It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy


Ask Dr. Gourmet

What is the recommended daily allowance of chocolate?

If cocoa and chocolate is so good for you, with all those antioxidants and such, how much dark chocolate should a person eat in one day?

Dr. Gourmet Says...


The question of how much cocoa one should eat for its antioxidant benefits is so open ended that I will admit that I don't have an answer for it.

On the other hand, chocolate - as opposed to cocoa powder - is very high in calories, with the average chocolate bar (about 1.5 ounces) having over 200 calories.

If you are working on your weight, are not active, or are diabetic or have other health issues, you should not be eating any candy on a daily basis, as this is likely to have too many calories and too much sugar for you. Save your chocolate for special occasions.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet