Carob vs Chocolate – Which Is Healthier?

Carob vs Chocolate – Which Is Healthier?
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.


Carob vs chocolate which one is better for you? Carob is billed as the ‘healthy’ alternative, but there are so many studies on the benefits of chocolate to a healthy eating plan.

There are a few factors to consider when we put these two brown beauties head to head.


Chocolate: it just has that distinctive flavor that almost everyone loves.

Carob: it’s definitely a different flavor than chocolate, but it’s delicious, too!

I think the problem is when people expect carob to be a chocolate substitute, and to taste similar. It doesn’t. It might look similar, but it has its own unique flavor.


Chocolate: has some caffeine and theobromine, both of which are stimulants and can be addictive.

Carob: has no caffeine or other stimulants.

If someone is sensitive to caffeine or theobromine (some people get headaches, acne or very jittery), then it makes sense to avoid chocolate. Carob – although not a substitute – can be made into similar kinds of treats as chocolate (brownies, cookies, etc).

{jumi [files/includes/youtube.php] [fdzbAKA4QPo]}


Chocolate: has antioxidants and minerals (especially magnesium and iron), but also some oxalic acid that can inhibit mineral absorption.

Carob: has minerals (especially calcium and iron) and B vitamins, and some antioxidants.

They both have some nutrients, and there are lots of studies lately on the benefits of chocolate. It’s fine to feel good about enjoying chocolate, but I wouldn’t rely on it as your primary source of nutrients.

Unless you have serious issues with mineral absorption, the oxalic acid in chocolate shouldn’t be a big concern.


Chocolate: is naturally very bitter, so it’s mostly eaten with lots of added sugars.

Carob: has a lot of natural sweetness, so it doesn’t need as much added sugar.

Really, this one comes down to the specific ingredients used in whatever you’re eating. A chocolate bar made with unrefined cane sugar would be better than a carob bar made with high fructose corn syrup.

I like the idea of grain-sweetened carob chips (they use a malted grain syrup), but I’ve tried them and really don’t like them.

When I make treats at home, I like to use carob when I don’t want to use a lot of added sugars. It goes perfectly with pureed banana as a treat, or used as a base for cookies or muffins.


Chocolate: has some fat naturally from cocoa butter, but could have extra fats added.

Carob: has almost no fat naturally, so it’s often made with hydrogenated plant oils for solid chips and bars.

This also comes down to the specific ingredients used. Hydrogenated, refined fats are what you’ll find in most commercially made bars and chips for both chocolate and carob.

There are some pure dark chocolates that only use cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and usually soy lecithin as an emulsifier – things like baking chocolate. Some dark chocolate bars use only those pure ingredients with some added sweetener – sometimes even unrefined sweetener.

Carob chips and bars, unfortunately, are usually made with hydrogenated palm or coconut oil – and those are not good forms of oil.

Personally, I’d rather have the caffeine and sugar in pure dark chocolate chips than hydrogenated palm oil and sugar in carob chips.

But the best option is to buy both chocolate and carob as powders and make your own treats at home – that way you can avoid refined fats and sugars, and use a moderate amount of those things.


Chocolate: often uses milk or milk ingredients in bars and chips, even when listed as ‘dark’.

Carob: does sometimes use milk or milk ingredients in bars and chips, although not as often.

I think the main reason milk is used less in carob products is just because it’s the more health-conscious people buying them, the people who are used to looking at ingredients.

If you’re concerned about milk for allergies or veganism, be sure to check ingredients any time you buy either chocolate or carob chips/bars.

Carob vs Chocolate: The Verdict

My verdict on all this is… I like them both!

If you have a sensitivity to caffeine, then carob could be a good option. Just don’t think of it as a straight substitute for flavor, otherwise you may be disappointed.

If you’re not sensitive to it, the amount of caffeine in chocolate is about the same as green tea, and isn’t harmful in the big scheme of life.

I think it’s fine to eat either carob or chocolate treats, but you need to choose carefully to find ones that don’t have refined sugars and fats (especially hydrogenated ones).

I eat carob and chocolate because I enjoy them, not specifically to get nutrients. But it’s a nice bonus when something you eat because it’s yummy also has some healthiness to it.

My favorite way to enjoy them is to use powders in my own homemade treats, and I actually really like to mix the two together – then I get the benefits and flavors of both at once.


Here are some recipes to get you started making your own healthy chocolate or carob treats:

What’s your take on carob vs chocolate? Do you prefer one over the other, or do you enjoy both?

Leave me a comment below with your thoughts.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


vegan taster meal plan + quick start guide

Download Free