Dark chocolate for diabetics is good: Why Dark Chocolate Is One of the Best Desserts for Diabetics
Why Dark Chocolate Is One of the Best Desserts for Diabetics
Why Dark Chocolate and Diabetes Make a Sweet Combination
A square of plain, high-cocoa dark chocolate is packed with good-for-you components that put that designer cupcake or gourmet chocolate-chip cookie to shame. “The antioxidants in chocolate help the body use its insulin more efficiently to help control blood sugar,” says Anna Simos, CDCES, MPH, a certified diabetes care and education specialist at Stanford Health Care’s diabetes care program in Palo Alto, California. “This in turn helps lower blood sugar levels naturally and actually helps your body use your insulin. As a result, it helps decrease insulin resistance, which we see in type 2 diabetes.”
According to an animal study published November 2017 in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, it’s the compounds found in cocoa called flavonols that appear to enhance certain cells’ ability to secrete insulin, the hormone that manages blood glucose. While the results need to be replicated in humans, and the authors note that the mice consumed a lot of cocoa and not much sugar to reap these benefits, other studies also suggest dark chocolate can help people with diabetes.
For example, in a previous randomized controlled trial, researchers found that participants with type 2 diabetes who ate about one ounce of dark chocolate each day (about one square in a standard bar) for eight weeks saw improvements in health markers like fasting blood sugar and A1C levels, while those participants with type 2 diabetes who ate white chocolate did not.
Furthermore, the flavonols in dark chocolate may help your ticker — another win for people with diabetes, as these individuals are at a twofold risk for heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A study published in August 2015 in Vascular Pharmacology found that people with pre- or mild hypertension who ate high-flavonol dark chocolate saw modest improvements in cardiovascular function.
RELATED: 8 Ways to Manage Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Health
How to Pick a Good Dark Chocolate for Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
When it comes to picking the best dark chocolate for your health, some varieties are healthier for people with diabetes than others. Follow these tips to get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck.
Look at the percentage of cocoa. Just because a chocolate bar is labeled “dark” doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Indeed, some types of “dark chocolate” could be as low as 30 percent cocoa, making them more on par with regular milk chocolate nutrition-wise, warns Anna Taylor, RD, CDCES, a dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. To reap the most health benefits from chocolate, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests choosing a bar that contains 70 percent cocoa or more. Often, Simos says, the cocoa content will appear in plain sight on the front of the packaging.
Eye the sugar content to keep carbohydrate intake in check. All chocolate — including unsweetened baking chocolate — has carbs, Simos says. Try to keep the carbs for one chocolate snack to 15 to 30 grams (g) max, she recommends. For reference, a serving of seven Hershey’s Kiss milk chocolate candies has 19 g of carbs, whereas a serving of 1 tablespoon (tbsp) Hershey’s dark chocolate chips has 9 g. Even when you’re indulging, counting carbs can make it easier to manage your blood sugar, the CDC notes.
RELATED: 8 Healthy Carbs for People With Type 2 Diabetes
Beware of any sugary extra ingredients. “Limit dark chocolate that has caramel, toffee, or other sugary add-ins,” Taylor says. Although there isn’t a firm recommendation, Taylor recommends an upper limit of 8 g of sugar per 1 ounce (oz), or 28 g of chocolate. On the other hand, opting for a bar with nuts, like almonds, is a safe bet, because of their satiating effect and their ability to slow the rise in blood sugar levels. What’s more, a small randomized controlled trial published November 2017 in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating almonds alone or in combination with dark chocolate (under controlled, supervised eating conditions) improved markers of heart disease risk in overweight and obese adults. Researchers conclude that incorporating almonds, chocolate, and cocoa into a typical diet without going over daily calorie needs may lower the risk of heart disease. More research is needed.
Consider opting for sugar-free cocoa powder or cacao nibs for a treat. These easy options are naturally sugar-free and will give you that chocolate taste without the same hit of carbs, Simos notes. Another benefit? Cacao nibs contain iron and minerals like magnesium, the USDA notes — a plus for people with diabetes, she says. Magnesium deficiency is associated with type 2 diabetes, likely because of the increased urination common in people with diabetes, according to a review published in August 2015 in the World Journal of Diabetes.
RELATED: 10 Cookie Recipes That Are Okay for People With Diabetes
Diabetes-Friendly Ideas for Enjoying Dark Chocolate
If you’re craving chocolate, here are some of the best ways to get your fix.
Have a serving of rich dark chocolate — but limit the serving to about ¾ to 1 oz. That way, Taylor says, you’ll get some of the benefits of dark chocolate and satisfy your craving for something sweet, but you won’t break the bank on your calories, saturated fat, carbs, or sugar intake.
Sprinkle cacao nibs on your yogurt. This is a smaller, more compact way of getting the possible benefits of dark chocolate, Simos says. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), cacao nibs have about 10 g of carbs in a 1 oz serving, along with 9 g of blood-sugar-regulating fiber and 4 g protein that will slow down your digestion and help you feel fuller for longer, she explains. To ensure your snack or dessert is extra diabetes-friendly, consider opting for plain, nonfat Greek yogurt — which is also packed with filling protein and gut-friendly bacteria known as probiotics. A meta-analysis published July 2020 in Scientific Reports suggests probiotics can help with type 2 diabetes management by lowering A1C (a two- to three-month average of blood sugar) and fasting insulin levels.
Add some cocoa powder to your morning shake. Just 1 to 2 tablespoons of natural cocoa per day may lead to improvements in your heart health, Simos says. Unsweetened cocoa powder contains virtually no sugar.
Choose artificially sweetened chocolate with care. If you want to enjoy chocolate but don’t want to risk spiking your blood sugar, consider reaching for a no-sugar-added hot-cocoa mix, Simos says. Just check the ingredients label to make sure the carbs per serving stay beneath that 15 to 30 g range. You could also opt for artificially sweetened chocolate, but you have to be careful about what kind of sugar substitute is used, Simos says, because sugar alcohols, like sorbitol, can have a laxative effect. Not to mention, some research suggests these types of sweeteners may lead to increased sugar cravings and unwanted weight gain. Good diabetes management depends on healthy weight, as weight gain can increase insulin resistance — the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
Ultimately, Simos advises, opting for dark chocolate with regular sugar, and indulging mindfully and in moderation, is your best bet for reaping the heart and hypoglycemic benefits that the treat can offer.
RELATED: The Top Foods That Tend to Spike Blood Sugar
Is dark chocolate good for diabetics?
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Chocolate originated in Mexico with the Mayans, Incans, and Aztecs. It was harvested from the cacao tree and only available to the rich. It was introduced to Europe in the 16th century but was too high priced for most.
Cocoa is made from the roasted seeds of the cacao tree. Cocoa liquor is a paste made from the beans that contain cocoa and cocoa butter. When these two ingredients are combined with sugar, chocolate is born.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use or store blood sugar the body gets from food. For people with type 2 diabetes, the body no longer completely uses the insulin. This causes blood sugar levels to rise, and the body produces more insulin to try to use the sugar, resulting in high blood glucose levels and ultimately diabetes. Unfortunately, people with type 2 diabetes also have a greater risk of heart disease as well as other ailments.
People with type 2 diabetes best manage the disease by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight. Diets that include healthy carbohydrates, fiber, fish, and good fats help improve the body’s use of insulin.
Sticking to a diet is difficult and can feel like eating is ‘all work and no play’. It is important for people with diabetes to consider ways to splurge while still meeting the goals of their diabetic diet plan.
Nutritionists and people with diabetes are often on the lookout for foods that can be enjoyed as a special treat, but not negatively affect their diabetes. A recent research study published proposed that dark chocolate might be one of those treats, which leaves people with diabetes wondering “is dark chocolate good for diabetics?”
Dark chocolate versus milk chocolate
There are different varieties of chocolate. Dark chocolate is made when a high amount of cocoa liquor is used. Dark chocolate is sometimes called semi or bittersweet chocolate, and it contains at least 35% cocoa liquor plus sugar. Milk chocolate results when condensed or powdered milk is an added ingredient. White chocolate is only cocoa butter, sugar, and milk.
Chocolate and health
Although historically chocolate was considered good for one’s health, in recent history it has gotten a bad rap because it is high in fat, associated with cavities, and thought to cause acne, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
However, within the last ten years researchers discovered that chocolate has much potential as an antioxidant. This discovery spurred new research into the potential health benefits of chocolate.
Although it is usually considered a dessert or a treat, it turns out that eating dark chocolate can be beneficial to health. Here are several of the benefits one can reap when eating dark chocolate:
The primary health benefit discovered in chocolate is its antioxidant activity, which comes from the high level of flavonoids. Flavonoids are a type of compound found in plants that give the plant color and protect it from threats.
Chocolate is high in a particular type of flavonoids called flavonols. The chemical structure of flavonols makes them especially good at neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for many health problems, but antioxidants such as those found in dark chocolate protect the body from oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species.
Eating chocolate can be a good way to get minerals such as copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium. These minerals are all important factors in reducing risk for high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. A serving of dark chocolate supplies 9% of the USDA recommended dietary allowance of magnesium for middle aged men.
While the cocoa bean is high in fiber, most of the dietary fiber in chocolate is removed during processing. Foods that are high in dietary fiber are helpful in maintaining weight. However, dark chocolate contains 1.7 g of dietary fiber, and milk chocolate contains 1.2 g. The fiber in cocoa is mainly insoluble, which has been linked to lowering chances of getting type 2 diabetes.
The types of fats in chocolate are like those in olive oil. One of the main types of fat in chocolate is stearic acid, an unusual fat because it does not act like a typical fat leading to high cholesterol. Stearic acid does not lead to artery hardening like most short chain fatty acids. Stearic acid makes up 33% of the fat content of cocoa butter.
Dark chocolate and insulin resistance in diabetes
One study found the risk of having diabetes was reduced by 35% for those who ate chocolate versus those who did not. Researchers continue to discover evidence that people with diabetes can eat chocolate and mend insulin resistance caused by type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that chocolate may protect against insulin resistance. More evidence suggests chocolate has an insulin-sensitizing effect on the body. Because it is highest in flavonols, dark chocolate is best for improving insulin resistance.
Dark chocolate has also shown promise in preventing heart disease that is often associated with diabetes. Additional research is needed to determine whether chocolate may repair damage to the pancreas caused by type 2 diabetes.
Alternatives to chocolate
Unfortunately, some people have allergic reactions to chocolate. For chocoholics, this can be devastating news. Luckily, chocolate allergies are rare. In the case of chocolate related allergies, there are some alternatives.
One alternative is diabetic chocolate, which is chocolate including no added sugars. These chocolates are usually sweetened with sugar alcohols, compounds that are chemically like sugar and alcohol. Sugar alcohols have a sweet flavor but are not fully digested by the body. While sugar alcohols do not raise blood glucose levels as much as sugar, they do raise it. Diabetic chocolates containing sugar alcohols should be limited.
Another alternative is carob. Carob pods are the fruit of the carob tree, grown in Mediterranean climates. It has a flavor like cocoa and is sometimes used as a substitute.
Is dark chocolate good for diabetics?
While too much of a good thing can be bad, studies suggest that dark chocolate in moderation may have some good health benefits and may be ok for diabetics. Benefits can range from improving insulin resistance, improving mood, protecting skin from UV light damage, to protecting the brain from neuroinflammation.
Consult a physician before making any dietary changes, or changes to your diabetes management plan.
“Carob.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., www.britannica.com/plant/carob.
“Diabetes Diet: Create Your Healthy-Eating Plan.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 19 Feb. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-diet/art-20044295.
“Food allergy: a practice parameter.” Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, vol. 96, March 2006, pp S1-S68.
“Home.” International Diabetes Federation – Home, www.idf.org/aboutdiabetes/what-is-diabetes/facts-figures.html.
Katz, David L., et al. “Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease.” Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, vol. 15, no. 10, 2011, pp. 2779–2811., doi:10.1089/ars.2010.3697.
Latif R. Chocolate/cocoa and human health: a review. Neth J Med. 2013 Mar;71(2):63-8. PMID: 23462053.
Oliveira, Rosane. “The Power of Polyphenols?” UC Davis Integrative Medicine, 14 Feb. 2018, ucdintegrativemedicine.com/2015/07/the-power-of-polyphenols/#gs.v7n9e9.
Prakash, Sheela. “What Is Baking Chocolate?” Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, LLC., 1 May 2019, www.thekitchn.com/what-is-baking-chocolate-228027.
Vieira, Ginger, et al. “Diabetes and Sugar Alcohols: What You Need to Know.” Diabetes Strong, 18 Mar. 2020, diabetesstrong.com/diabetes-and-sugar-alcohols/.
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a review of the literature and current evidence
Dietary changes are a major lifestyle factor that can influence the progression of chronic diseases such as diabetes. Recently, flavanols, a subgroup of plant-derived phytochemicals called flavonoids, have gained increasing attention, due to studies showing an inverse correlation between dietary intake of flavanols and incidence of diabetes. Flavanoids in the cocoa plant may ameliorate insulin resistance by improving endothelial function, altering glucose metabolism, and reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been proposed as the main culprit for insulin resistance. The well-established effects of cocoa on endothelial function also points to a possible effect on insulin sensitivity. The relationship between insulin resistance and endothelial function is a reciprocal one. Overall, the evidence from these studies suggests that cocoa may be useful in slowing the progression to type 2 diabetes and ameliorating insulin resistance in metabolic syndrome. Additionally, results from several small studies indicate that cocoa may also have therapeutic potential in preventing cardiovascular complications in diabetic patients. Studies highlighting the potential of cocoa-containing diets, in large-randomized controlled trials should be performed which might give us a better opportunity to analyze the potential health-care benefit for reducing the risk of complications in diabetic patients at molecular level.
KEYWORDS: Dark chocolate, Cardiovascular, Nutrition, flavanols, diabetes
Dietary changes are a major lifestyle factor that can influence the progression of chronic diseases such as diabetes . Recently, flavanols, a subgroup of plant-derived phytochemicals called flavonoids, have gained increasing attention, due to studies showing an inverse correlation between dietary intake of flavanols and incidence of diabetes [2–4]. Foods rich in dietary flavonoids have therefore been targeted as potential dietary adjuncts in the management of diabetes .
Dark chocolate is one such food and, historically, chocolate was used for healing purposes . Foods and beverages made from beans from the Theobroma cacao tree have been consumed by humans since at least around 500 AD . However, chocolate consumption has been on the rise in recent years with wider availability of commercially-produced products. Worldwide, chocolate consumption ranges from 120 g per person per year in China to around 12 000 g per person per year in Ireland. The USA is in the middle of this range, with consumption of approximately 500 g per person per year . The focus of research on dark chocolate to date has been primarily on its effect on cardiovascular risk, though there are studies indicating the potential benefit of dark chocolate consumption on other organ systems and conditions . This article reviews the effects of dark chocolate consumption on glucose metabolism with suggestions for future research.
2. Positive effects
2.1. Dark chocolate and pre-clinical studies
Flavanoids in the cocoa plant may ameliorate insulin resistance by improving endothelial function, altering glucose metabolism, and reducing oxidative stress [2–5]. Oxidative stress has been proposed as the main culprit for insulin resistance . This hypothesis is supported by the observation that many anti-diabetic drugs demonstrate antioxidant effects. This effect may be direct – as in the case of calcium channel blockers (CCBs), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and statins – or indirect – as in glinides and acarbose, which prevent oxidative stress caused by postprandial hyperglycemia . If this hypothesis is proved correct, the demonstrated antioxidant activity of dark chocolate could theoretically also protect against insulin resistance . However, there is presently stronger evidence for an insulin-sensitizing effect mediated by altered glucose metabolism and changes in endothelial function .
Many polyphenols, including epicatechin and catechin, have been found to alter glucose metabolism in in vitro laboratory studies . Similarly to acarbose, the epicatechin and catechin in dark chocolate inhibit alpha-glucosidase activity . These compounds have also been shown to inhibit absorption of glucose from the intestine . In in vivo studies, diabetic rat models confirmed the insulin-sensitizing effect of dark chocolate. In two such studies, epicatechin increased insulin secretion and regenerated pancreatic β-cells [13–15]. Similarly, supplementation of diabetic rats with cocoa extract for four weeks was dose-dependently associated with reduced serum glucose, post-prandial hyperglycemia, atherogenic lipid levels, insulin resistance, and 8-isoprostane, a biomarker of oxidative stress [14–17]. These studies established the efficacy of cocoa extract/dark chocolate in reducing insulin resistance in animals.
2.2. Dark chocolate and human studies
Similarly, positive effects of cocoa have also been found in human studies. The well-established effects of cocoa on endothelial function also points to a possible effect on insulin sensitivity in human studies. The relationship between insulin resistance and endothelial function is a reciprocal one. Decreased insulin sensitivity worsens endothelial function; conversely, a decline in endothelial function can decrease insulin sensitivity . In healthy individuals, insulin increases blood flow to skeletal muscles and glucose uptake by muscle cells through vasodilation. In contrast, in insulin-resistant individuals, insulin-mediated vasodilation is impaired leading to impaired glucose disposal. Insulin resistance has been associated with reduced activity of endothelium-derived nitric oxide synthase (NOS) with subsequent increased plasma levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), which is an endogenous NOS inhibitor . Elevated ADMA levels therefore lead to impaired endothelial function and promotion of atherosclerosis [19,20]. Thus, the availability of nitric oxide (NO) likely plays a role in initiating cellular response to insulin. The ability of cocoa extract to increase bioavailability of NO and the possible relationship between dark chocolate consumption and insulin resistance led to several investigations in human special populations, particularly the hunter-gatherer Kuna in Panama, whom have significantly lower cardiovascular disease and cancer death rates than the USA population and a higher consumption of cocoa-containing beverages when living on the Ailigandi Islands, but have increasingly migrated to urban areas and adopted a more Western diet with subsequent increases in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer .
In this population, ingestion of a more traditional amount of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate for 15 days was associated with improved endothelial function and improved insulin sensitivity in hypertensive, urbanized Kuna [22,23]. These results were replicated in healthy individuals as well as in hypertensive patients with impaired glucose tolerance . In the former study, subjects received oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) after consuming either dark chocolate or white chocolate for 15 days. Compared with white chocolate, ingestion of dark chocolate was associated with lower quantitative insulin-sensitivity check index values and higher homeostasis model insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) values . In the latter study, hypertensive, glucose-intolerant subjects also received OGTT after 15 days of daily consumption of either flavanol-rich dark chocolate or white chocolate . Therefore, dark chocolate increased β-cell function, increased insulin sensitivity, and decreased HOMA-IR, compared to white chocolate.
Similarly, cocoa-rich foods showed significant effect insulin sensitivity in those patients with insulin resistance on the basis of weight indices. Insulin sensitivity improved significantly in non-diabetic overweight adults consuming high-flavanol cocoa (900 g flavanols) for 12 weeks compared to low-flavanol cocoa . Cocoa’s effects on insulin resistance may be dependent on its continual consumption over a longer period of time. Two studies have indicated improvements within two weeks of insulin-mediated vasodilation (through increased NOS levels) and fasting capillary whole blood glucose, but the two week trial period did not demonstrate improved measures of insulin resistance [20,25].
2.3. Dark chocolate and effect on gut microbe
Another important discussion is the effect of dark chocolate and flavanols on gut microbe. Most of the effects are individualized to the type of microorganisms. The bioavailability and effects of polyphenols greatly depend on their transformation by components of the gut microbiota. For example, gram-negative bacteria are more resistant to flavanols owing to their different wall composition, as compared to gram-positive bacteria . Effects can also be modified by bacterial growth and metabolism of flavanols and dark chocolate. Studies suggest a dose-dependent activity of flavanols on bacteria, inhibiting their growth [27–29]. Some studies suggest that bacteria in the gut may also be affected by the production of hydrogen peroxide produced by substances in flavanols .
On the other hand, flavanols in dark chocolate inhibit toxins in bacteria like H.Pylori, including suppression of urease, hence, damaging bacterial membranes . Few studies have also linked affects of flavanols on gut microbe as protective against various cancers. However, the exact mechanism of action are unknown .
It is clear that dietary polyphenols and their metabolites contribute to the maintenance of gut health by the modulation of the gut microbial balance through the stimulation of the growth of beneficial bacteria and the inhibition of pathogen bacteria, exerting prebiotic-like effects. However, data on the impact of polyphenols on the gut microbiota and their mechanisms of action in humans are scarce. In addition, a better understanding of the dietary phenolic and gut microbiota relationship by the combination of metagenomic and metabolomic studies provides more insight into the health effects of polyphenols.
2.4. Dark chocolate and arterial stiffness
In a one-year intervention study of postmenopausal Type 2 diabetes patients, daily dark chocolate consumption had a positive effect on arterial stiffness in a sub-group analysis of 35 participants . In a cross-over study where healthy participants were assigned to receive five treatments of daily intake of cocoa power with different doses of flavanols for one week each, cocoa consumption improved arterial stiffness [32,33].
Overall, the evidence from these studies suggests that cocoa may be useful in slowing the progression to type 2 diabetes and ameliorating insulin resistance in metabolic syndrome. Additionally, results from several small studies indicate that cocoa may also have therapeutic potential in preventing cardiovascular complications in diabetic patients. In one such study, flavanol-rich cocoa consumption three times daily for 30 days increased flow-mediated dilatation by 30% in medicated diabetics .
Although large-scale studies in humans with diabetes are lacking, animal studies, small-scale human studies, and biological plausibility support potential beneficial effects of cocoa on glucose control, with possible reductions in cardiovascular risk in diabetics. Additional larger scale studies to confirm these effects in humans are therefore needed.
3. Negative effects
Dark chocolate is commonly regarded as an energy-dense food and excess consumption of any energy-dense food may have adverse metabolic effects, including weight gain . While several short-term (i.e., 2–8 weeks) studies have examined changes in body weight following consumption of chocolate, only one study, performed in overweight and obese women, has compared the effects of chocolate against non-chocolate intake specifically on changes in body weight and composition during energy restriction [34,35]. In this feasibility study, inclusion of a dark chocolate or non-chocolate sweet snack as part of the diet resulted in losses in fat mass, body weight and body fat percentage, with no significant differences between the two snack groups. However, the sample size of this pilot study was small, and outcomes were limited to body composition and without further exploration of biomarkers of metabolic health .
The majority of these studies lacked a true control arm and few studies on the effects of consumption on weight used dark chocolate. All of the studies either used white chocolate, cocoa butter, or chocolate bars without flavanols as a control, in order to create conditions with equal energy intake. For ethical reasons, deliberate attempts were made to avoid positive energy balance in participants with an increased risk for chronic diseases. Therefore, during both the intervention (chocolate) and control (no chocolate/placebo) periods, the energy intake in the habitual diet was reduced by ways of reducing the participant’s daily snack consumption. However, it is not clear whether these control ‘placebos’ are neutral, since it cannot be excluded that the placebo itself might have included something which led to physiologic effects and detected changes. Therefore, while it is possible that there are deleterious effects of dark chocolate consumption on diabetics, appropriate studies to assess this have not yet been performed.
In summary, there are plausible mechanisms for the antioxidant effects of cocoa polyphenols to directly influence insulin resistance and, in turn, reduce risk for diabetes. Cocoa may induce pancreatic β-cell regeneration and stimulate insulin secretion, have a hypoglycemic effect, and improve glucose tolerance. The vasodilatory effects of cocoa can also improve insulin sensitivity mediated by endothelial function. Sustained consumption of cocoa over long periods may affect insulin resistance to a greater degree than single doses of cocoa products. Studies highlighting the potential of cocoa-containing diets, in large-randomized controlled trials should be performed which might give us a better opportunity to analyze the potential health care benefit for reducing the risk of complications in diabetic patients at molecular level.
Is chocolate good or bad for diabetes?
Chocolate! How many times have you just had that sometimes nearly overwhelming urge to have some chocolate—in any form! You can have a chocolate bar, chocolate milk, chocolate cake, brownies, a chocolate ice cream sundae or a cup of hot cocoa just to list a few forms of chocolate. Oh wait—you can have dark chocolate, milk chocolate, orange, mint or raspberry-flavored chocolate or white chocolate….so much to choose from! But….should you? And if you should, just how much is enough and how much is overdoing it? Are there “healthier” forms of chocolate? Many of us sure as shootin’ hope there is!
The “Dark” History of Chocolate
Chocolate comes from the fruit and seeds of the cacao tree and is native to the Amazon forest. Botanically, the cacao tree is known as Theobroma cacao – this tree has three major varieties; the Forastero, the Trinitario and the Criollo. The Forastero is the most commonly used variety while the rarest and most prized for its aroma and its delicate taste is the Criollo variety.
Christopher Columbus is credited with being the first European to come in contact with the cacao bean—he and his crew found—and stole, apparently—a canoe filled with various food items, including baskets of cacao beans. The cacao beans were actually used as local currency, but their chocolate quality was missed for another twenty years until Hernando Cortez brought 3 chests of cacao beans, this time stolen from the Aztecs, back to the court of the Spanish king—and the popularity of cacao and chocolate took off!
The history of chocolate though, actually appears to be much older, going back to at least the Mayan civilization and possibly the Olmec civilization that predates the Mayan civilization. The traditional chocolate beverage was made with water or wine and could be flavored with vanilla, pimento or chilli peppers. Cortez called the drink xocoatl and translated this as the “drink that builds up resistance and fights fatigue.”
At roughly the same time that chocolate was “discovered” by Europeans, sugar use was beginning, and the various flavorings were replaced with sugar. The slave-driven plantations of the French, Spaniards, English and Dutch were soon producing chocolate for use as the increasingly popular beverage. Soon, though, chocolate was being used in baking. A Dutch chocolate maker, Conrad Van Houten patented a method of extracting and producing a cacao “cake” which could be easily powdered and then transported. In 1849, an English chocolate maker named Joseph Storrs Fry who produced, essentially, the first chocolate bar. The Swiss chocolate maker Daniel Peter added powdered milk – developed by the Swiss chemist Henri Nestlé—to cacao powder and created milk chocolate! Another Swiss chocolatier, Rudolphe Lindt invented a process that added smoothness to the chocolate. If you are a real chocolate aficionado, you probably recognize many of these names as marking some of the world’s most famous and often best chocolate even today!
For more diabetes related guides and information read these:
What is the Difference Between Dark, White and Milk Chocolate?
Dark chocolate is much closer to the original chocolate—the percentages such as 35%, 55% and 78% represent the amounts of cacao powder solids and cacao butter—the higher the percentage, the darker, the purer and the less sweet the chocolate. White chocolate is the cacao butter—the fatty and oily part of the cacao bean—mixed with sugar and milk. Milk chocolate is make with cacao solids along with sugar and either milk powder, liquid milk or condensed milk. 
According to the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, dark chocolate should not contain any ingredients beyond cacao liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin, and vanilla. However, they also mention that a higher percentage chocolate does not necessarily indicate high quality—as with everything else, let the buyer beware! Stick with well-known, reputable companies or smaller artisan chocolatiers who value quality in their products!
What are the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?
The most important thing to understand about the health benefits of chocolate is that they only apply to dark chocolate—and the higher the %age of dark chocolate, the better the health benefits! Sad, perhaps, but definitely true.
That is the tough truth for those of us who love milk chocolate—these benefits really only apply very minimally to either milk chocolate or white chocolate. Tough cacao beans, but there it is!
The following are some of the proven benefits of dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao).
- 1 ounce of dark chocolate contains (70-85%)
- Total carbohydrate: 13 grams
- 7 grams of sugar
- 3 grams of dietary fiber
- 168 calories (108 calories from fat)
- 2 grams of protein
- Glycemic load: 4
- 9.5 mg of omega 3 fatty acids and 341 mg of omega-6 fatty acids
- Most of the fats are saturated or monounsaturated
- 19% of the Daily value (DV) for Iron
- 16% of the DV for Magnesium
- 25% of the DV for Copper
- 27% of the DV for Manganese
- Some potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium
- 22.4 mg of caffeine and 225 mg of theobromine (a substance similar to caffeine)
- Total carbohydrate: 13 grams
- Dark chocolate is an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants can help prevent the damage caused by oxidative stress and it is believed that chronic diabetes of any type is a disorder of oxidative stress.
- The high levels of sugar in the blood bathe the cells in high levels of sugar—these high levels of sugar act as a toxin on the cells (especially nerve cells) and increases the production of substances called free radicals. These free radicals are very damaging to the internal contents of cells and are the cause of oxidative stress. Antioxidants work by soaking up these free radicals and preventing the free radicals from damaging the cell.
- When scientists determine the antioxidant content of a food, the measurement used is ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). One ounce of dark chocolate has an ORAC of 5903.  Without going into too much detail, that is high! As a comparison, 1 ounce of cranberry juice (100%) which is considered relatively high in antioxidants has an ORAC of about 216. One ounce of artichokes has an ORAC of 2354.
- The antioxidants in dark chocolate include flavanols, catechins, among others.
- The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the blood vessels to form nitric oxide, NO, which helps relax blood vessels—this can lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.
- Dark chocolate increases HDL (GOOD) cholesterol and lowers LDL (BAD) cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.
- Probably due to the caffeine and theobromine content, dark chocolate can help improve brain functions such as memory and cognition.
- Importantly for those with diabetes, dark chocolate can reduce insulin resistance., 
- In a small study comparing white chocolate and 70% dark chocolate, those that ate 1.7 ounces of dark chocolate a day for 15 days had lower blood sugar levels, lower LDL levels and increased HDL levels. Insulin resistance was not measured.
For additional informative articles check these out:
How Much Dark Chocolate Should I Have?
As with so many other things, too much of a good thing is, well, too much! There is no commonly accepted “dosage” for dark chocolate. Dark chocolate does contain a lot of calories and a moderate amount of sugar. Make sure you include the chocolate in your carbohydrate count. Talk to your physician and your nutritionist for specific recommendations. In general, aim for about 1 ounce of dark chocolate 4-5 times a week. This is probably easiest to keep track of as solid chocolate, but you can also use about 4 ounces of baking chocolate and spread out the baked chocolate item over 4-5 days.
1 ounce of solid chocolate is equivalent to about 28 grams and 28 grams is equivalent to a bit over 5 ½ teaspoons, so you can also use 1 teaspoon of cacao powder in the evening to make a chocolate drink to relax with before you go to bed. Keep in mind, though, that cacao IS a stimulant and may not be the best thing to have right before bedtime!
So becareful but chocolate alternatives can be possible edible or be included in a diet.
TheDiabetesCouncil Article | Reviewed by Dr. Christine Traxler MD on June 03, 2020
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5 Reasons Why Dark Chocolate Is Good for Diabetics | Ampalaya Plus
The rising number of diabetes cases aside, or the 1.6 million deaths this disease claims every year, one would think that this would mean a decrease in the overall consumption of one of the most widespread representation of sugar or sweets in general: chocolates. It didn’t, in fact, chocolate consumption actually rose every year.
While this trend is somewhat alarming, it comes with a silver lining. Dark chocolate, or those with 50% and up cocoa content, has been discovered to possess several medicinal qualities that can immensely benefit people with a sweet tooth. We’ve gathered five health benefits that you can get from eating dark chocolate bars daily… in moderation, of course.
- Powerful Source of Antioxidants
Unprocessed cocoa beans and dark chocolate are among the most potent sources of antioxidants in the world, surpassing even blueberries and the widely-recognized superfood Acai berries. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, among others. Antioxidants are important because they fight free radicals that destroy living cells, induce premature aging, and whose presence alone causes an increase in risks of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
- Dark Chocolate is Nutritious
Being a powerful source of antioxidants aside, chocolate also has several other medicinal qualities despite it being equated with diabetes or obesity. Well, the sweeter and milkier variant, at least. The more bitter and flavorful one, dark chocolate is actually filled to the brim with minerals such as magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. It also has a decent amount of soluble fiber and small amounts of sugar.
- Can Help Increase Sensitivity to Insulin
A study in 2005 that was published in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claimed that dark chocolate can help improve the insulin sensitivity and resistance of the body whereas white chocolate (0% cocoa, all cocoa butter) cannot. The study tasked 15 healthy participants to randomly eat either dark or white chocolate bars for 15 days, another seven days for a washout phase, and then a crossover to the other chocolate.
- Can Lower Blood Pressure by 2-3 Points
People with hypertension, normally those who are advised to cut back on all kinds of tasty and flavorful food, will be very glad to learn that dark chocolate can lower blood pressure by as much as 2-3 points. A Harvard study that analyzed 24 chocolate studies that involved 1106 people found out that dark chocolate bars that contain at least 50-70% cocoa lowered the blood pressure of all the participants. The most significant decrease, however, were to those with hypertension. The study also found out that chocolate increased the insulin sensitivity of the participants.
- Increase Good Cholesterol and Reduce the Bad
When taken in moderation, dark chocolate can also be very beneficial to your heart. A study conducted at the San Diego State University and presented at the Experimental Biology 2012 meeting found out that eating dark chocolate, other than helping lower the blood sugar levels of a person, can also reduce the body’s “bad” cholesterol levels and increase that of “good” cholesterol.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
You don’t need to give up your chocolate fixation even if you’re already diagnosed as diabetic. Sure, you need to massively cut down on almost everything flavorful and tasty, like chocolates, and adhere to an active lifestyle plan your doctor would suggest. But that doesn’t mean goodbye to your favorite sweets.
Just be sure it’s not milk chocolate. Or god forbid, white chocolate (shudders).
About Catherine Dunn
A free spirit with an inclination to writing, Cathy Dunn is a blogger who writes anything about everything from health to disease prevention. A social activist and a committed health advocate, she is currently bent on spreading awareness about diabetes and the usefulness of organic herbs in alleviating certain diseases.
View all posts by Catherine Dunn
Type 2 diabetes: Dark chocolate proven to lower blood sugar
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects a person’s ability to control their blood glucose (sugar) levels. The body fails to produce enough insulin in order to function properly, resulting in a dangerous rise of blood glucose levels. If the condition is left untreated, complications that can occur include nerve damage, kidney problems, and even heart attack. But some simple lifestyle changes can help prevent and control high blood glucose levels.
One lifestyle factor to consider when it comes to blood glucose levels is diet.
While there’s nothing you can’t eat if you have type 2 diabetes, there’s certain foods that should be limited.
Experts recommend eating a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta.
But sugar, fat and salt should be kept to a minimum.
However, certain foods have been found to hold blood sugar lowering properties, and a surprising sweet treat may hold the key to keeping blood glucose levels in check.
Dark chocolate has been proven to be beneficial to blood glucose levels.
A six-month study published in 2018 looked at the relationship between regular dark chocolate consuming and blood glucose levels among Hispanic individuals.
The research suggested eating 48g of 70 per cent dark chocolate each day may help lower fasting glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance.
Dark chocolate is believed to be beneficial to blood glucose levels because it contains cacao.
Cacao are bean-like seeds that are usually ground down to produce a bitter-tasting powder to make chocolate.
It contains lots of nutrients, including the flavonoid epicatechin, which may help regular blood sugar levels.
A review published in 2017 looked at the finding of several small studies which suggested cacao can help slow the progression of type 2 diabetes and reduce insulin resistance.
It’s important to note dark chocolate should eaten in moderation, as eating too much could still cause blood glucose levels to spike.
One type of chocolate you should avoid is ‘diabetic’ chocolate.
Diabetes UK advises: “We do not recommend ‘diabetic’ chocolate. Diabetic chocolate is just as high in fat and calories as ordinary chocolate, it can still raise blood glucose levels and is often more expensive than regular chocolate.
“To say food is a diabetic food is now against the law. This is because there isn’t any evidence that these foods offer you a special benefit over eating healthy. These foods can also sometimes have a laxative effect.”
There are six more surprising foods that could lower blood sugar.
Why Diabetics Should Eat Dark Chocolate
Everyone loves chocolate and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s delicious and it makes you feel good. There’s not much about chocolate not to love.
Unfortunately, many chocolates are also filled with sugar and additives. They make that delicious chocolate unhealthy and even dangerous for diabetics. When you go with a good dark chocolate though, it can do your body and your diabetes a world of good.
Here are five great things about dark chocolate:
It’s Nutrient Rich
Dark chocolate is super nutritious. It’s especially hearty when it comes to antioxidants. Dark chocolate is filled with flavonoids polyphenol antioxidants and catechins. These nutrients work to beat inflammation and fight against illnesses.
Dark chocolate is also filled with fiber. Fiber is used by the body to aid digestion and keep your heart healthy. Dark chocolate is also rich in minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.
Dark chocolate may have fats but they are healthy fats such as monosaturated fat and healthier natural saturated fats. Healthy fats like these keep your body running smoothly.
It Can Keep Your Heart Healthy
A study done in 2004 about the heart and dark chocolate found out a few interesting things. The study was done by the Journal of American College of Nutrition and discovered that dark chocolate created from cacao is rich in flavonoids. The antioxidant properties, along with the inhibition of platelet activity, and the activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase are all effects that protect your cardiovascular system and dark chocolate is responsible for them all.
It really looks like eating some dark chocolate can do wonders for your heart. Which is funny considering what milk chocolate can do to it.
It Can Lower Blood Pressure and Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Research has shown that dark chocolate can improve insulin sensitivity. It also helps to lower blood pressure. A study performed in 2005 by the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition gave 15 healthy people either dark or white chocolate and analysed the effects it had on their blood pressure and insulin sensitivity.
The results of the study showed that dark chocolate can reduce the blood pressure of healthy individuals and improve insulin sensitivity. It’s not hard to understand why this is the case either. White chocolate is made from cocoa butter and doesn’t come with any of the great antioxidant properties of dark chocolate.
It Improves Your Mood
The mood-improving qualities of chocolate aren’t all in your head. It’s a proven fact that chocolate improves your mood. The cacao bean that chocolate is made from has an alkaloid called theobromine. This alkaloid stimulates your central nervous system and improves your energy levels and mood. Dark chocolate especially has phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA affects your brain in much the same way that falling in love does. It’s no wonder you love chocolate!
Cacao also bolsters your levels of serotonin. Having more serotonin in your system can relieve depression and improve your mood.
Dark Chocolate Works With Other Superfoods
Even though you might think chocolate is a sugary snack, the fact is that it can be so much more than that. Raw cacao is unsweetened and works great as part of a savory dish. Cacao can be part of your spice rub too to add a lot of flavor to your sauces and stews. Cacao is also a real treat when combined with chili peppers, such as with the Mexican dish mole.
Dark chocolate also really adds to sweeter recipes and foods. Chocolate can be found in plenty of different desserts. If you want to get the most out of chocolate without eating a lot of sugar you can use coconut crystals, honey, or stevia leaves to sweeten your treats instead. You get the health benefits of chocolate without packing in the sugar.
These delicious gourmet dark chocolate brownies are sugar-free.
How to Choose Healthy Chocolate
The best chocolate for your health is raw dark chocolate with little or no sugar. If you’re going to bake with it or want to make hot cocoa then pure cocoa powder (nothing added) is your best bet. Don’t buy the refined cocoa powders as they are often sweetened and worse for you. Starbucks Classic Hot Cocoa contains more sugar than cocoa and packs a whopping 12 grams of sugar in a cup. It can be a little expensive to buy good for you chocolate but considering the health benefits it’s hard to argue against buying it. Plus you still get to eat chocolate! Who doesn’t want that?
The antioxidant and insulin controlling powers of dark chocolate make it great for diabetics. Living with diabetes can be hard. Eating foods that help improve your insulin tolerance can definitely have a good effect on your diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes in particular can be controlled with the right diet. If you eat the right foods, such as dark chocolate, you can actually beat Type 2 and never have to worry about insulin again. Find out what other foods are great for insulin control and make them a part of your diet.
90,000 Bitter chocolate for diabetes, you can eat and it is useful
By ratico19 Read 6 min. Views 24.8k. Published
Can I eat chocolate in case of diabetes? It would seem that this product, which contains a large amount of carbohydrates and fats, and also has a high calorie content, is contraindicated in patients with such a serious illness.
However, the data of numerous studies have shown that dark chocolate in diabetes mellitus is not only possible to use, but even useful.And that’s why.
Dark chocolate in the fight against insulin resistance
Dark chocolate contains a large amount of flavonoids (or polyphenols) – biologically active compounds that help to reduce the immunity (resistance) of body tissues to their own insulin produced by cells of the pancreas.
As a result of this immunity, glucose is not converted into energy, but accumulates in the blood, because insulin is the only hormone that can reduce the permeability of cell membranes, due to which glucose is absorbed by the human body.
Resistance can lead to the development of a pre-diabetic condition, which, if not managed to lower glucose levels, can easily lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
As a rule, patients with this type of diabetes are obese, and the cells of adipose tissue hardly perceive the insulin produced by the weakened pancreas. As a result, the sugar level in the patient’s body remains extremely high, despite the fact that the body has more than enough own insulin.
Causes of insulin resistance
- Hereditary tendency.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
Thanks to the polyphenols contained in dark chocolate, the patient’s blood glucose level is reduced. Thus, dark chocolate in diabetes contributes to:
- to improve the function of insulin, since its use stimulates the absorption of sugar by the patient’s body;
90,025 blood sugar control in patients with type 1 diabetes.
Dark chocolate is recommended for the treatment of pre-diabetic conditions.
It should be clarified that only bitter chocolate, the content of grated cocoa in which is not less than 85%, has such an effect. This is not so convincing proof that dark chocolate and diabetes are quite compatible.
Bitter chocolate and circulatory problems
Diabetes mellitus is a disease that leads to the destruction of blood vessels (both large and small).This is most often observed in type 2 diabetes, although it is possible in the insulin-dependent form.
Dark chocolate for diabetes helps to improve the condition of blood vessels, as it contains the bioflavonoid rutin (vitamin P), known for its ability to increase the flexibility of the vascular walls, prevent capillary fragility, and increase the permeability of blood vessels.
Thus, chocolate in diabetes helps to improve blood circulation.
Bitter chocolate in the fight against the risk of cardiovascular complications
The consumption of dark chocolate leads to the formation of high density lipoproteins (HDL) – the so-called “good” cholesterol. “Good” cholesterol removes low density lipoproteins (LDL) from our body – “bad” cholesterol (which tends to be deposited on the walls of blood vessels in the form of cholesterol plaques), transporting them to the liver.
The circulation of blood through the vessels, cleared of cholesterol plaques, leads to a decrease in blood pressure.
As a result, dark chocolate in type 2 diabetes helps lower blood pressure and thereby reduces the risk of strokes, heart attacks and coronary heart disease.
What is Diabetic Chocolate?
So, we managed to establish that dark chocolate and diabetes are not only not mutually exclusive phenomena, but also harmoniously complement each other. Drinking a small amount of chocolate has a beneficial effect on the body of a patient with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Modern manufacturers produce special types of chocolate for diabetics. Bitter chocolate for diabetics does not contain sugar, but its substitutes: isomalt, sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol.
Certain types of diabetic chocolate contain dietary fiber (eg inulin). Extracted from Jerusalem artichoke or chicory, inulin is a dietary fiber that is devoid of calories and forms fructose during the breakdown process.
Let’s make a reservation right away: the range of products for diabetics has recently expanded significantly.On the shelves with diabetic products, you can now find both porous and milk chocolate containing whole nuts and all kinds of additives.
Probably, in very rare cases, such delicacies may be acceptable, but they will definitely not bring any benefit to the body. Only dark chocolate with a grated cocoa content of at least 70-85% is useful for diabetes.
Diabetic chocolate, pictures of which you can easily find on the Internet, is often made using fructose, an indispensable source of safe carbohydrates for diabetics.
The body takes more time to break down fructose than to break down sugar, and insulin is not involved in this process. That is why fructose is preferred in the manufacture of food for patients with diabetes mellitus.
Caloric content of diabetic chocolate
The calorie content of diabetic chocolate is quite high: it is almost no different from the calorie content of ordinary chocolate and is more than 500 kcal. On the packaging with a product intended for diabetics, it is imperative to indicate the number of bread units for which patients with diabetes recount the amount of food they eat.
The number of bread units in a dark chocolate bar for diabetics should be slightly more than 4.5.
Composition of chocolate for diabetics
The composition of diabetic chocolate, on the other hand, is different from that of a regular chocolate bar. While the share of sugar in ordinary dark chocolate is about 36%, then in a bar of “correct” diabetic chocolate it should not exceed 9% (being converted to sucrose).
A mark on the conversion of sugar to sucrose is required on the packaging of every diabetic product.The amount of fiber in diabetic chocolate is limited to 3%. The mass of grated cocoa cannot be lower than 33% (and in useful for diabetics – above 70%). The amount of fat in such chocolate should be reduced.
Packaging of diabetic chocolate, a photo of which you can find in this article, must necessarily provide the buyer with complete information about the composition of the product placed in it, because the patient’s life often depends on it.
And now let’s summarize everything that was said above.As follows from the materials of this article, dark chocolate and diabetes mellitus do not contradict each other at all. Bitter chocolate with a high (at least 75%) content of cocoa products can be considered a very valuable product for combating such a complex disease as diabetes mellitus.
Provided that the chocolate is of high quality, and its quantity does not exceed 30 g per day, dark chocolate can be safely included in the diet of a patient suffering from diabetes.
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90,000 What kind of chocolate can be consumed with diabetes
Chocolate for diabetes mellitus, at first glance, is an incongruous phenomenon.But within reasonable limits, this sweetness should not be excluded from the diet.
In most cases, chocolate causes an increase in blood sugar levels, and in light of this, it is best to limit your consumption and avoid it altogether when the sugar level is already above the recommended level.
Stuck in my teeth tips like “Eat a tomato every day to improve skin condition.” You may have heard that dark chocolate is even beneficial for diabetes. But is it really so?
Chocolate lovers rejoice! In fact, dark chocolate can reduce the risk of diabetes.Eating dark chocolate every day has been linked to positive effects on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar, which are key factors in the development of diabetes.
But before you include chocolate in your food, make sure you are savvy.
Link between dark chocolate and diabetes
The reason that chocolate can be used in diabetes mellitus lies in its composition. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols that occur naturally in compounds with antioxidant properties.They protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules. Polyphenols increase insulin sensitivity and insulin function in the body. Which in turn helps control blood sugar levels. This improvement in insulin sensitivity can delay or even prevent the onset of diabetes.
A study published in the journal Appetite found that people who eat chocolate, including dark chocolate, at least once a week, have a lower propensity for diabetes.An analysis of 908 people without diabetes and 45 people with diabetes found that people who ate chocolate less than once a week were at twice the risk of developing diabetes than those who ate it more than one day a week.
But what if you already have diabetes? Well, dark chocolate with type 2 diabetes will not only do no harm, but it will help. Another study found that people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes consumed 25 grams of dark or white chocolate for eight weeks.Those who ate dark chocolate had lower blood pressure after 8 weeks than those who ate white chocolate. Dark chocolate eaters also experienced lower blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects a person’s ability to control blood glucose (sugar) levels. The body cannot make enough insulin to function properly, which leads to dangerous increases in glucose levels. If this condition is left untreated, complications affect the nervous system, kidneys, and can even lead to a heart attack.
However, some foods can lower blood sugar levels. Including our favorite delicacy.
What kind of chocolate is possible with diabetes mellitus
So, are you ready to grab the entire range of dark chocolate at your local store? Take your time – not all chocolate is created equal. Commercial tiles usually contain fat, sugar, and extra calories. Rich in polyphenols, the product contains antioxidants, and a higher percentage of cocoa brings more health benefits.
Read the composition carefully to ensure you get the most benefit. We recommend choosing dark chocolate, which contains at least as much fiber as sugar. Also, check to see if it has been processed with lye (a process that makes cocoa less bitter, but removes the beneficial properties). Opt for unprocessed dark chocolate instead.
Here are some of the best ways to please yourself
Keep a large portion of dark chocolate on hand, but limit yourself to one or two wedges a day.This will help you both benefit and satisfy your sugar cravings without getting unnecessary amounts of calories, saturated fat, carbohydrates, or sugar.
Sprinkle the cocoa beans over the yogurt. This is the fastest way to benefit from dark chocolate. Cocoa beans contain about 13 grams of carbohydrates, fiber that regulates blood sugar, and protein that is slowly digested and enhances satiety. Choose natural, sugar-free yogurt that is rich in protein and probiotics.
Add some cocoa powder to your morning shake.1-2 tablespoons of natural cocoa daily improves heart health. Unsweetened cocoa powder contains virtually no sugar.
Choose artificially sweetened chocolate with care. If you want to enjoy chocolate but are afraid of sugar rises, look for a cocoa mix without added sugar. Read the composition: the amount of carbohydrates per serving should not exceed 15-30 g. You can choose artificially sweetened chocolate, but be careful with sugar substitutes. Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol can have a laxative effect and turn into carbohydrates, which increase blood sugar levels.Not to mention, these types of sweeteners can lead to increased sugar cravings and weight gain. Diabetes control depends on a healthy weight: weight gain increases insulin resistance, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
After all, dark chocolate with regular sugar or honey, if consumed in moderation, is the best choice for maintaining heart and blood sugar levels.
Diabetes and dark chocolate
Everyone knows that sweets are contraindicated for people with diabetes mellitus – as, indeed, any other foods containing a large amount of carbohydrates.However, good news awaits the sweet tooth: there is a dessert that in small doses is quite acceptable and even, in some cases, necessary. This is chocolate.
What kind of chocolate is allowed for diabetes
The first thing to remember: with diabetes mellitus, foods containing glucose cannot be completely excluded from the diet. After all, it is the most important supplier of energy to the body. The danger of the disease lies precisely in the fact that it increases the resistance of the vessels (that is, their ability to pass nutrients from the blood into the cells).Because of this, glucose is not converted into energy, but accumulates in the blood as a useless load and can, in the worst scenario, cause hyperglycemic coma. So it is possible and necessary to consume carbohydrates – but exactly in the amount that the body is able to assimilate. For each person, this volume is different, and a doctor should help determine it.
The answer to the question “is it okay to eat chocolate with diabetes” is not as obvious as it seems. This product varies in quality, cocoa content, the presence or absence of glucose in the composition and many other parameters.Therefore, before buying a cherished delicacy, you need to take into account all these nuances.
Regardless of the variety, this dessert has only three varieties:
- And bitter or dark chocolate.
The first two types are contraindicated for diabetics in any form. The content of healthy cocoa beans in them is quite low, but glucose is unacceptable. The only exception is sweets produced specifically for diabetics.
But dark chocolate should not be completely excluded from the diet. Unlike milk or white, it does not harm the body, moreover, in small quantities it helps to cope with many dangerous manifestations of diabetes.
The benefits of dark chocolate
The basis of dark chocolate is grated cocoa beans and butter of the same plant. And this is what makes the aromatic sweetness so beneficial – for both diabetics and healthy people.Cocoa has many properties that are almost miraculous.
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids necessary for the normal functioning of the circulatory system. First of all, this applies to vitamin P (ascorutin), which makes the walls of blood vessels stronger and more elastic, thereby reducing the risk of stroke.
Cocoa helps clear “bad cholesterol” from the bloodstream, which is the main cause of blood clots. This process is especially noticeable if you eat chocolate often, but in very small portions.
Cocoa beans increase the production of endorphins – “hormones of joy”, and reduce stress levels.
Dark chocolate contains substances that facilitate the penetration of glucose from the circulatory system into the cells of the body. In type 2 diabetes mellitus, this can slow the progression of the disease, preventing the development of insulin dependence.
Products from cocoa beans for various forms of diabetes
Type 2 diabetes often develops in people who are significantly overweight.Fat cells are practically insensitive to insulin (despite the fact that its level in the body of such people is even higher than the norm), and therefore glucose is poorly absorbed. That is why chocolate for type 2 diabetes in small quantities is not easy to solve, but even necessary, since it reduces vascular resistance. Its active polyphenols help cells metabolize the insulin produced in the pancreas. This means that the body will receive the required amount of glucose, while its content in the blood will decrease.Small, up to 30 g per day, doses of a black treat can become that lifesaver that will prevent the disease from developing to the level of insulin dependence.
Use a glucometer to see if you can eat chocolate. First, measure and record the amount of glucose in your blood. Eat a small piece of chocolate and check how the sugar level has changed after half an hour, an hour, an hour and a half. In case of a slight increase, you can delight yourself from time to time with a fragrant delicacy.If the jump is noticeable, it is better to ditch regular chocolate and look for some carbohydrate-free desserts. For example, it can be fructose-based chocolate products that are produced specifically for diabetics.
Type 1 diabetes is a different story. In people with this form of the disease, the level of insulin produced in the body is extremely low, and it is not enough for normal glucose absorption. Any foods containing a large amount of carbohydrates, if not completely contraindicated for such patients, are quite dangerous, since they can cause hyperglycemic coma.So the doctor can only allow sweets, even dark chocolate, in very small quantities (no more than 15 g). And no more than once every few days.
How to choose dark chocolate for diabetes
Despite the fact that bitter varieties of chocolate in diabetes can and should be consumed, not every bar with a high cocoa content will be useful for a diabetic’s body. There are several nuances that are important to know when choosing a dietary treat.
Always check the labeling carefully.Before buying, be sure to read the composition of the product, paying special attention to the items “cocoa” and “sugar”.
Bitter chocolate has a carbohydrate content of 9 to 33%, which does not pose a serious threat. The lower the amount of sugar per 100 g of product, the more useful the purchased chocolate will be.
The content of cocoa beans in chocolate products safe for people with diabetes should be at least 75% – 85%.
Be very careful. Some chocolate products include names such as “maple syrup”, “honey”, “dextrose”, “agave juice” and so on.All of these substances contain glucose, which means they are dangerous.
It is better to give preference to high quality bitter varieties. These include chocolate “Vdohnovenie” and “Gorky” from the Babaevsky combine, “Zolotaya Marka”, which is produced by the firm “Russia – Generous Soul”, and some other products. Cheap dark chocolate for diabetes does more harm than good, because to save money, they put less cocoa and more sugar in it.
Those who have diabetes mellitus do not allow them to eat conventional products from cocoa beans, it is better to choose harmless treats with sweeteners.Diet dark chocolate for both types of diabetes is beneficial, first of all, because it does not require strict adherence to the diet. Unlike conventional table varieties, you can eat more than 30 g per day without worrying about your health.
Today, the attitude towards diabetes and people suffering from it is very serious. Many companies produce desserts that do not contain sucrose. Some of the most popular sweeteners include:
It should be noted that they all taste differently. Some of them are sweeter, some less.
All these substances – whether it’s plant sap like stevia or chemical compounds like sorbitol – can replace sugar. However, it must be borne in mind that they also affect the body. For example, sorbitol, isomalt and xylitol cause increases in blood glucose, although not as significant as from regular sugar.
In addition, many endocrinologists note that sugar substitutes have a bad effect on the liver and can reduce immunity.
Desserts made with fructose are the safest. It provides no less energy than glucose, but, unlike it, easily penetrates the cell membrane and provides the body with nutrients without any interference. And, unlike any other sweet supplement, it does not cause allergies or complications in the form of unnecessary stress on the liver.
Thus, it can be seen that chocolate and diabetes are quite compatible. Moreover, within reasonable limits, it is even useful.But everyone suffering from this disease should be attentive to their diet and carefully monitor their condition.
Bitter chocolate is useful and necessary for diabetes mellitus | Healthy eating
Everyone knows that fast carbohydrates in diabetes are a prohibited food. But sometimes I want to pamper myself with something that is not useful and tasty.
Such sweetness as dark chocolate will come to the rescue.
Why is dark chocolate useful for diabetes?
Let’s clarify right away that not everyone can eat even dark chocolate and not always. Before introducing this product into your diet, you need to check with your doctor if you have a categorical prohibition on this sweetness.
Endocrinologists and nutritionists allow the use of dark chocolate, even with diabetes mellitus, on the basis that it contains 2 times less sugar than milk chocolate. In addition, the glycemic index of this product is quite low at only 25.For example, if you compare with the same apple, then the GI of dark chocolate is 7 points lower.
In fact, the use of this sweets does not cause such a sharp increase in blood glucose as other sweets, therefore it is considered a kind of indulgence in the diet of diabetics.
Also, doctors noticed the positive properties that this product has on the body of diabetics, so they not only allow the use of sweetness, but also recommend it.
Benefits of dark chocolate for diabetes
The benefits of dark chocolate are explained by the fact that it is made from cocoa beans.This plant contains flavonoids – substances that affect the maintenance and repair of human organs. They are widely used in both folk and traditional medicine.
An example of the use of flavonoids in medicine is the drug Ascorutin, prescribed to support the restoration of blood vessels and capillaries.
Due to the content of cocoa beans, dark chocolate can become a source of flavonoids that are so necessary for a diabetic. The use of sweets will have the following benefits for a patient with diabetes mellitus:
- will improve the patient’s susceptibility to his own insulin;
- will improve blood flow;
- will reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke;
- will clear blood vessels from bad “cholesterol”
- reduce the risk of neuropathy;
- will improve immunity;
- will reduce inflammation in the body
It is not uncommon for moderate consumption of dark chocolate to help with prediabetes.
How much chocolate can you eat?
Of course, everything should be moderation and dark chocolate is no exception. So that chocolate does not turn from a useful product into a product that will aggravate the situation of a patient with diabetes mellitus, doctors recommend eating no more than 30 grams of sweets per day. This is just under 1/3 of a standard 100 gram chocolate bar.
A test can be performed to determine your chocolate rate. Eat 2-3 slices and measure your blood sugar with a glucometer.If the indicators are above the norm, then it is worth reducing the amount of chocolate consumed.
Which chocolate to choose?
In order for dark chocolate to be beneficial, not harmful, it is necessary to carefully examine the label before use for the content of sugar, cocoa and fats in chocolate.
Special chocolate for diabetics is produced without sugar, and sweeteners are added as a sweetener. The main thing is that they are natural, otherwise you can plant the liver.
You can read about natural sweeteners in the article on sweeteners.
The fat content in “healthy” chocolate should also be as low as possible, preferably if these fats are of vegetable origin.
And the most important ingredient is cocoa! It should be at least 70% in good healthy chocolate. The label must necessarily indicate that the composition contains cocoa, and not products designed to replace it.
Good quality chocolate cannot be cheap. If the price for dark chocolate is lower than the average price for chocolate, believe me – this is definitely not a natural product!
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Yes, you can have chocolate! | Sugar Magazine
You’ve probably heard that chocolate has health benefits, but never thought of it through the lens of diabetes.Surprise! Chocolate is truly a super food.
Chocolate that melts on the tongue and stimulates the taste buds is the result of a long processing process. It starts with cocoa beans harvested from the chocolate tree.Cocoa beans are fermented, dried, roasted and ground. As a result, they turn into cocoa butter (smooth, hard fat), chocolate (ground or melted cocoa beans), and cocoa powder (the defatted portion of the beans).
Variety of flavors
Bitter chocolate (or black) consists of 72% natural cocoa and the more it is, the healthier the chocolate. It contains riboflavin, thiamine, vitamins PP, E, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, potassium and phosphorus.No sugar is added to it, which gives it a strong, bitter taste.
Dark chocolate is made by adding fat and sugar to liquid chocolate. The cocoa content of dark chocolate should be between 30 and 99%, but generally between 65 and 80%. There are several types of dark chocolate.
● Bitter – Sweet chocolate contains small amounts of sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin, and vanilla. Contains at least 35% cocoa, but can go up to 80%.
● Semi-sweet chocolate contains slightly more sugar and 35% cocoa.
● Sweet dark chocolate contains a high percentage of sugar and only 20 to 40% cocoa.
Milk chocolate is made by combining chocolate, additional cocoa butter, flavors and milk. Depending on the product, it may contain fresh, condensed or powdered milk.
White chocolate contains cocoa butter, but not cocoa powder or other cocoa products. Some purists do not consider this type of product to be chocolate at all.
Switch to the dark side
Although milk chocolate is the most popular type of chocolate, dark chocolate has many health benefits.Cocoa beans contain antioxidants – flavonoids and polyphenols – that protect cells from damage associated with many chronic diseases.
Because dark chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa, it provides more antioxidants than milk chocolate. Chocolate contains more antioxidants than blueberries, green tea, or red wine. For the greatest health benefits, you need to consume at least 60% cocoa.
Love chocolate with all your heart
Research has shown that the antioxidants found in dark chocolate improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, maintain arterial health, and reduce the risk of heart disease.Flavonoids prevent the accumulation of LDL (bad cholesterol) in blood vessels and reduce the risk of blood clots. Flavonoids can also help increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Polyphenols prevent oxidation and clogging of the arteries. Chocolate also triggers the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure.
Chocolate and diabetes
If you have diabetes, you are likely to avoid chocolate altogether.But research shows that dark chocolate may have benefits for people with diabetes when consumed in moderation. Dark chocolate has a low glycemic index and does not cause a spike in blood sugar levels. According to research, dark chocolate can also reduce insulin resistance and help the body absorb glucose better. The flavonoids found in chocolate improve blood circulation, which may reduce the risk of neuropathy in people with diabetes.
Your Brain and Chocolate
The next time you need a brainstorming session, turn to a dark chocolate bar for help. The flavonoids in dark chocolate dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow to key areas of the brain. It improves mental performance and increases alertness. Dark chocolate is also beneficial for people with insomnia.
This sounds too good to be true, but chocolate in moderation can help you lose weight.A 2011 study found that people who ate dark chocolate felt fuller longer than those who ate milk chocolate.
Does chocolate help you when you are sad or stressed? It’s not just our head. Dark chocolate really makes us feel good because it contains caffeine, which stimulates the central nervous system, increases blood flow to the brain, reduces fatigue, increases alertness, and improves overall mood.It also contains small amounts of theobromine and phenethylamines, central nervous system stimulants that trigger the release of chemicals that affect well-being called endorphins. Dark chocolate also increases levels of serotonin in the brain, a chemical that plays an important role in mood and emotional health.
Love and Chocolate
Chocolate and love seem to go hand in hand.This is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day or the classic first date. For a long time, it was believed that chocolate is an aphrodisiac. A recent study found that women who ate dark chocolate on a daily basis improved their sexual performance. The ability of chocolate to increase serotonin levels in the brain increases sexual desire and desire. The phenethylamine in dark chocolate enhances the activity of dopamine, a brain chemical associated with sexual arousal.He is also responsible for the feeling of being in love. No wonder chocolate and love are so closely related!
Is it possible to eat dark and milk chocolate with diabetes: SaxarVNorme
Greetings to all blog readers! For some people, the restriction in their favorite delicacies is very difficult psychologically and all the time they want to eat something forbidden, despite the subsequent feeling of guilt. How can you solve this problem and choose such products, because of which you will not constantly scold and punish yourself?
Let’s talk about chocolate in the life of a person with type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus, whether it is possible to eat it, which one: bitter or milk, regular or on substitutes, and consider different “diabetic” chocolates.
Let’s find out when it is better to use this delicacy and try to make it yourself at home.
Chocolate for type 1 and 2 diabetes
In my last article I wrote about the use of honey for diabetes, where I called for moderation or complete elimination of this product from the diet of people with type 2 diabetes.
I do not reject the benefits of honey, but I draw your attention to the fact that in the pursuit of this benefit, you can do a lot of harm and then all your efforts will be useless.
Today is the turn of chocolate and unlike honey, it can be diabetic or dietary. How? Read on…
What is chocolate and what is it made of
Chocolate is a product created by a man who mixed several ingredients and got a “tasty” dessert, but it was not so tasty initially.
A bit of history. The homeland of the modern dessert is Central and South America. Even the Mayan and Aztec tribes used cocoa beans to prepare “a slide of water”, mixing ground and roasted beans with water and hot pepper, drank it cold.According to linguists, the word “chocolate” comes from the Aztec word “xocolātl” (“chocolatl”), which literally means “bitter water”.
Cocoa beans were brought to Europe only in 1520 xx, and from a spicy cold drink it turned into a sweet and hot drink only by the beginning of the 17th century.
In 1828, a cheap method of squeezing cocoa butter from grated cocoa was patented for the first time, and from this period the era of hard chocolate began. In 1847, Frenchman Jean Pietre received hard chocolate, and the first bars went on sale a year later in London.
In 1875, the Swiss Daniel Peter, after much suffering, managed to create the first milk chocolate, adding milk to the composition, and his partner Henri Nestlé helped to set up the production.
After 4 years another Swiss, Rodolphe Lindt, was the first to master the conching (long stirring process) of chocolate mass. These discoveries have made Swiss chocolate the most admired in the world.
Let me remind you that now there are several types:
- Dark bitter chocolate
- Dark milk chocolate
- White chocolate
Let’s see what chocolate cannot be without.I am listing only the main composition, no additional additives.
Each piece of dark chocolate includes:
- Cocoa liquor
- Cocoa butter
- Powdered sugar
Milk chocolate consists of:
- Powdered cocoa
- Cocoa butter
- Sugar powder
- Powdered milk or cream
White chocolate is made from:
- Cocoa butter
- Powdered sugar
- Milk powder or cream
If you look at the composition, then replacing powdered sugar with some sweetener everywhere we get the same diabetic version of the dessert.But it was not there. What kind of sweetener is used is of great importance.
If you have read my articles on sugar substitutes, then you will remember that many of them still increase blood glucose levels, and some are not entirely beneficial for the body. But more on that later …
Is it possible with diabetes to eat ordinary bitter or milk chocolate
It all depends on the type of diabetes mellitus and the age of the chocolate lover.
Children with type 1 diabetes and chocolate
When I do counseling, this question is asked regularly.When it comes to a child with type 1 diabetes, then I always allow you to give them regular and only high-quality chocolate, and if on sweeteners, then only on erythritol and stevia.
It is preferable to choose bitter varieties with a content of at least 75% cocoa beans. Such chocolate is quite fatty and contains a small amount of sugar, which makes it slow to be absorbed. Insulin manages to develop its effect and sugar rises low.
If the child does not like bitterness, but prefers a sweet milk taste, then choose a quality manufacturer.Very often, hydrogenated vegetable fats are put in such a dessert, instead of natural cocoa butter. So read the labels carefully. Blood glucose levels can be higher, which requires a fine-tuning of the exposure, that is, the waiting time between the shot and the meal.
The calculation of carbohydrates and XE is non-negotiable. For more information on nutrition for children and adults with diabetics, see article “How to eat with type 1 diabetes mellitus so that there is normal sugar?”.
What kind of chocolate can adults eat on insulin
When it comes to an adult taking insulin, then there are no strong restrictions here, too, if the person does not adhere to a low-carb diet.The rules for consuming a sweet product are the same as for children.
If a person consciously decided to consume less sugar, then one should give preference to dark chocolate with 75% cocoa beans in the composition, or buy chocolate with sweeteners (more on that later). In what quantity, each is set for himself, depending on the amount of allowed carbohydrates.
Milk chocolate always contains more sugar – this must be remembered! Well, count XE, of course, and pin up adequate doses of insulin.
Is it possible to eat ordinary chocolate, taking antihyperglycemic tablets
I did not specifically single out people with and without overweight. If it is easier for a person on insulin, he calculates the dose of insulin for a specific product, then it is more difficult for a person on pills, because you cannot change the dose of pills to fit your needs.
The entire diabetic chocolate industry is tuned into this category. But sometimes ordinary chocolate is even more useful than the one created specifically for diabetics.
Let’s deal with regular chocolate first, and then I’ll talk about diabetic.
So you can or cannot eat an ordinary chocolate bar
Yes, you can, but … It is possible because despite the presence of powdered sugar in the composition, the total proportion of carbohydrates in this type of chocolate is low. As a rule, dark chocolate with 75% cocoa beans contains about 31-37 g of carbohydrates per 100 g, versus 56-59 g of carbohydrates in milk and 80-90 g in honey.
You don’t need to be a great mathematician to understand that high-quality dark chocolate is best for people with type 2 diabetes.But this does not mean that you can eat half a bar of Babaevsky. I consider the safest dose of a bitter delicacy to be no more than 15 g per day.
However, remember that we are all individuals and you need to double-check how this dose will work for you. To do this, measure your sugar on an empty stomach, then eat 15 g of dark chocolate and measure your glucose level after 30,60,90 minutes. If there is no strong increase, then you can afford it sometimes.
If the reaction of the body is not very good, then try again, but with a lower dose.If in this case there is an increase, then it is better for you to switch to chocolate with a sweetener.
As you understand, dark milk and white chocolate is not shown to you if they are not sugar substitutes.
Recommended brands of dark chocolate:
- Premium bitter “Zolotaya Marka” from “Russia – a generous soul”
- Chocolate “Bitter” from “Babaevsky”
- Line of dark chocolate from “Lindt”
- Chocolate “Inspiration” from “Babaevsky”
Recommended article on the topic of nutrition: “What foods can be eaten with diabetes mellitus (list and table)”. In it you will find a list of foods approved for use in case of illness.
Is there a diabetic chocolate and how to choose it
Let’s analyze the most difficult question – chocolate with sweeteners. If you’re on a tough, low-carb diet, or regular chocolate causes a big rise in blood sugar, or you just want to eat more than 15 grams, then here’s the information for you.
Today it has become possible to produce various dietary and diabetic products in view of the fact that it has become fashionable to follow a healthy lifestyle.
And therefore, manufacturers, playing on your tender feelings and noble aspirations, are trying to sell, to put it mildly, a product you do not need.
I must say right away that all the sweets and chocolate bars, including those that have filled the counters of the dietary department, are categorically not suitable for you. Moreover, they are not suitable for any living person at all.
I’ll try to substantiate my accusation.
First, fructose. Most sweets are made with fructose or high fructose corn syrup.Yes, they write that the product does not contain sugar, but heck, they put megatons of fructose in there. It’s not sugar, is it? Not sugar! I have repeatedly spoken about the global harm to the body from this fructose, so if you haven’t read it, study it.
And in general, when you see on the packaging “Does not contain sugar” or “Sugar free” or “With stevia”, then be prepared that there really will be no sugar in the composition, and stevia will be on the very last place in the list of product composition.
But then there will be a bunch of other sweeteners, ranging from fructose to maltodextrin, which is a synthetic supercarbohydrate stronger than sugar.
Secondly, sugar can be disguised under other names such as: dextrose, glucose, agave syrup, honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc. All this is sugar, only served with a different sauce.
Thirdly, the most popular sugar substitutes after fructose are: maltitol (maltitol), isomalt, sorbitol, xylitol. All of them are certainly natural, but they all increase the level of glucose and rather slowly, so that after 1.5 hours you won’t even see it, but you will see it after three hours, almost all of them have a calorie content like sugar.
I don’t even consider chocolate bars containing synthetic sweeteners, because I am obviously against them.
Let’s take a couple of instances.
I recommend to read an interesting article “Is it possible for patients with diabetes mellitus to eat honey and in what quantity?” . The unusual material in this article will not leave you indifferent.
Sugar-free chocolate 72% cocoa from Pobeda
We look at the label. She directly shouts “I’m a healthy chocolate! Eat me!” We see such inscriptions “Sugar free”, “0% sugar” and then the translation is large “WITHOUT SUGAR”, also the phrase “natural sweetener STEVIA”, and below, to make it even more useful, “Natural probiotic (inulin)”.
We look at the reverse side, where the composition is written: cocoa mass, maltitol, cocoa powder, prebiotic, cocoa butter, flavoring, emulsifier, natural stevia sweetener.
Did the manufacturer fulfill what he promised on the label? Sugarless? Yes! Stevia? Yes! With inulin? Yes!
Now we are looking at the nutritional composition:
- Calories per 100 g – 460 kcal
- Proteins 10 g
- Fats 36 g
- Carbohydrates 25 g
Of course, there are fewer carbohydrates here than in Babaevsky, but they there is.But people, seeing sweet promises on the label, will eat this chocolate in whole bars and think that everything is fine with them.
While their sugar will be high and the daily calorie content of food is exceeded. And a reasonable question arises: “I only eat diet chocolate, but the sugar is still high and somehow does not lose weight. Why did it happen?” Do you catch the thought?
Conclusion: This chocolate cannot be eaten uncontrollably. Here, too, carbohydrates are considered. Perhaps you can afford a little more than usual, that’s all.But he does not write you an indulgence for immeasurable absorption in any quantity.
Eco-botanica chocolate from Rot Front
Also look at the label. The very name “Eco-botanica” is already worth buying. After all, the word “eco” we associate with something environmentally friendly and natural. The phrase “No added sugar” is also visible, which means that something else was added instead. Some say something about stevia. But in all there is isomalt or maltitol as the main sweetener.
Marketers are still cunning people, they love to powder our brains. See how interestingly the reverse side of the label is designed.
Nutrient composition is written in large print, where there are only 6.8 g of carbohydrates. At first I was surprised if it was really true, but then I realized what was the trick. These numbers are for 1 serving of 15 grams (3 pads).
And in its entirety below we see other figures and there, per 100 g, as expected, 45 g of carbohydrates. And this is so much in dark chocolate!
A layman may not look at the fine print and decide that chocolate is very good, only 6.8 g of carbohydrates per 100 g.And I bought it for a second … And you?
This means that this chocolate cannot be considered dietary and diabetic. It will increase sugar and weight gain if eaten in large quantities.
Is there an ideal chocolate at all
Namely, to be tasty, low in calories and not to raise sugar levels? Yes, there is such chocolate on sale, but you will not find it in regular supermarkets. Usually this kind of overseas chocolate, where the topic of low-carbohydrate nutrition has been developed for a long time, or these are small factories or even workshops (I don’t know what to call them) that make small quantities of chocolate themselves.
Such chocolate will always cost more than its store counterparts, since most often very high-quality raw materials are used for creation. The higher the quality of the raw materials, the less production, the higher the price. If you can find a substitute for cocoa butter in store bars, then only cocoa butter itself and high-class cocoa beans are used here.
You can find sellers on the Internet, or you can make such a delicacy yourself. Now there are enough homemade dessert recipes on the net.I haven’t tried making chocolate myself yet, so I can’t advise you anything. But I am working in this direction, studying this issue and soon I will present several proven options that you can use.
That’s all for me. I hope the material was useful for you. Subscribe to receive new articles on your E-mail and click the social media buttons right under the article.
With warmth and care, endocrinologist Dilyara Ilgizovna Lebedeva
With warmth and care, endocrinologist Dilyara Ilgizovna Lebedeva
Bitter chocolate can be used for diabetes or not
By Anastasia For reading 9 min.Views 741 Published
It is believed that chocolate and diabetes are not quite compatible. But is it? Is this product suitable for diabetics? It turns out that dark chocolate is both useful and necessary for diabetes. Of course, if you use it correctly.
Positive properties of dark chocolate
It is in vain that the properties of dark chocolate are underestimated. This is one of the few desserts recommended for type 2 diabetics. Its beneficial properties are in the following qualities:
- The bioflavonoids contained in dark chocolate improve the flexibility of blood vessels, the elasticity of capillaries.As a result, veins and arteries receive more nutrients.
- Dark chocolate cleanses the walls of blood vessels, as it participates in the production of good cholesterol. At the same time, the amount of bad cholesterol is reduced.
- As a result of vascular cleansing, blood pressure is restored.
- Theobromine and anandamide improve mood, invigorate, reduce blood pressure, energize without harm to the cardiovascular system.
- Endorphin, produced by the body as a result of the consumption of cocoa product, can improve mood, as well as reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Dessert prevents the development of neuropathy.
- Flavonoids in the dessert improve the body’s perception of its own insulin, stabilize blood flow, and prevent diabetes complications.
Dark chocolate for diabetes mellitus is an excellent antioxidant, a remedy for the early appearance of wrinkles, and reduces the risk of cancer.Due to the presence of rutin and ascorutin in the composition of the patient’s vessels become more flexible and less brittle, their permeability improves.
Advantages of consuming chocolate for type 2 diabetes
Consuming chocolate desserts for diabetes brings the following benefits:
- Reduces the level of bad cholesterol;
- the vessels of the circulatory system are cleaned;
- Increases insulin perception by body tissues;
- prediabetes is eliminated;
- the risk of developing anemia, concomitant pathologies and cardiovascular diseases is reduced;
- working capacity increases, the patient’s emotional state improves.
However, despite the positive aspects of dark chocolate consumption by diabetics, there are also harmful properties.
Harm of dark chocolate in type 2 diabetes
Harmful chocolate in diabetes can also be. This means that it should be used with caution and in limited quantities.
Among the harmful properties of the dessert are:
- the ability to cause an allergic reaction;
- development of addiction;
- excess weight gain with uncontrolled use of delicacies; 90 026 90 025 body fluid loss;
- increase in glucose levels; 90 026 90 025 disruption of the digestive tract; 90 026 90 025 Probability of kidney stones from the oxalate component in cocoa.
Correctly selected chocolate for type 2 diabetes can be included in the diet. But it will not be superfluous to consult a doctor on this issue.
Which chocolate to choose for diabetes
It is important to understand that for type 2 diabetes, not all chocolate is equally useful. Most variations of this dessert contain various additives, fillers, sweeteners. These components cause hyperglycemia, which is dangerous in its consequences.
For diabetics, the best chocolate dessert is dark natural chocolate with 70% cocoa . Milk and white desserts are strictly prohibited, since they contain a large amount of sugar and fats that are dangerous for diabetics (for comparison: a bitter dessert variety has a glycemic index of 23%, and milk and white ones – 70%). It is also not recommended to use chocolate filled with nuts, dried fruits, condensed milk, cookies, waffle crumbs, and various fillings.They make the product dangerous for diabetics, increasing its calorie content and glycemic index. Only pure dark chocolate is allowed for people with type 2 diabetes. The consumption of high glycemic chocolate by a diabetic can provoke prolonged hyperglycemia or cause a hyperglycemic coma.
Natural dark chocolate in type 2 diabetes can be replaced with a special dessert – a diabetic delicacy. Its peculiarity lies in the use of not ordinary sugar, but its useful substitutes:
- maltitol; 90,026 90,025 xylitol; 90,026 90,025 mannitol;
The concentration of sweeteners in such chocolate is much lower: if the bitter dessert bar contains about 33% sugar, then the sweetener is only 9%. Some varieties of diabetic dessert contain inulin, a dietary fiber of plant origin (from chicory and Jerusalem artichoke). Inulin contains no calories, and when broken down, forms fructose. This component is useful for type 2 diabetes because it is well absorbed by the body and, most importantly, does not increase blood sugar levels.
If you don’t trust the producers, you can make your own diabetic chocolate. To do this, you will need:
- high quality cocoa – 100 g;
- coconut oil – 3 tablespoons l .;
- Sweetener to taste.
- Melt the coconut oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan.
- Sift cocoa, mix with sweetener and pour into a saucepan. Stir the ingredients to get rid of any lumps that have formed.
- Pour the mixture into a mold and put in the refrigerator to harden.
This chocolate is most useful for diabetes, since it contains natural ingredients. The taste of a self-prepared dessert is not much different from a purchased one.
Homemade chocolate paste
For chocolate paste you need to take:
- 100 ml of milk;
- 6 st. l. cocoa;
- 200 g of coconut oil;
- chocolate bar;
- Stevia or other sweetener;
- 6 st.l. flour.
- Mix dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, sweetener.
- Warm up the milk until it boils, pour the dry mixture into it and mix thoroughly so that no lumps form.
- Boil the mixture over low heat until thickened.
- Remove the mass from the stove and add the chocolate to it, stir.
- Melt cocoa butter and pour into the mass. Beat the paste with a mixer until fluffy.
This dessert should be kept in the refrigerator.The recommended daily portion is 2-3 teaspoons per day.
How much chocolate is possible with type 2 diabetes
The calorie content of diabetic chocolate is 500 kcal per 100 g of product. Therefore, its use should be strictly controlled – you cannot exceed the recommended daily dose. At the same time, doctors admit the daily consumption of this dessert in small quantities, since chocolate with diabetes can improve the general well-being of the patient.
In the absence of contraindications, diabetics are allowed to eat no more than 30 g of dark chocolate per day. However, this portion may be too large for some and not enough for others. The attending physician will help determine the exact daily portion of the treat.
To understand how much chocolate a diabetic can use, a simple test can be performed. To do this, the patient must eat 15 g of the product, and after half an hour measure the blood glucose level using a glucometer. If the indicators are satisfactory, the next day the test is repeated, slightly increasing the amount of sweetness. Otherwise, the daily portion of the dessert is halved.
Contraindications to the use of dark chocolate in type 2 diabetes mellitus
Despite the unconditional benefits of dark chocolate for diabetics, there are still contraindications in which dessert, even in scanty quantities, is prohibited.
- Increased blood sugar.
- Susceptibility to caffeine. This component causes insomnia, irritability and nervousness, and increased heart rate. Promotes increased urination, which can lead to dehydration.
- Pregnancy or the period of planning a child.
- Milk allergy. Milk and dark chocolate are often prepared on the same equipment, which means that small amounts of dairy products can also be found in a dessert suitable for diabetics. If you are allergic to dairy components, you should carefully study the composition of the product and give preference to chocolate with a special mark “Diabetic”.
- Immunity of the body to soy lecithin.
- Antihypertensive effect – persistent increase in blood pressure.
- Overweight. Every bite of dessert eaten should be made up for with a 40-minute walk in the fresh air.
If the patient has at least one contraindication from the list, he should replace chocolate with other, safer desserts.
How to choose chocolate for diabetics: tips and tricks
To choose a healthy chocolate for diabetes, it is important to learn how to carefully read the information on its packaging. Dessert will be healthy and safe if:
- The packaging is marked “Diabetic product”.
- Specified percentage of sugar – no more than 9%.
- The product contains cocoa, not its analogues.
- The content of bread units (4.5) and fiber (not more than 3%) is indicated.
- Chocolate contains no preservatives, flavors, fillers, flavor enhancers or trans fats.
- Instead of sugar, sweeteners are used in the composition. Preference should be given to stevia – it is more useful, does not provoke surges in blood glucose, is non-nutritive, and is easily absorbed by the body.
- Caloric content of the product is not more than 400-500 kcal.
- The content of cocoa in the dessert is more than 60%.
- There is information about the possible harm of the product.
- Sweeteners are organic, not synthetic.
Terms and conditions of storage of a sweet product for diabetics are no less important. An expired dessert takes on a bitter and unpleasant aftertaste. But in order to understand whether chocolate is of high quality or not, you should pay attention to:
- percentage of cocoa – in ideal chocolate it should be from 60%;
- absence of vegetable oils in the product;
- The surface of the chocolate bar: it is smooth, shiny, free of plaque and impurities;
- taste: astringency with a slight bitterness indicates a quality product, and sourness indicates a fake dessert or the end of its shelf life;
- no fillings and fillers;
- content of preservatives: not more than 5% of these components is allowed;
- tile breaking sound: dry crackling sound should be heard;
- Color: If the chocolate is not dark brown in color, the product contains colorants.
If it was not possible to find a diabetic analogue of the dessert, you can replace it with high-quality, natural dark chocolate without additives. The shelf life of such a product is no more than six months. It contains only 3 ingredients: cocoa mass, cocoa butter and powdered sugar.
Manufacturers of Diabetic Chocolate: Brand Review
Before you go in search of a diabetic treat, you should ask your doctor if chocolate is suitable for diabetes.And if the specialist’s answer is positive, it is recommended to pay attention to the following trademarks of this dessert.
|Grade||Cocoa content,%||Caloric value per 100 g of product, kcal||Sweeteners in the composition||Product characteristics|
|“Torras”||85||478||stevia, maltitol||High quality Spanish chocolate. Sugar and gluten free. Considered a natural source of energy, the composition is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.|
|“Pobeda”||72||460||inulin, maltitol, stevia||The taste practically does not differ from ordinary chocolate.Has a denser consistency.|
|“Villars”||70||500||isomalt, stevia extract||Swiss chocolate with rich taste and pleasant aftertaste.|
|Eco Botanica Light||61||500||sucralose, stevia||Contains fiber, vitamin supplements. It has a low carbohydrate content – only 10%. The aftertaste is peculiar, but you quickly get used to it.|
Other diabetic sweets with chocolate
Diabetes mellitus is not an obstacle to enjoying sweets. In special sections of supermarkets, you can find not only diabetic chocolate, but also other healthy sweets. For example, sweets for people with diabetes mellitus are coated with bitter chocolate, and they do not contain crystalline sugar. Such a delicacy can be eaten in an amount of 3 pieces during the day, washed down with unsweetened tea.
Fructose and sorbitol bars are a great alternative to forbidden sweets.They have a natural composition and are allowed for diabetics, albeit in limited quantities. Other sweets for diabetics include:
- gingerbread and biscuits;
- ice cream;
- hot chocolate.
All these sweets contain sweeteners that do not increase insulin and blood sugar. These treats can help cope with depression and bad moods. However, they are high in calories and should be consumed in small portions.
Chocolate for diabetes mellitus is beneficial if you choose a quality product with special labeling.