Is there a 0 cal chocolate?

With chocolate being one of the most popular treats around, many health-conscious chocolate lovers wonder if there is such a thing as 0 calorie chocolate. The short answer is yes – there are some chocolate products on the market today that contain minimal or 0 calories. However, the options are limited and the taste and texture often does not compare to regular chocolate.

Some key questions when exploring 0 calorie chocolate options include:

What ingredients make chocolate 0 calories?

The main ingredients that allow chocolate to be 0 calories are artificial sweeteners, fat substitutes, and increased cocoa content. By replacing sugar with non-caloric sweeteners like stevia or erythritol and using fat replacements like maltitol syrup instead of cocoa butter, calories can be reduced significantly. Increasing the amount of cocoa also decreases calories, as cocoa is naturally low in calories.

What are some popular 0 cal chocolate brands?

Some of the most popular mainstream 0 calorie chocolate options include Hershey’s Zero and Russel Stover’s Sugar Free chocolate. More niche brands producing 0 cal chocolate include Lily’s Sweets, Coco Polo, and Chocoperfection. Most major chocolate brands now offer at least some sugar-free or low calorie options.

How does the taste compare to regular chocolate?

Most 0 calorie chocolates do not taste quite as rich, creamy, and indulgent as regular chocolate. The use of artificial sweeteners and cocoa butter substitutes leads to a different flavor profile and texture. However, brands are improving the taste experience with better sweeteners like stevia and innovative preparation techniques. When blended with other ingredients like peanut butter or caramel, the altered taste is less noticeable.

Ingredients in 0 Calorie Chocolate

While traditional chocolate is high in both sugar and fat, 0 calorie chocolate uses specially formulated ingredients to minimize calories while preserving chocolate’s distinctive flavor.


Instead of using cane sugar or other carbohydrate-based sweeteners, 0 calorie chocolate relies on non-nutritive zero calorie sweeteners like:

  • Stevia – Extracted from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, stevia provides sweetness without calories or carbohydrates. It does have a slight aftertaste.
  • Erythritol – This sugar alcohol provides sweetness while being resistant to digestion by the body.
  • Aspartame – The artificial sweetener NutraSweet gives chocolate sweetness without sugar’s calories.
  • Sucralose – Splenda is a commonly used artificial sweetener that mimics sugar’s taste.

Using these sweeteners instead of sugary ingredients like cane sugar, corn syrup, or milk chocolate allows chocolate to have the sweet flavor people crave without carbohydrate-related calories.

Fat Replacements

Cocoa butter is the natural fat that gives chocolate its rich, melt-in-your-mouth feel. To remove fat-related calories, 0 calorie chocolates substitute cocoa butter with ingredients like:

  • Maltitol syrup – This sugar alcohol syrup mimics chocolate’s creamy texture.
  • Inulin – Derived from chicory root, this soluble fiber bulks up chocolate.
  • Vegetable oils – Small amounts of oils like sunflower, soybean, or palm kernel oil can replicate some fat sensation.

These fat replacements try to provide a similar mouthfeel to cocoa butter with minimal calories. However, the result is often thinner and less indulgent than real chocolate.

Higher Cocoa Percentages

Many 0 calorie chocolates use more pure cocoa or cocoa powder, as cocoa itself has minimal calories. Going heavier on the cocoa provides more rich chocolate flavor to help compensate for changes in sweetness and texture.

Natural Flavors

Natural vanilla, caramel, and coffee flavors are also often added to enhance the chocolate taste profile in 0 calorie chocolate products.

Popular Brands of 0 Calorie Chocolate

Many large chocolate brands now produce 0 calorie chocolate product lines, along with some smaller specialty sugar-free chocolate companies. Here is an overview of some of the top 0 cal chocolate brand options:

Hershey’s Zero Sugar

Chocolate giant Hershey’s makes a 0 calorie chocolate line called Hershey’s Zero Sugar. It uses sugar alcohols and stevia leaf extract to provide sweetness without sugar. The ingredients include chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, milk fat, soy lecithin, and natural flavors. It comes in chocolate bars, chocolate chips, and syrup.

Russell Stover Sugar Free

Another major brand, Russell Stover, makes sugar free chocolate candies. Their lineup includes chocolate bars as well as chocolate-dipped treats like pretzels, coconut, and orange peel. The sugar alcohol maltitol and stevia extract provide sweetness.

Lily’s Sweets

Lily’s Sweets focuses exclusively on dark chocolate products made without sugar. Their chocolate bars are sweetened with stevia and erythritol. They have a variety of flavor options beyond plain dark chocolate, like salted caramel and roasted almond.

Coco Polo

Coco Polo makes 0 calorie chocolate from single origin cocoa beans sourced ethically around the world. Their Stevia Sweetened Chocolate has only 3 ingredients: cocoa mass, cocoa butter, and stevia. They also make chocolate bars sweetened with erythritol.


Chocoperfection handcrafts fine chocolates with allulose, a rare sugar that has 90% fewer calories than sugar. Their Zero Net Carb line includes dark chocolate bars, truffles, and chocolate-covered nuts.

Nutrition Comparison

To understand how 0 calorie chocolate achieves its low calorie content, here is a nutrition comparison between regular milk chocolate and a popular 0 calorie chocolate brand:

Nutrition Facts Regular Milk Chocolate (Hershey’s) 0 Calorie Chocolate (Lily’s Dark Chocolate Baking Chips)
Serving Size 1 oz (28g) 1 oz (28g)
Calories 155 120
Total Fat 9g 10g
Saturated Fat 5g 6g
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Cholesterol 2mg 0mg
Sodium 20mg 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 18g 2g
Dietary Fiber 1g 2g
Total Sugars 17g 0g
Sugar Alcohols 0g 1g

As seen above, while the fat content is similar, the 0 calorie chocolate has no sugar and minimal carbohydrates thanks to sugar alcohol and stevia sweetening. This results in far fewer calories than regular chocolate.

The Pros and Cons of 0 Calorie Chocolate

Zero calorie chocolate has some benefits but also some downsides to consider:


  • Low in calories – Allows you to enjoy chocolate flavor without excess calories.
  • Doesn’t spike blood sugar – The lack of sugar prevents energy crashes.
  • Keto/low carb friendly – Works for low carb and ketogenic diets.
  • More cocoa content – Higher antioxidant levels from more cocoa.


  • Altered taste – Lacks the full, rich chocolate taste. Can have an aftertaste.
  • Gastrointestinal effects – Sugar alcohols can cause bloating and diarrhea if over-consumed.
  • Laxative effect – Some people experience a laxative effect from sweeteners like sorbitol.
  • More expensive – 0 calorie chocolate usually costs more than regular chocolate.

Overall, 0 calorie chocolate makes sense for those closely watching calories or blood sugar, but others may prefer small amounts of regular chocolate.

How to Make Your Own 0 Calorie Chocolate

While buying specialty 0 calorie chocolate brands is the easiest route, you can also make some lower calorie chocolate options at home. Here are some tips for DIY chocolate with fewer calories:

Use Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Opt for 100% unsweetened cocoa powder rather than traditional cocoa powder with added sugar. Unsweetened cocoa powder only has around 24 calories per tablespoon.

Stevia is Your Friend

Add drops of stevia extract to get chocolate sweetness without added sugar. Stevia chocolate chips can also substitute for regular chocolate chips.

Try Avocado

Believe it or not, avocado can provide creamy richness and body while adding nutrients and fiber. Blend it with cocoa powder, sweetener, and flavors.

Boost Nutrition with Add-Ins

Mix in protein powder, nut butter, seeds, nuts, coconut, etc. to increase nutrition and satisfaction.

Water Down Heavy Cream

Lighten heavy cream with a bit of water or milk to cut calories while retaining creaminess.

Substitute Greek Yogurt

In some recipes, 0% Greek yogurt can provide a rich, chocolatey base for less calories than heavy cream.

Experiment with Extracts

Pure extracts like vanilla, almond, and mint intensify chocolate flavor without adding calories.

Is 0 Calorie Chocolate Healthy?

While 0 calorie chocolate is lower in sugar and calories than regular chocolate, it is still considered a treat food and should be consumed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet. Here are some things to keep in mind regarding the health aspects of 0 calorie chocolate:

Limited Nutritional Value

Chocolate is not a significant source of vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients, even in its 0 calorie form. So it is still considered an unhealthy food if overeaten.

Sugar Alcohol Caution

Large amounts of sugar alcohols found in many 0 cal chocolates can cause digestive issues like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Artificial Sweetener Concerns

While government approved, artificial sweeteners like aspartame are controversial and may not be suitable for everyone.

Higher Cocoa Benefits

The higher cocoa content provides more antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. But dark chocolate is still high in fat.

Effect on Appetite

Even though it’s low calorie, chocolate may increase hunger signals and lead to overeating. Moderation is key.

May Support Weight Loss

When carefully portioned, 0 cal chocolate may help satisfy sweet cravings and promote weight loss.

Overall, 0 calorie chocolate can be incorporated into a balanced diet, but should not be viewed as a health food or consumed excessively.


While 0 calorie chocolate lacks some of the indulgence of regular chocolate, food science innovations now allow you to enjoy chocolate flavor and satisfaction without all the sugar and calories. By substituting sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, and cocoa butter alternatives, brands like Hershey’s Zero Sugar, Lily’s Sweets Stevia Sweetened, and Coco Polo Erythritol Chocolate make it possible to savor chocolate with minimal guilt. Homemade versions can also be whipped up using stevia, avocado, and other DIY substitutions.

However, taste and texture compromises mean 0 calorie chocolate may not provide the same decadent experience as the real thing. And overdoing sugar alcohols can lead to gastrointestinal distress. So 0 calorie chocolate is best enjoyed occasionally and in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle, not as an everyday treat. With thoughtful portioning, it can be a smart swap to address sweet cravings without derailing your diet.

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