Choosing Healthy Chocolate

Abstaining from chocolate is surely not an easy feat. The joy of chocolate is just too hard to resist even when it is loaded with sugar that obviously takes a toll on our health. Luckily, recent studies have shown that chocolate has tons of health benefits, particularly dark chocolate because it contains higher levels of cocoa and thus contain more antioxidants that’s even higher than black tea and red wine. Still, sugar levels in milk chocolate and white chocolate is enough to give the diabetic a heart attack. Even chocolates that are marketed as sugarless or sugar-free still contain maltitol, which is almost as bad as sugar. Is it possible to consume chocolate in its pure yummy goodness without consuming the carbohydrates and alarmingly high sugar? With a little ingenuity, it’s possible!

The Nutritious Content of Chocolate

Unsweetened chocolate contains about 8 grams of carbohydrate and around 145 calories, more than half of it is fiber, which is very good for the stomach and for aiding digestion. Chocolate, particularly unsweetened chocolate, also contains lots of minerals. One ounce of unsweetened chocolate contains about a quarter of the magnesium and iron, and about half of the manganese and copper that our body needs in a day. The fat contained in chocolate, when it is made of pure cocoa butter (and not animal fat or vegetable fat), is healthy fat-either stearic acid or monounsaturated fat, both considered to be “good saturated fat.” Three table spoons, or about 36 calories of unsweetened cocoa powder, has the same amount of fiber and carbohydrates as unsweetened chocolate but has lower levels of vitamins and minerals,. However, it also has much less fat content.

Appreciating Unsweetened Chocolate

The Maya and Aztecs, the earliest civilizations known to have consumed chocolate, used to drink unsweetened chocolate spiked up with some chile and spices. It was considered a drink for the royal family and was adopted by the Spanish courts. Unsweetened chocolate also makes a wonderful ingredient for unusual but interesting dishes such as Cincinnati Chili and Mexican mole sauces. It adds a fuller and richer flavor to dishes that blends well with sauces without being too distinct, plus it adds a wonderful aroma. When it comes to desserts and sweets, it’s harder to go totally unsweetened. Unsweetened cocoa has a really bitter taste that may be too string for most people’s palate. Artificial sweeteners are available, such as maltitol and other sugar alcohols. However, maltitol is about the same as regular sugar when it comes to its blood sugar impact, so using it as a sugar substitute may be defeating the point. While we want to find a healthy alternative to sweetening chocolate, we don’t want to sacrifice depth of flavor and mouthfeel. Sugar alcohols can provide the same characteristics as regular sugar to chocolates. It counteracts the bitterness of chocolate wonderfully better than artificial sweeteners. Sugar alcohols are not all alike though. When buying sugar-free milk chocolates, use sugar alcohols that have the least impact on blood sugar such as erythritol. A healthy, but still yummy alternative is diabetic chocolate.

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About The Author, Chris Alleny
Chris Alleny writes about various subjects including food. For more information on great Diabetic chocolates visit