Chocoholics rejoice!

24 Mar

Chocolate pcs


Chocolate and diabetes ?- Does chocolate have a place in a diabetic’s food plan? Do you think you need to stop eating chocolate because you have diabetes? Or start eating diabetic chocolate because you still want to enjoy it?

Well, when I first started to seriously control my diet, I thought I had to stop enjoying chocolate (real chocolate, not the diabetic variety) otherwise my blood sugar would hit the roof – I used to eat tons of chocolate before I knew that I had diabetes. I would sometimes eat chocolate till I got sick!

Now, I know – not all chocolate is chocolate! People think milk chocolate is good because there is milk in it … but … it also contains a lot of sugar. White chocolate – forget it. It’s not chocolate. There is no cocoa in it! It’s the dark chocolate you have to go for. And if you believe the various studies which purport unproven health benefits due to the substantial antioxidant content in chocolate (hinders the formation of free radicals), then this is another reason to not restrain your urge to indulge in a piece of good quality chocolate. The emphasis here is on ‘good quality‘.

While scouring the supermarket shelves for low carbohydrate products to have as snacks, I noticed the difference in carbohydrate content between chocolate with varying amounts of cocoa. A lower carbohydrate figure points to a lower sugar content, a figure which may not always be shown on the label. My local supermarket carries a range of dark chocolate from a particular manufacturer with cocoa solids content ranging from 30% to 81%. So one day, I stood there and looked at all the fine print on the back of the packets and lo and behold, the chocolate bar with 81% cocoa solids had 22.8 gr carbohydrates in 100 gr chocolate. The whole bar weighs 125 gr and is already pre-portioned into 24 squares – that works out to  0.95 gr carbohydrates per square!

Lindt (Swiss) even sells dark chocolate with over 90% cocoa. I bought a pack once but I must admit, it was really tasteless. Between 80% – 85% cocoa is about right for me. The important thing is to still look at the nutritional information at the back. Each manufacturer produces its chocolate differently. We can only hope that the nutritional calculations are more or less accurate. You have to try the different brands available in your area before settling for something. While on a trip recently in Asia, I picked up a bar of Whittaker’s chocolate (manufactured in New Zealand) with 70% cocoa. It was pretty tasteless and I felt like I was eating something synthetic. It could have been the emulsifier in the chocolate which contributed to this texture. I have come across this same sensation when eating other brands of chocolate (even 85% cocoa ones!), so it is really important to try them out.

Despite my frequent (1-2 squares max a day but not every day of the week) consumption of dark chocolate, I am pleased to see that my blood sugar readings are still under control. 🙂

So don’t hold back – enjoy a piece of high cocoa content chocolate now and then without guilt! Make hot chocolate by putting two squares in a cup of hot milk. Drizzle melted chocolate over low carb berries. If you’re going to eat so little at a time, spend your money on good quality chocolate. Consume in moderation and you’ll still have your sugars under control!

And please, stay away from that diabetic crap!

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2 Responses to “Chocoholics rejoice!”

  1. Anna March 24, 2013 at 17:02 #

    I know which chocolate you are talking about! I was also very excited to learn that the actual chocolate is high fiber/low carb, and that I could still used unsweetened cocoa powerd and eat dark chocolate. I also find the Lindt 90% bar tastes like wax. The best one I found so far is Zetti 85%. You can find it in the bigger shops and it’s not expensive. The best part is that I always preferred dark chocolate. That and coffee are the only things I didn’t have to give up!

    • franinmunich March 24, 2013 at 17:51 #

      Ha, ha, I’m still drinking coffee too! It is just so hard. When I smell that aroma, I’m gone. 🙂

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