Here's why you should make your brownies with dark chocolate

There are few things that unite us the way chocolate does. Just the smell of this sweet paragon melted the icy, awkward tension between Elsa and Anna in Disney's animated classic Frozen. Chocolate is pretty magical. But did you know that dark chocolate is even more magical than milk chocolate? Okay, maybe not magical, but healthier. In fact, the next time you decide to bake some brownies, you might want to consider doing so with dark chocolate. Here's why.

Per Phys.org, dark chocolate dates back to the Mayans and Aztec, who used dark chocolate to make drinks for ceremonial and medicinal purposes. (It is clear to us that they had pretty good grasp on the benefits of this treasure.) Today, dark chocolate accounts for 20 percent of all chocolate eaten in the United States. And 10 years ago, the Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee agreed that adding dark chocolate to your diet in moderation can indeed be healthy. So, what better way to do this than adding it to your favorite, ooey, gooey, chocolate brownie recipe, right?

Ali Webster, PhD, RD, and associate director of nutrition communications for the International Food Information Council Foundation, told Real Simple, "If you're looking for a small health benefit from eating chocolate, the type you choose is important." The publication goes on to further explain that dark chocolate's cocoa content is higher than milk chocolate's, generally hovering around anywhere from 50-85 percent. Why do we care?

Dark chocolate has multiple health benefits

The cocoa is where you find all the flavanols from which we reap a sweet amount of benefit. Harvard Public Health notes there are actually two-three times more of these flavanols in dark chocolate than there are in milk chocolate. What exactly are those benefits? They range from aiding in a slight lowering of blood pressure, to elevating good cholesterol, and decreasing the bad cholesterol that is harmful to your heart health. Dark chocolate may also help lower insulin resistance, a common problem for those who suffer with type 2 diabetes.

Dark chocolate's value doesn't end there. Dr. Health Benefits highlights a list of positives that includes being a natural source of fiber and an energy booster — providing us more reasons to eat some dark chocolate brownies. If you are looking for a good recipe, the Pioneer Woman shares her favorite, calling these brownies "medicinal." In our opinion, that's pretty close to magical. 

But before you get too excited, you need to remember that the amount you eat should be in moderation. Dark chocolate is not without calories or fat, although we may wish it were. Webster pointed out to Real Simple that "Eating one 100-gram bar of dark chocolate that's 70-85 percent cocoa has over 43 grams of fat and 24 grams of sugar!" Still, we think it's clear that if you are going to be baking brownies, dark chocolate is the way to go.