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Photo: Rohan Thomson

As Canberrans stocked up on chocolate for Easter, ACT nutritionists encouraged them to eat small, eat quality and eat happy.

Some of their tips for healthier chocolate consumption include eating it right after exercise or only after big meals and, most importantly, not feeling guilty at the end of it - after all, it's still Easter.

Healthy Eating Hub nutritionist Kate Freeman said there wasn't very much worth eating in a piece of chocolate, health-wise.

''It has a small amount of antioxidants, but not enough to eat for that purpose. You're better off having some blueberries,'' she said.

''It's pretty much predominantly fat and sugar.''

Ms Freeman said one of the best times to eat chocolate was just after exercise, when your muscles are still burning peak levels of glycogen.

''After you've done cardio, you have expended all the glycogen in your muscles, so if you're going to eat sugar you should eat it right then, because your muscle is going to refuel with all that sugar,'' she said.

FeedINC dietitian Jenelle Croatto said the best time to eat chocolate was after meals, when you were already full.

She also said that when buying chocolate for Easter, make sure you splurge on the good stuff.

''Get a good-quality dark chocolate,'' she said. ''A lot of people end up eating a lot of bad-quality chocolate because it isn't that satisfying.

''Getting a good-quality, dark, rich chocolate can fill you up quickly.''

Ms Freeman said if you had to eat chocolate, you might as well enjoy it, as long as it was in moderation.

''I tell my clients just don't regret anything. By all means go and have some chocolate, but moderate it and enjoy it and don't feel guilty about it,'' she said.