Is Dark Chocolate Keto or Not?
Dark chocolate can be keto-friendly. There are limits, however. Because on the carbohydrate content in dark chocolate, you may need to limit the amount of dark chocolate you eat on a low-carb, ketogenic diet, unless you can find a healthy balance. If you consume 1 ounce of dark chocolate a day, you would be taking up almost 40% of the number of carbs you are allowed for the day. If you want to lower the number of carbs taken up by your dark chocolate craving, there are a few things you can do.
One ounce of dark chocolate is equal to 28 grams. It’s not a large portion by any means, but it is enough for you to enjoy, whether it be on its own or blended into a recipe. The key is to eat the highest quality of dark chocolate that you can find. High-quality dark chocolate will have a higher amount of cocoa than lower-quality dark chocolate. You want to find dark chocolate that is made up of at least 70% cocoa solids or more.
If you don’t eat an excessive amount of carbs, you will be able to include a bit more dark chocolate in your ketogenic diet. Blending it in as an ingredient in a recipe will lower the amount you actually consume. If you do cut it close on your carb intake, you can still eat your dark chocolate as a treat. Just be sure to eat the dark chocolate in smaller amounts.
Dark Chocolate Nutritional Facts
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has found that a bar of dark chocolate that weighs 101 grams and is made with 70 to 85 percent cocoa solids is high in many nutrients that are required for good health.
A bar of this size will contain just over 600 calories and almost 7.9 grams of protein. It will contain just over 12 milligrams of iron and approximately 230 mg of magnesium. Zinc is also present just in much smaller amounts, approximately 3.34 mg. Its fiber content will be approximately 11 grams.
Dark chocolate does contain an ample amount of carbohydrates and fat, having just 46.4 grams of carbs and approximately 43.06 grams of fat. Quality dark chocolate will contain approximately 24.25 grams of sugar.
Even though dark chocolate contains higher than recommended amounts of fat and sugar, the fact that dark chocolate contains an abundance of minerals and antioxidants is actually a healthy bonus. If the right fat is used in the mixture, it may actually make the dark chocolate more keto-friendly.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate should be healthy for the simple fact that it is chocolate. (as long as there’s not a lot of added sugar or sweeteners) Much like the milk chocolate candy hearts that people give to their loved ones to ease their minds and prove their devotion, dark chocolate is also good for your heart.
Studies have proven that dark chocolate may be able to lower your risk of a stroke and actually prevent heart disease. Dark Chocolate contains MUFAs or monounsaturated fatty acids that help to lower cholesterol that makes its way through the bloodstream.
There are also studies that claim dark chocolate that is abundant in cacao solids will also improve brain function. Not only will a small amount of dark chocolate put you in a better mood, regular consumption of dark chocolate may also prevent memory loss and improve cognition. We all need to be able to have a brain boost occasionally. Now, there’s no excuse to not having a small serving of dark chocolate every day!
Dark chocolate also contains flavonoids that are known to minimize oxidative stress. Oxidative stress may be a factor in insulin resistance which can lead to developing Type 2 diabetes. With that being said, if it is true, then eating dark chocolate on a regular basis may help you better manage your blood glucose levels and minimize your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Who would have thought that chocolate, although it’s dark chocolate, would be one of the potential dietary options to help manage diabetes?
Another benefit of consuming dark chocolate on a regular basis is that it is good for your gut. Dark chocolate may play a role in controlling appetite, which means it may be beneficial when it comes to losing weight. Eating a small amount before you eat a meal or shortly after, will reduce your appetite and send the signal to your brain that you are no longer hungry. Eating a bit of dark chocolate as your dessert is the best way to get the full benefit from every bite.
Dark chocolate also has an abundance of antioxidants that help to control free radicals. We are exposed to massive amounts of contaminants and carcinogens in our environment on a daily basis. The antioxidants in dark chocolate are able to destroy the free radicals that damage our cells and cause devastating illnesses like cancer and autoimmune disorders. With free radicals being found in our food, environment, air, and water, eating foods rich in antioxidants is a great way to protect ourselves from cancers and other debilitating diseases.
Best Keto Brands of Dark Chocolate
There are so many companies jumping on the keto bandwagon, it’s hard to find a good brand without making your way through several mediocre ones. For those who are true keto fans, the following five brands stand out as some of the best dark chocolate keto options.
- Choc Zero – This is a favorite for those who don’t want to use sugar. Instead, this dark chocolate is sweetened with monk fruit and boasts only 2 grams of net carbs.
- Lily’s Dark Chocolate Bar – With 4 grams of net carbs, this dark chocolate is also certified by Fairtrade. It comes in a variety of flavors including coconut, sea salt, and almond.
- Endangered Species 88 percent Dark Chocolate – This bar is also certified by Fairtrade. It comes in several flavors including cayenne, hazelnut toffee, cinnamon, and tart raspberry. It has a strong, rich flavor to accompany its 11 grams of net carbs.
- Alter Eco Deep Dark Blackout – Fairtrade certified, this dark chocolate has 6 grams of net carbs and is loaded with over 85 percent cacao.
- Lindt Excellence 90 Percent Cocoa Supreme – With over 90 percent cocoa solids, it is one of the most keto-friendly of all the dark chocolates, not to mention it only has 7 grams of net carbs.
If Dark Chocolate Is Not Keto-Friendly, Are There Alternatives That Are?
For the most part, dark chocolate is keto-friendly and it does have an abundance of health benefits. That is if it contains the right amount of cacao and a limited number of carbs. In most cases, the higher the quality of the chocolate, the more keto-friendly it is. With that being said, the question should be, “Which dark chocolates are more keto-friendly than others?” The key is to look for quality and the keto options will present themselves in short order.
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