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The Bittersweet Truth: Oxalate Content in Dark Chocolate

blocks of dark chocolate on a bench

Dark chocolate has a rich flavour and many health benefits. It can improve heart health, provide antioxidants, and enhance mood. Dark chocolate is a weakness for many, but does it have oxalate?

Oxalate Content in Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate has a high oxalate content. This means that people sensitive to oxalates should eat dark chocolate in moderation. They should seek lower-oxalate alternatives to satisfy their chocolate cravings.

Table: Dark Chocolate Compared to Other Chocolate

A scientific article titled Oxalate content in commercially produced cocoa and dark chocolate, conducted a study of oxalate in dark chocolate. Their findings were:

The total oxalate contents of 34 samples of dark chocolate collected from 13 different countries ranged from 155 to 485 mg/100 g

Understanding Oxalate Content in Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate, a favourite for many. It is often highlighted for its health benefits. But, it has a dark side. It also contains oxalates. Oxalate can be a concern for people on low oxalate diets. Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds in many plant-based foods. The content of oxalate in dark chocolate is high compared to other foods. Their amounts vary greatly in chocolate.

Kidney Stones

When oxalates from foods like dark chocolate are absorbed in the gut, they can combine with calcium in the urine. This can lead to the formation of calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals can accumulate and form kidney stones. People at risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones should limit their daily consumption of high-oxalate foods.

Oxalate Absorption and Excretion

The absorption of oxalates and their excretion in urine are important. What you eat and hydration are vital in managing the risk of kidney stones. Eating plant-based calcium-rich foods with oxalate-rich items helps reduce oxalate absorption. Some people may think they should avoid calcium. They might do this to to avoid calcium oxalate crystals deposit. But it is quite the opposite due to the binding in the gut reducing the oxalate absorption rates.

Not All Bad News

While dark chocolate is a high-oxalate food, it also offers potential health benefits. It contains beneficial compounds. Like cacao butter, flavonoids, and antioxidants that support brain health, improve blood flow, and reduce oxidative damage. These features make it an appealing treat in a balanced diet.

For those concerned about oxalates, enjoy chocolate in moderation. Balance it with low-oxalate foods so you can benefit from its nutritional properties. It is a similar idea to calorie density. Balance the chocolate with low oxalate foods to satisfy. For example, instead of a chocolate bar, have a piece and some low-oxalate fruit.

Dietary oxalates from sources like chocolate and other plant foods need to be managed to maintain normal levels. To manage oxalate levels effectively, it’s important to be aware of the oxalate load from various dietary sources. Think of it as a stacking effect. The oxalate from one food is added to by the other foods.

Chocolate Comparison Table

Please research and speak to a medical professional before making dietary changes. I have listed the sources I use in the Resource Library. I am not a medical practitioner, just someone trying to raise awareness.

Here is a comparison table based on the OHF database:


Average Ox (mg) per 100 g

Serving Size

Serving Size (g)

Calc Oxalate per serving

Oxalate level

Dark Chocolate, bar or chips


1 oz




White Chocolate, bar or chips


1 oz




Milk Chocolate, bar or chips


1 oz




Moderation and Alternatives

For those concerned about oxalates:

  • Enjoy in Moderation: Eating less chocolate can help control how much oxalate you consume. You can enjoy a treat once in a while.

  • Seek Lower-Oxalate Sweets: Choose white chocolate or snacks low in oxalate levels. Think ice cream bars dipped in dark chocolate. The calcium from the ice cream will help with absorption.

  • Balance Your Diet: Your body absorbs less oxalate when you eat foods high in oxalate with calcium-rich foods.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Despite its oxalate content, dark chocolate boasts several health benefits:

  • Rich in Antioxidants: Dark chocolate has flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidants. They fight free radicals and boost heart health.

  • Mood Enhancer: It has compounds that can enhance mood and provide a sense of well-being.

  • Nutrient-Dense: Dark chocolate is rich in iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, and other minerals.

Recipe: Strawberries Dipped in Dark Chocolate

Don't despair! Chocolate is still on the menu. You need to get creative with how you consume it. Strawberries with dark chocolate are a good dessert for people limiting oxalates as strawberries are low in oxalates. The bulk of the strawberries should keep you from consuming too many oxalates.

Low-Oxalate Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries:

strawberries dipped in chocolate on plate


  • 1 cup of high-quality dark chocolate (choose a vegan brand)

  • 2 dozen fresh strawberries, washed and dried

  • You can add low-oxalate chopped nuts like macadamia or pecans, shredded coconut, or a little sea salt as toppings.


  1. Prepare the Strawberries: Make sure the strawberries are completely dry. Water can make the chocolate harden.

  2. Melt the Chocolate: Break it into small pieces to melt the chocolate. You can melt the chocolate using a double boiler or microwave. Heat the chocolate in short bursts of 20-30 seconds if you use a microwave. Stir the chocolate until it's smooth.

  3. Dip the Strawberries: Hold a strawberry by the stem and dip it in the melted chocolate. Let the extra chocolate drip off. If you don't have stems, dip the strawberries with a fork or skewer.

  4. Add Toppings (Optional): After dipping the strawberry in chocolate, you can roll it in chopped nuts. You can also roll it in shredded coconut.

  5. Set the Chocolate: Put the dipped strawberries on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Let them sit at room temperature or chill in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.

  6. Serve: Enjoy your chocolate-dipped strawberries once the chocolate has hardened. Enjoy them the same day for the best taste, but you can store them in the refrigerator for a short period.


Dark chocolate is rich in oxalates. Its health benefits and tasty flavour tempt many people. If you're monitoring your oxalate intake, consider how much you consume. You can indulge in chocolate but remember to mix it with low-oxalate foods and calcium in your diet.

To learn more about oxalate, read Arugula Oxalates Rocketing. Thank you for reading.


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