The Unexpectedly Healthy Chocolate-Covered Snack You Can Only Find At CVS

CVS can be a great one-stop shop to pick up your prescription, stock up on sunscreen, and pick up a birthday card for your mother. And let's not forget the snack aisle, especially if you have a few hours before dinner. You can try some of the diet and high-protein bars, but they often have artificial sweeteners that can leave you gassy.

So you go through the line of healthier snacks. Trail mix can be so high in fat, and nuts can often be so boring. You love cheese popcorn, but you don't love cheese popcorn fingers while you're at your afternoon meeting. Before you throw in the towel and grab a Snickers bar, CVS has a snack that's a little healthy while being a lot tasty — Dark Chocolate Edamame. You'll find this sweet snack — part of the Gold Emblem Abound line that's exclusive to CVS — will satisfy your chocolate craving without adding too many calories.

CVS' Dark Chocolate Edamame has healthy ingredients

Each ¼-cup serving of CVS' Dark Chocolate Edamame has 150 calories, far less than the 229 calories in that Snickers bar. The edamame in this chocolatey snack gives you 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Jamie Feit, M.S., R.D., CDN, of Jamie Feit Nutrition, LLC, spoke exclusively with Health Digest, and she says the protein will help keep you full and stabilize blood sugar levels. "Protein is a nutrient that has many important functions in the body," Feit said. "Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles, bone, and skin tissues. Protein is also fundamental to make enzymes and hormones."

Feit also likes that the ingredients in Dark Chocolate Edamame are easy to recognize: dark chocolate, cocoa butter, butterfat, edamame, corn syrup, modified starch, and confectioner's glaze. You won't find any artificial colors in this snack. It's also low in sodium and gluten-free.

"[This snack] does not contain any artificial sweeteners or carrageenans," Feit added. "Current research shows that these ingredients negatively affect the gut microbiome and have adverse implications for the body. It is great that this snack is clean and does not contain harmful ingredients."

But it's a little high in sugar and saturated fat

Be careful, though, because this snack might not be as healthy as a piece of fruit or unsalted nuts. Dark Chocolate Edamame has 8 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat. The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests keeping an eye on the saturated fats in your diet, limiting them to no more than 10% of your total calories for the day. If your goal is 2,000 calories a day, that's 200 calories or about 22 grams of saturated fat. This snack will put you at 20% of your recommended saturated fat intake.

The Dietary Guidelines also suggest limiting added sugars to about 10% of your total caloric intake. For that 2,000-calorie diet, that's about 50 grams of added sugar. Dark Chocolate Edamame has 10 grams of added sugar, which already puts you at 20% of your recommended limit. However, it's still better than eating a Snickers bar, which comes in at 22 grams of added sugar.