your portion sizes if you’re keeping an eye on calories.
Daily Calorie Recommendations
To put the 110 calories per Hershey’s dark chocolate kiss in context, let’s review recommended daily calorie intakes. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, here are the estimated calorie needs per day by age and gender for a moderately active person:
– Ages 19-25: 2,000-2,200 calories
– Ages 26-50: 1,800-2,200 calories
– Ages 19-25: 2,400-3,000 calories
– Ages 26-50: 2,200-3,000 calories
These are estimated totals for a full day of eating. A 110 calorie kiss represents approximately 5-6% of the daily recommendation for an average moderately active woman, and closer to 4% for an average moderately active man.
Of course, individual calorie needs vary based on many factors like height, weight goals, and activity level. But this provides a general guideline for the percentage of daily calories in a single Hershey’s dark chocolate kiss.
Comparing Calories in Different Types of Chocolate
Now that we know the calories for a Hershey’s Special Dark kiss, how does it compare to other types of chocolate? Here are the calories for 1 ounce or 28g of different chocolates:
|Hershey’s milk chocolate||150 calories|
|Hershey’s Special Dark mild dark chocolate||170 calories|
|Scharffen Berger semisweet dark chocolate (62%)||160 calories|
|Baker’s unsweetened chocolate||140 calories|
|Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa dark chocolate||120 calories|
As you can see, the calories in chocolate can range from around 120-170 per ounce depending on the type. An ounce of chocolate is around 4 kiss sized pieces.
In general, darker chocolates have fewer calories than milk chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate has the fewest calories, followed by 85% dark chocolate. Milk chocolate and semisweet chocolates are in the middle around 150 calories for an ounce. The mild Special Dark chocolate kisses have a slightly higher calorie content than intensely dark chocolate.
So if you are looking for the chocolate with the lowest calories per ounce, choose an unsweetened or high percentage cacao dark chocolate. If you prefer milk chocolate or mild dark chocolate, the calorie difference is not hugely significant when eaten in moderate portions.
Calories in Different Flavors of Hershey’s Kisses
Beyond the traditional milk and Special Dark kisses, Hershey’s produces kisses in a variety of flavors like caramel, peppermint, pumpkin spice, and more. Do these flavors impact the calorie count?
Here is a comparison of the calories in different flavors of Hershey’s Kisses for one kiss:
|Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kiss||22.6g||140 calories|
|Hershey’s Special Dark Mild Dark Chocolate Kiss||21g||110 calories|
|Hershey’s Caramel Filled Milk Chocolate Kiss||23.6g||150 calories|
|Hershey’s Peppermint Bark Bells Kiss||22g||120 calories|
|Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kiss||22g||140 calories|
The flavors range from 110-150 calories per kiss. The Special Dark mild dark chocolate has the fewest calories. The caramel, peppermint bark, and pumpkin spice are in the middle. And the classic milk chocolate kiss has the most calories.
The different fillings and flavors impact the calories slightly, but a 22 gram Hershey’s kiss generally provides 110-150 calories regardless of the variety. So you can enjoy your favorite flavors in moderation as the calorie difference is not very large.
Ways to Enjoy Hershey’s Kisses in a Balanced Diet
Hershey’s kisses can absolutely be part of a balanced diet when enjoyed in moderation with nutrient-dense whole foods. Here are some tips for enjoying kisses as a treat:
– Practice portion control. Limit yourself to 1-2 kisses per day to keep calories in check.
– Pair kisses with fruits and nuts. The protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals will help balance out the chocolate.
– Enjoy kisses as part of a dessert spread. Combine a couple kisses with fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, or other healthier items.
– Use kisses in recipes like cookies, trail mixes, fruit parfaits. The kisses will add chocolate flavor while keeping calories under control.
– Slow down and savor each kiss. Make them last longer and be more satisfying.
– Keep kisses out of sight. Don’t store them visibly in the pantry so you’re not tempted to overeat them mindlessly.
– Substitute kisses for less nutrient options like candy, baked goods, ice cream, etc. The kisses provide a delicious lower calorie option.
Practice these tips for enjoying Hershey’s kisses and other chocolates as part of a varied, well-balanced diet without going overboard on calories. Moderation and mindfulness are key when it comes to sweet treats.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate like Hershey’s Kisses
While they should still be eaten in moderation due to their high calorie and sugar content, dark chocolates like Hershey’s Special Dark kisses do provide some potential health benefits:
– Antioxidants – Dark chocolate contains flavanols like epicatechin that act as antioxidants to reduce oxidative damage to cells.
– Lower LDL cholesterol – Studies show compounds in cocoa can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels for heart health.
– Improve blood flow – Flavanols may help dilate blood vessels to improve circulation.
– Lower blood pressure – The flavanols in dark chocolate may help lower blood pressure.
– Reduce inflammation – Anti-inflammatory effects have been observed after eating dark chocolate.
– Improve brain function – Dark chocolate may enhance neuroplasticity and cognition.
– Boost mood – Chocolate may stimulate the production of endorphins and serotonin for an emotional lift.
Of course, these benefits are most pronounced when dark chocolate is eaten in small amounts as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle. But it’s good to know Hershey’s Special Dark kisses provide some nice perks in addition to their wonderfully chocolatey taste.
So how many calories are in a Hershey’s dark chocolate kiss? A single Hershey’s Special Dark mild dark chocolate kiss contains 110 calories and provides a delicious chocolate experience. The calorie count is moderate compared to other treats and can work into a balanced diet when eaten mindfully in moderation. In terms of health, the antioxidants and other compounds in dark chocolate also give it an advantage over milk chocolate and other sweet options. Pay attention to portion sizes, but don’t feel too guilty indulging in these iconic chocolates when a chocolate craving strikes.