The beauty of chocolate does not only lie in its taste but also in its health benefits. Yes, that’s right! Chocolates are not just meant for your taste palettes. They can contribute to good health in various ways. The beneficial nutrients in chocolates can protect you from heart diseases. They are known to stabilize mood in individuals. Here in this article we will be discussing about the impact on chocolates on diabetes and the best chocolates for diabetics to eat.
Chocolates have also been associated with stress and anxiety relief. But one of the best utility of chocolate is in its addition to the diet of a diabetic. It has been a decade old notion that diabetics cannot eat chocolates. This has caused many chocolate lovers to give up on their favorite craving. But recent studies have come up with game-changing findings.
Studies have revealed that chocolates can continue to be in the diet plan of diabetes. But the only area of caution is the addition of sugar in the making of chocolate-based products and chocolates for diabetes.
- 1 Is Chocolate Good for Diabetics?
- 2 11 Best Chocolates for Diabetics
- 2.1 1. ChocZero’s Keto Bark, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt with Almonds
- 2.2 2. Hershey’s Sugar-Free Bundle
- 2.3 3. Kind Bars Dark Chocolate
- 2.4 4. Diabetic Kitchen Gourmet Drinking Chocolate
- 2.5 5. Glucerna Diabetes Nutritional Shake
- 2.6 6. ChocZero’s Keto Bark Hazelnuts Milk Chocolate
- 2.7 7. Hershey’s Sugar-Free Milk Chocolate Peg Bag
- 2.8 8. Quest Nutrition Double Chocolate Chip Protein Cookie
- 2.9 9. Slim fast Advanced Energy Mocha Cappuccino Shake
- 2.10 10. ChocZero’s Dark Chocolate Chips
- 2.11 11. Hershey’s Sugar-Free Variety Pack
- 3 What Are The Different Types Of Chocolates?
- 4 How does Chocolate affect your Blood Sugar?
- 5 How to Pick the best Chocolate for your Blood Sugar?
- 6 What Is The Difference Between Unsweetened And Sugar-free Chocolate?
- 7 Why Dark Chocolate and Diabetes Make a Sweet Combination
- 8 How to Pick a Good Dark Chocolate for Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
- 9 Diabetes-Friendly Ideas for Enjoying Dark Chocolate
- 10 Does Sugar-free Chocolates have Fewer Calories
Is Chocolate Good for Diabetics?
Maintaining sugar intake and carbohydrates is critical for people with diabetes. If sugar intake goes beyond the permissible limit, it can have adverse effects for the diabetics. As a result, the first change in diet that happens after the diagnosis is restricting or eliminating sweets from the chart. So, this might come as a blessing for the diabetics that they can keep chocolates in their diet without affecting their health.
There are chocolates that are produced for diabetes, which replaces the sugar content in chocolates with sweeteners. These chocolates are made with various nutrients that can fill-up the nutrition deficiency of your daily diet. Some of these also keep you fuller for a long time. And this facilitates your weight management program. But besides these unsweetened chocolates, there is one variant of chocolate that works naturally against diabetes. And that is the dark chocolate.
Dark chocolates are usually not preferred by all due to the bitter taste. But they can play an important role in keeping you away from developing diabetes. Polyphenols, which are an essential component of dark chocolates, have antioxidant properties that can protect your body from harmful molecules. Polyphenols help in improving the insulin sensitivity of your body which, in turn, can keep your blood sugar at check.
A study has revealed that the consumption of chocolates at least once a week can reduce your chances of getting diagnosed with diabetes. And you are also less likely than others to become diabetic in three to four years later. The same study has found the non-chocolate eaters to be twice more likely to become diabetic. So, this will probably come as a relief to the choco lovers.
But can chocolates work after a diagnosis is made? The answer to that question is a Yes. Research studies have found that if the people with type 2 diabetes consume 25 grams of dark chocolates a week, they can keep their blood pressure on the lower side.
Chocolates are filled with antioxidants that help the body to use insulin in ways that can control blood sugar. In other words, chocolates reduce insulin resistance of your body. And insulin resistance is one of the key causal factors in Type 2 diabetes.
11 Best Chocolates for Diabetics
Here are the best chocolates for diabetics to eat in 2020.
This sugar-free dark chocolate are one of the best dark chocolates for diabetics. contains 2g of net carbs per servings and is soy and gluten-free. With no sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners added to it, the chocolate gets its sweet taste from monk fruit. Sugar alcohols are often not tolerated by your body.
So, this chocolate gets a score there. With roasted almonds and sea salt, you get the health benefits of almonds along with a great taste. People who follow keto diets are often required to compromise on their taste buds. But the taste of real chocolate of this bark will change that scenario. There are zero trans fat and zero cholesterol.
This pack contains Hershey’s milk chocolate, Reese’s buttercups, and York peppermint patties, all of which are sugar-free. The 3 ounces milk chocolate contains 32 calories per piece, while the peppermint patties have 40 calories. In short, this is a sugar-free bundle of joys that gives you the taste of three different flavors.
Hershey’s milk chocolate has the same taste that you find in its regular milk chocolate. But the advantage of this one lies in its sugar-free content. And this means you can have a healthier alternative to the regular milk chocolate.
This high-on-taste product gives you the nutritional values of whole ingredients such as nuts and fruits. This has low sodium and glycemic index and zero trans fat. There are also antioxidants to enhance your health. This bar has crispy rice cereal and three types of nuts with caramel on the top.
The perfect balance of sweet, salty, creamy, and nutty will add a delicious variety to your taste pallet. You will no longer need to satisfy your snack craving with an unpleasant alternative. The presence of whole ingredients will also keep you full until the next meal.
this sugar-free chocolate can be taken as both hot or cold. This drink has 2 net carbs per servings and is considered to be great for a keto diet. The presence of Allulose gives the drink its naturally sweet taste without adding any sugar to it. There is also no sugar alcohols added to this product. This drinking chocolate is made with Bensdorp chocolate which is regarded as the world’s finest cocoa.
This gluten and soy-free chocolate is also a healthy alternative to sweets for children and elderly people. The presence of healthy fats is considered as a necessity for the health of your heart and brain.
You can use this shake as a replacement for a meal or snack as the product itself is manufactured for this purpose. The replacement is meant to help you in managing blood sugar with the presence of slow-releasing carbohydrates, or Carbsteady, as well as managing hunger with 10g of protein and 4g of fiber contents.
The effectiveness of this shake in controlling blood sugar spikes has been clinically explained and is considered to be an ideal choice for the diabetics, especially the Type 2 ones. This product is available in the form of premixed bottled drinks as well as powders that you can mix with other liquids. The gluten-free property of this shake makes it a good choice for people with lactose intolerance.
This stone-ground chocolate lets you enjoy the contrasting taste of hazelnut and milk chocolate. There is no added sugar, sugar alcohol, or soy. And this means you get to satisfy your taste buds without feeling guilty about it. When you are to follow specific dietary restrictions, your taste buds may come to be deprived of the sweet taste.
But this chocolate fulfills that craving for sweetness but with no artificial flavors. With only 3g of net carbs, this product can definitely be fitted into a low-carb diet without missing on the taste of real chocolates.
This product has zero trans fat or sugar and claims to be diabetic friendly. Your sweet tooth will probably bless you for choosing this sugar-free product that is very sweet in taste. The calorie content is 35g per chocolate bar. This contains nuts and has the flavor of milk chocolate. But this kosher candy is not gluten-free.
This contains nuts and has the flavor of milk chocolate. But this kosher candy is not gluten-free.
This cookie contains about 15 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of sugar. You get whey protein and milk protein isolate. This cookie is made with dairy-based proteins such as milk and peanuts and has a natural sweetening taste to fit into a low-carb diet. The cholesterol content of the product is 30mg per serving.
This cookie also has soluble corn fiber, yeast extract, and calcium caseinate among other ingredients. However, there are mixed responses from customers regarding the taste of this cookie.
This is a product that provides you with caffeine equivalent to one cup of coffee. This shake has 20 grams of protein as well as minerals and vitamins. This comes in chocolate and caramel flavors and has a sugar content level of 1g. The 5g of fiber content can improve your digestive system.
The product claims to keep your hunger at check for up to four hours, and even recommend substituting two meals of a day with this shake. Customer reviews have a positive response to the usefulness of this shake for weight management.
These chocolate chips from ChocZero uses the same chocolate as those used in its dark chocolate variant. Each serving has a net carb of 1G and satisfies your taste bud with high-quality cocoa butter. This chocolate has the sweetening properties of monk fruit and has zero glycemic.
But some of the customers did not find this product to be ideal for Type 2 diabetes and, hence, that is what you need to be a bit cautious about. The good packaging of the product makes it suitable for online purchases. There is also no aftertaste to annoy you.
This pack of 3 gives you the taste of three flavors- dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and caramel, all of which are sugar-free. While the dark and milk chocolates have 32 calories each, the caramel has 30 calories. Reviews of customers suggest that this product can be a good replacement for sugar cravings.
This is used by diabetics who cannot consume sugar but craves the sweetness of sugar. The good taste of this chocolate will save you from compromising with a taste for health. But as the calorie content is not too low, it is advisable to have these in limited quantities. Also, if you order these sugar-free chocolates online you may face issues with packaging.
What Are The Different Types Of Chocolates?
The three types of chocolates are:
Milk chocolate: Milk chocolates have a creamy and smooth texture. It gets its mild, velvety taste from a delicate balance of ingredients milk chocolate contains at least twelve percent of milk in the form of milk powder, condensed milk, regular milk, or any combination of those. It also contains sugar and cocoa butter.
Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate is a chocolate without any added milk solids and contains ingredients such as cocoa beans, sugar, emulsifier like soy lecithin to preserve texture and flavorings. It can be found in any chocolate dessert, chocolate chip cookies, and pudding.
White chocolate: White chocolate is made with a blend of sugar, cocoa butter, milk, vanilla, and lecithin. Actually, white chocolates are not chocolates because it does not contain any chocolate solids and does not really taste like chocolate.
How does Chocolate affect your Blood Sugar?
Chocolates are made from a mixture of cocoa butter, sugar, and cocoa liquor. There are three common types of chocolates- dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. Each of these variants has different amounts of the mixture. Though chocolates are commonly associated with an increase in sugar level, it is not really true.
The glycemic index in chocolates is low, which suggests that they do cause any major increase in your blood sugar level. Although the glycemic index in the sugar-sweetened dark chocolate and milk chocolate is higher than unsweetened chocolate, the amount is still lesser than the other sweet desserts.
Chocolates have the potential to increase insulin sensitivity in your body. They can also cause your pancreas to release insulin. And both of these factors will help in lowering the blood sugar level in your body which, in turn, will help in fighting off Type 2 diabetes.
Chocolates are also found to lower triglycerides, blood pressure levels, and cholesterol levels. Inflammation, which is also a condition of diabetes, can be lowered with chocolates. Chocolates do have stearic acid, which is saturated fat, but this makes no impact on heart disease. And it means that if you have diabetes and you eat chocolates, you need not worry about developing coronary disease.
How to Pick the best Chocolate for your Blood Sugar?
While it is good to have options, too many of them can cause confusion. The market is full of sugar-free best chocolates for diabetics that claim to be beneficial for your blood sugar. So, picking the one that actually does the job is a real task. Some of the checkpoints that you may like to have are mentioned below.
- Cocoa content– the bitter taste of dark chocolates often compels the manufacturers to reduce the cocoa content. But that is not a healthy decision for your health. If you are turning to dark chocolates to keep your sugar level at a check, then try not to consume the ones that have less than 70 percent of cocoa.
- Artificial sugar– many products include artificial sugar ingredients, such as caramels, to increase the sweetness of the chocolate. Try avoiding such products for the sake of your health.
- Sugar content level– both the sweetened and the unsweetened products have moderate to high carb in them. But indulging in high-carb foods is not advisable for the diabetics. So, do not opt for snacks that have more than 30 grams of carb.
- Prefer dark over the others– as mentioned earlier, all the three variants of chocolates have a low glycemic index. But dark chocolates are especially linked with the fight against diabetes. These variants can lower your blood sugar level as well as cholesterol. Studies conducted to compare the effects of dark and white chocolates found that dark chocolates could lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol by 20 percent more than the white ones.
- Fruit chocolates– chocolates that contain fruits, as opposed to those containing nuts, has lesser fat and calories. So, they should be your preference if you are feeling like snacking. But you also need to check for any sugar coatings done on the product.
What Is The Difference Between Unsweetened And Sugar-free Chocolate?
Unsweetened chocolates mean that they do not contain any added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or sugar alcohols. Unsweetened chocolates may contain naturally-occurring sugars. Doctors always recommend unsweetened foods and chocolates because they are often naturally sweet and you are not taking in any added sugars or artificial sweeteners when you eat the food. It may include almond milk, coconut milk, apple sauce, iced tea, and more. Unsweetened food is a solid pick if you are reducing the amount of added sugar in your diet.
Sugar-free chocolates contain less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving. Even though they claim to be sugar-free chocolate, the actual number of servings in the food still contains a small amount of sugar. Sugar-free chocolates include both naturally occurring and added sugars, but do not include artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols.
Why Dark Chocolate and Diabetes Make a Sweet Combination
The dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that may improve insulin sensitivity and in turn, may help control blood sugar. It contains a number of beneficial nutrients such as flavonoids and cocoa. They are good at altering glucose metabolism and reducing oxidative stress. Dark chocolate is beneficial compared with regular chocolate and has many health benefits too. The antioxidant activity of dark chocolate protects against insulin resistance and changes in endothelial function. While compared with white chocolates, dark chocolates have more benefits and do not harm your health.
How to Pick a Good Dark Chocolate for Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
But you have to consider several factors before picking a bar of dark chocolate. Look at the percentage of cocoa, the sugar content, carbohydrates, and other ingredients. If you are diabetic and are craving chocolate, have a serving of dark chocolate. The benefits of dark chocolate satisfy your cravings. The ingredients to look for while picking dark chocolate are:
Sugar: To balance the bitter taste, manufacturers add sugar to dark chocolate. Choose a brand that does not have sugar listed first on the ingredients list.
Lecithin: It is an emulsifier and is an optional ingredient. It isn’t absolutely necessary to make dark chocolate.
Milk: Milk is added to dark chocolate to soften it and add flavor
Flavorings: Flavors are added to dark chocolate to improve its taste and the most common flavorings are vanilla.
Diabetes-Friendly Ideas for Enjoying Dark Chocolate
Here are some diabetes-friendly ideas for enjoying dark chocolate.
- Always pick a simple chocolate bar that has few ingredients and additives. Do not pick over-processed dark chocolates that include additives and preservatives.
- You can eat cocoa nibs sprinkled over yogurt as a snack or dessert. This snack is completely filled with protein and probiotics which maintains your gut health.
- Include unsweetened cocoa powder in your morning breakfast
- Avoid artificial sweeteners and chocolates containing additives and added sugars.
Does Sugar-free Chocolates have Fewer Calories
Sugar-free chocolates are primarily made of sweeteners, such as maltitol, instead of sugar. And this is how you get to enjoy sweetness without the harmful effects of sugar. Only a portion of the sugar replacers are digested by your body and the process is also very slow. This inhibits insulin release in your body and eventually reduces sugar level in your blood.
Thus, the sweeteners added to the sugar-free chocolates do have fewer calories than the non-sugar-free chocolates. However, the calorie content is usually not too low. Besides, if you overconsume one such product, your calorie intake will be equal to that of a portion of non-sugar-free chocolate. And this means that if you instead choose a bar of regular chocolate and eat only a small amount of it, you can still keep your calorie intake at check.
Sugar-free chocolates for diabetics come at a much higher price than the regular ones. And people generally do not find the price worthy for such a less calorie difference. Plus there are some side effects that come with these products. You may experience bloating, diarrhea, and gas on the consumption of sugar-free candies. And this further questions the need for preferring these over the others.
Thus, the health benefits of chocolates, especially with respect to diabetes, are quite wide. But you should also be careful about the amount of consumption. Too much chocolate can increase your blood sugar level and make you more prone to diabetes. Also, dark chocolates that contain polyphenols are the only ones that can be effective against diabetes. People with diabetes are suggested not to use chocolate for lowering blood glucose as the fat in chocolates does that too fast. So, do remember to keep best chocolates for diabetes as a part of your diet in limited quantity.