Chocolate croissants, also known as a pain au chocolat are delicious but we all know they're probably not the healthiest snack. Ohmymag explains everything you need to know about their calorie content and beyond.
Nutritional Value Of A Chocolate Croissant
What is it?
The chocolate croissant is a French pastry made from laminated dough, often consumed at breakfast and afternoon tea. Whilst exact amounts are dependent on the bakery, the croissant contains a high amount of calories as well as fat and, due to its high-butter content, it is a rich and sweet treat. Indeed, it is yummy but cannot be considered as a healthy food.
How many calories are in it?
With an average of 427 calories per 100 grams, the chocolate croissant is not the dieter's friend. A bakery pain au chocolat weighs an average of 65 grams and contains 280 calories, or as much as a banana + 2 squares of dark chocolate + 1 natural yoghurt with 1 teaspoon of honey!
What is its nutritional density?
The nutritional density of chocolate croissants is very low, which means that it provides few nutrients in relation to the number of calories. If the nutrient content is high with low energy intake, then the nutrient density will be high. The nutritional density is calculated based on the presence of 14 nutrients in the food: vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and proteins. The banana has a nutritional density index of 4.9 against 1.5 for pain au chocolats and 67 for spinach!
Other nutritional facts?
It's important to bear in mind that nutritional factors can change according to the size of a croissant as well as its preparation. If you enjoy a topping such as butter and jam, the calorie content may increase and its nutritional density may be compromised.
A chocolate croissant contains 16 mg of cholesterol per 100 grams. Its saturated fatty acid content is high and helps to increase blood cholesterol. It is not recommended for those who are overweight or suffer from high cholesterol, but also for diabetics because of its high carbohydrate content. The average figures are as follows:
Average gram content per 100 grams *
- Water: 19.7
- Protein: 6.38
- Carbohydrates: 47.5
- Fat: 22.7
- Sugars: 12.5
- Dietary fibre: 2.1
- Content in main micronutrients in milligram per 100 grams *
- Calcium: 43.3
- Magnesium: 32.9
- Phosphorus: 83
- Potassium: 197
- Sodium: 463
- Zinc: 0.7
The bottom line?
Whilst chocolate croissants are rich, appealing and delicious, they provide very little nutritional benefits in themselves. Many dietary experts argue that baked pastries, such as the croissant, are a source of what's called "empty calories", being high in added sugar, saturated fats and sodium. This is the main way they provide energy.
Seen as chocolate croissants provide little nutritional value, it's recommended to keep them in your diet at a minimum. However, you can still enjoy this baked good if you keep an eye on your portion, recipe and any added ingredients such as sugar. If you like a topping such as jam or marmalade, try fresh fruit alternatives such as berries or apples. Butter isn't necessary as croissants are already baked with it, so you can still enjoy the luxurious, buttery taste as it is.
* Ciqual Table 2016 published by the National Agency for National Food Safety (ANSES)