Hu Chocolate Review: The Healthiest Chocolate Brand?

Hu Chocolate Review: The Healthiest Chocolate Brand?


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to nutrition.

Hu Chocolate, also referred to as Human Chocolate or Get Back To Human Chocolate, is an increasingly popular chocolate bar brand that’s found in many retailers and available for sale online. The brand claims that their process involves “sourcing only simple, clean and responsible ingredients” and that they “put…the human body first.”

But is Hu Chocolate actually healthy or is it no better than the average commercial chocolate brand? Does Hu contain any questionable additive ingredients? Why was the brand sued over allegations of contamination? And how do real users rate and describe the taste of Hu Chocolate?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Hu Chocolate based on medical studies to give our take on whether or not it’s actually healthy. In doing so, we’ll compare it to the ingredients in Great Value Milk Chocolate Bar.

We’ll also detail the lawsuit against Hu Chocolate and what it means for consumers, and feature real, unsponsored Hu Chocolate user reviews.

Ingredient Analysis – Is Hu Healthy?

Hu Chocolate ingredients

The ingredients in the “Salty” version of Hu Dark Chocolate are shown above.

The simplicity of the ingredient label is definitely a plus, and we know from clinical trials that dark chocolate is associated with improved health. 

A 2022 medical review describes dark chocolate as a “functional food” because of its anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

Coconut sugar is a healthier and more nutritious alternative to refined cane sugar. A 2023 meta-study on coconut sugar describes the ingredient as a “healthier” sweetener option that has more favorable effects on blood sugar than table sugar.

Based on its simple and clean formulation, we would recommend this product and consider it healthy.

Even the milk chocolate bars sold by Hu are healthy. The brand uses organic grass-fed milk as another natural sweetener, and as we documented in our article on is Nutella healthy, grass-fed animal products are clinically shown to be more nutritious than conventionally-raised animal products.

We recommend dark chocolate over milk chocolate due to the lower sugar content.

To illustrate how much healthier Hu is than the average commercial chocolate brand, consider the ingredients in Great Value Milk Chocolate (Walmart’s brand) shown below:

Great Value Milk Chocolate ingredients

Sugar is the first ingredient, and this bar contains 48 grams (g) of added sugar per bar. We know from medical research that added sugar in excess can increase the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Natural vanilla flavor fails to describe what specific flavoring agents are used, and a medical review published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal suggests that some natural flavoring compounds may be toxic.

So Hu Chocolate clearly appears to have a healthier formulation than most chocolate brands, but why was the brand sued over allegations of contamination? We’ll review in the next section.

Is Hu Chocolate Contaminated?

Hu Chocolate is one of several chocolate brands that was hit with a class-action lawsuit over allegations of high lead levels in their products.

According to Top Class Actions, a plaintiff sued Hu Chocolate in 2023 because the products were branded as healthier and good for you, but the plaintiff alleges that they contain lead and the manufacturer was aware of this fact.

The level of lead was not published in the above-linked article, and this is the most important qualifier. Without this information, there’s not enough evidence here to avoid Hu in our opinion, because nearly all food products grown outdoors have some level of lead (and other heavy metals) due to environmental pollution. What determines the safety is the actual level of those contaminants.

Hu passed ConsumerLab testing, which is a third-party testing laboratory. They found that the lead and cadmium levels in Hu chocolate were not above unsafe thresholds, which suggests that the health benefits of consuming this brand vastly outweigh any potential downsides from lead intake.

But how do real users rate and describe the taste and benefits of Hu Chocolate? We’ll review in the next section.

We Tried Hu Chocolate – Our Take

Hu Chocolate UGC

As the author of this article, I wanted to purchase and try Hu Chocolate myself to share my thoughts on its taste and effects.

I purchased the Dark Chocolate and the Almond Butter + Puffed Quinoa bars, and had one of them with an unsweetened black tea for a late evening pick-me-up to give me a bit of energy.

The almond butter and quinoa bar tastes much better in my opinion, and has a more interesting texture. The almond butter on the inside is creamy while the puffed quinoa is crunchy, and that bar was much more enjoyable than the dark chocolate bar which has the same consistency throughout and is a basic chocolate bar.

I did notice a slight improvement in energy thanks to the caffeine and theobromine in dark chocolate, and Hu Chocolate could make for a good evening energy boost when it's too late to consume coffee.

Both bars tasted better to me than the average chocolate bar like Hershey's, but I likely wouldn't purchase either again because I personally try to avoid added sugar as much as possible in my diet.

Overall, I'd rate this brand 7/10.

Real, Unsponsored Hu Chocolate User Reviews

A YouTube creator named Hannah Singer tried a variety of Hu Chocolate products with a friend and shared her thoughts:

Another YouTube creator named “MissFitAndNerdy” compared the taste of Hu to other healthy chocolate brands:

Where to Buy Hu for the Best Price

Hu Chocolate is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here’s a price breakdown at the time of publishing this article, standardized to per-bar-price:

Hu Dark Chocolate

Brand website: $6 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $6 (plus shipping, link)

Target: $5.49 (plus shipping, link)

Walmart: $4.99 (plus shipping – link)

Walmart has the best price on single orders of Hu Dark Chocolate, and Amazon and the brand's website currently have the best price for bulk orders at Hu.

Hu Milk Chocolate

Brand website: $6 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $6 (plus shipping, link)

Target: $5.49 (plus shipping, link)

Walmart: $4.48 (plus shipping – link)

Walmart has the best price on a single order of Hu Milk Chocolate, and Amazon and the brand's website currently have the best price for bulk orders.

Real Customers Review Hu Chocolate

Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand’s website in our opinion.

Hu Chocolate has been reviewed over 5,000 times on Amazon with an average review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Dr Eric Shapira” who likes the chocolate and its health effects:

“Great product. Terrific taste and good in general. Does not raise my blood sugar. I enjoy all the Hu products and cannot get enough of them!!! Highly recommend this product.”

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “Carol B.” who dislikes how little sweetness the bars offer:

“When they arrived we test tasted one and found them to be uneatable. We let another son taste them and he returned the bar with only a small portion eaten. He too found them to be awful. They are not sweet, but have a salty taste to them. The bars I am referring to are the almond crunch chocolate.”

Our Healthy Chocolate Recommendation

We recommend Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate as our top healthy chocolate pick because it’s a dark chocolate (70%) with only 12 grams of sugar per serving.

Like Hu, this product is free of questionable additives and is flavored with natural ingredients like bourbon vanilla beans. We consider dark chocolate to be healthier than milk chocolate due to the lower sugar content.

Interested consumers can check our Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate at this link.

For chocolate lovers who are focused entirely on health and care less about taste, Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate is the healthiest option because it contains no added sugar at all. The only ingredient is 100% cacao beans. This makes it quite bitter but it pairs well with fruit.

Pros and Cons of Hu Chocolate

Here are the pros and cons of Hu Chocolate as a brand in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Zero unhealthy additive ingredients
  • Healthiest milk chocolate product we’ve reviewed
  • Passed ConsumerLab contaminant testing
  • May provide health benefits
  • Relatively low in sugar

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • May contain some heavy metals (but nearly all chocolate does)
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Hu Chocolate is an impressive brand, and is one that we’d recommend from a health perspective. The brand has extremely clean formulations, using natural sweeteners like coconut sugar and grass-fed milk, and there were no questionable or unhealthy additives in the two products we reviewed (Hu Dark Chocolate and Hu Milk Chocolate).

The milk chocolate product is the healthiest milk chocolate we’ve reviewed to date on Illuminate Health, as it’s entirely free of refined cane sugar.

Hu has been sued over allegations that their chocolate is contaminated by lead, but we don’t believe consumers need to worry about this because all food grown outdoors is contaminated to some degree with heavy metals. What matters is the actual level of those heavy metals, and based on ConsumerLab testing, Hu is actually cleaner than most chocolate brands.

For consumers interested in purchasing Hu, doing so on Walmart offers the best prices for single-product orders, while orders on Amazon are the most cost-efficient when buying in bulk.