If you’re a foodie who loves to indulge in chocolatey treats, you may wonder if chocolate is allowed on the keto diet.
Let’s delve deeper into those chocolate rules for those doing keto.
- Milk Chocolate vs. Dark Chocolate
First, avoid milk chocolate varieties; they tend to have added refined table sugar and carbs that could kick you out of ketosis.
Instead, opt for high-quality dark chocolate with higher cocoa content (at least 70% or higher).
Darker chocolates generally contain fewer carbs and more healthy fat than milk chocolate varieties, making them ideal for those following a low-carb lifestyle. Feel free to reach for that dark chocolate bar!
In addition, try adding cacao nibs or dark cocoa powder to recipes like smoothies or desserts for an extra layer of flavor and nutrition.
2. Watch Your Portion Size
Second, watch your portion size. Too much dark chocolate could still send your carb count over the edge!
Aim for no more than 1 ounce daily and pair it with other nutrient-rich foods such as nuts or avocados to stay fuller longer.
3. Pay Attention To Added Ingredients.
Some chocolates may contain added sugars or syrups that can bump their carb count and quickly spike your blood sugar.
Always check labels before purchasing any processed food item, so you know exactly what you’re eating!
Learn About The The Ketogenic Diet
To look in more detail at whether chocolate is an accepted keto food, knowing precisely what keto is and why chocolate might not be suitable might be helpful.
The keto diet plan has exploded in popularity over the past few years, and there’s no surprise when you consider the fantastic health benefits it provides its practitioners.
This high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet forces your body into ketosis, where fat is burned for energy instead of glucose.
The result is increased energy production, weight loss for those who adhere to it, and possible brain health advantages due to reduced inflammation and improved cognitive functioning.
In addition, studies have shown that eating this way increases physical endurance and allows athletes to maintain performance while they train.
When following the ketogenic diet, keeping your net daily carbs to 20 to 50g is highly recommended to ensure maximum effectiveness and stay in a nutritional ketosis state.
This amount can vary depending on the individual, their body composition, and goals while following the keto lifestyle, but 20 to 50 grams should be used as a guideline.
Why Isn’t Milk Chocolate Keto-Friendly?
Bad news for all those with a sweet tooth! Sweet treats like milk chocolate tend to have high amounts of added sugar unless you are going for unsweetened chocolate, which is relatively uncommon.
Milk chocolate bars can contain 26 grams of net carbs each, a sizeable portion of your 20 to 50-gram-a-day allowance.
One bar a day, you’ll risk spiking your blood sugar and kicking your body out of ketosis. In addition, those following the keto lifestyle are likely to do it for health reasons, and milk chocolate is known to have excessive sugar.
Health Risks Of Excessive Sugar
Before you reach for a bag of peanut butter cups, know that most commercially-available milk chocolate is extremely high in processed sugar.
Consuming excess sugar has been linked to diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, and tooth decay.
Overeating sugar makes you more likely to develop type-2 diabetes as the body cannot process large amounts of glucose correctly, increasing insulin levels in the bloodstream.
Regularly eating foods with a high sugar content reduces insulin sensitivity, increases fat storage, and leads to weight gain, which can further strain the body’s ability to absorb sugar properly.
Heart disease is also closely tied to dietary sugar consumption, as higher quantities increase the risk of inflammation and high cholesterol levels.
Finally, tooth decay is also linked with excess sugar intake because it provides the ideal environment for bacteria growth that further erodes the enamel on your teeth.
Keto-Friendly Sugar Free Chocolate And Dark Chocolate
Two kinds of chocolate might fit into some keto diets. If you want keto-friendly chocolate, stick with healthy fats with less added sugar, resulting in a more low-carb snack.
For example, the Atkins Snack Bar contains a mere 4 grams of net carbs for one 44-gram bar, making it an excellent addition to keto diets.
Remember that sugar-free chocolate still has carbs from sugar alcohols, but those few carbohydrates are unlikely to kick your body out of ketosis.
Carbohydrates come from three different sources – starch, fiber, and sugar. Since chocolate bars are unlikely to have much starch and fiber, all the carbs typically come from sugar.
Remove loads of sugar from the equation, and you have a chocolate bar that costs much less than your carb intake.
Not only is dark chocolate on a keto diet allowed, but it is encouraged, which is excellent news if you love chocolate!
Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains many healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants while having low amounts of sugar, which your body can use as energy.
Of course, eating any sugary food or drink in moderation is still crucial to this diet, so be careful not to over-indulge.
Dark chocolate is also great for treating cravings and providing your body with an extra boost of antioxidants that help protect against damage from free radicals.
In addition, it is well-known that dark chocolate helps improve heart health and cognition, but that’s not all it does.
Eating dark chocolate improves your mood by increasing endorphins and serotonin levels in the brain, boosting mood and overall emotion.
Studies have also proven that dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and nutrients such as copper, zinc, magnesium, and iron, which can keep you healthy and protect against various illnesses.
Typically, most dark chocolate contains about 70% cocoa and way less sugar. High in healthy fats from cocoa butter or healthy oils, this sweet treat can hold about 2 to 5 grams of carbs per serving.
Health Benefits Of Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter has been touted as a great way to enrich your diet, as it is packed with essential health benefits and nutrients.
Studies show that cocoa butter can lower cholesterol levels, improve cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation, help prevent cancer cells from forming, and strengthen bones and teeth.
In addition, cocoa butter contains many vitamins and minerals that can benefit overall well-being, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-9.
Eating cocoa butter also helps maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails by providing essential proteins that boost collagen production.
All this makes cocoa butter one of the best ways to recharge your body with much-needed nutrition.
Health Benefits Of Healthy Oils
Some examples of healthy oils that you can look for in your keto-friendly chocolate include olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil.
Olive oil is a nutritional powerhouse used for centuries in the Mediterranean diet. Loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds, healthy fats, and antioxidants, olive oil contributes to delicious dishes and offers a remarkable array of health benefits.
From improving heart health and protecting against various types of cancer to preventing cognitive decline and boosting immunity, olive oil can do wonders for your overall physical and mental well-being.
Avocado oil is quickly becoming widely recognized for its abundance of benefits.
Extracting the purest form of avocado oil requires careful processes, ensuring only the most effective nutrients make their way into the final product.
Unlike other cooking oils, avocado oil contains an incredible amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants which can act as a protective shield for your skin and body.
Studies suggest that avocado oil can help improve heart health, regulate cholesterol levels, and promote healthy blood pressure.
Moreover, using it as an ingredient in your meals is a great way to include beneficial fats that help ward off inflammation and provide necessary nutrients.
Coconut oil has long been celebrated as a superfood in traditional medicine, especially in east and south Asian cultures.
Recently, modern science has caught on to coconut oil’s potential health benefits.
These benefits reach far beyond contributing just healthy fats to your diet. Some studies have even concluded that consuming coconut oil regularly can help lower cholesterol levels, aid digestion, reduce inflammation, facilitate weight loss, and much more.
What Other Keto Desserts Are There?
In addition to keto-friendly chocolate, there are other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth while adhering to a ketogenic lifestyle.
From grain-free chocolate chip cookies to delectable almond butter fudge, plenty of options will fulfill your cravings and help support your weight loss goals.
Keto cheesecakes make a great dessert alternative with their creamy texture and light flavor.
Consider whipping up a keto citrus smoothie bowl or sugar-free key lime pie for something refreshing.
With so many possibilities, you don’t need to sacrifice taste just because you’re on the keto diet!
So instead of traditional chocolate, check out some keto-friendly chocolate that’s low in carbs.
Reducing your net carbs by making smarter choices allows you to eat chocolate and satisfy your sweet tooth while still enjoying the potential health benefits of a ketogenic diet!
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.