Is diabetic chocolate good for you?
Looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Being diabetic often leaves you with limited dessert options. But did you know that chocolate can actually be good for people with diabetes? You might be raising your eyebrows right now, but it's true.
Chocolate has tons of health benefits - even for people with diabetes. But even so, you can't just eat any chocolate off the shelf. Not all chocolates are made equal, so you have to choose your chocolate wisely. For people with diabetes, diabetic chocolate is the best option.
People tend to be skeptical when they hear "diabetic chocolate". How is it even possible for chocolate to be diabetic? That's because there are certain chocolates that are actually sugar-free!
Contrary to popular belief, people with diabetes don't actually have to avoid eating desserts completely. They can still have small amounts of sweets every now and then—it's actually better for them than total deprivation. It just comes down to making smart choices and being strategic about when you eat chocolate and the types you choose.
But of course, there is always a risk when eating regular sweets that are packed with sugar. That's why diabetic chocolate was made so that people with diabetes can still enjoy desserts and satisfy their cravings safely. Want to know more about diabetic chocolate and how exactly it benefits our health? Read until the end!
What Exactly Is Diabetic Chocolate?
You may be wondering, is chocolate diabetic-friendly?
Diabetic chocolate is just another name for sugar-free chocolate. Sugar is known to cause our blood sugar levels to rise. This is obviously dangerous for people with diabetes. By taking sugar out of the mix chocolate becomes much safer for people with diabetes to consume.
How Is It Made?
Making chocolate is actually incredibly simple—you can even make your own at home. All you need is a cocoa plant and a chocolate melanger, and you'll be good to go.
All chocolate comes from cocoa beans. These beans are basically the seeds you find inside the cocoa pod. Once you remove them from the pod, you ferment the beans for weeks until they're completely dry.
When the fermentation process is complete, the cocoa beans are then roasted. Roasting the beans is what gives chocolate its rich, bitter taste. When you crush the cocoa beans, you get cocoa nibs. These are then blended with cocoa butter and cocoa powder to become chocolate.
Does Sugar-Free Chocolate Taste Good?
People who haven't tried diabetic chocolate probably assume that it tastes bland, especially without the sugar. But it's actually super tasty. If we didn't tell you, you likely wouldn't even notice it's sugar-free. You're probably wondering, "if it doesn't contain any sugar, then how does it taste so good?" The secret is using sugar substitutes.
Sugar alcohols such as xylitol, maltitol, and erythritol are common sugar substitutes in diabetic chocolate. They are sweet, but they don't affect our blood sugar levels, and they also have lower calories and carbs than regular table sugar.
The reason why sugar alcohols have negligible effects on our blood sugar is that, instead of absorbing into our bloodstream, they get absorbed into the intestinal tract making it safer for people with diabetes.
The only problem with sugar alcohols is that they tend to have a laxative effect when consumed in excessive amounts. To avoid this, other brands use artificial sweeteners such as Allulose, which is 70% sweeter than regular sugar.
Natural sweeteners derived from plants, such as yacon syrup, monk fruit, and Stevia, are also used as sugar substitutes. Yacon is becoming increasingly popular as a sugar substitute for people with diabetes.
Studies have shown that it has the potential to treat insulin resistance in people who are obese or are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 1. They also have the potential to lower blood sugar levels and assist with weight loss 2. Although more studies need to be conducted, yacon has already gained a lot of attention due to its various health benefits.
How Is It Different From Other Types of Chocolate?
Diabetic chocolate can come in either dark chocolate or milk chocolate. As long as the sugar in the chocolate is substituted for sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, or other natural sweeteners. But not all dark chocolate and milk chocolate are considered diabetic chocolate.
People with diabetes can consume regular dark chocolate and (a few pieces of) milk chocolate. But diabetic chocolate is a much safer option because it has no sugar or saturated fats and has lower net carbs.
Is Sugar-Free Chocolate Good For You?
Yes and no—it all depends on the brand of chocolate you get. Some brands advertise themselves as diabetic chocolate just because they're sugar-free. But if you look at their nutrition facts, you'll see that they have high saturated fat, carbohydrates, and calories which can be harmful to people with diabetes.
To ensure that you're getting 100% diabetic-friendly chocolate, always read the ingredients list and nutrition facts. The right diabetic chocolate brands will be very transparent with what's in their products.
If you find a brand advertising themselves as diabetic chocolate, but aren't open with what's in their products, take it as a red flag. High-quality diabetic chocolate brands are honest with the ingredients they use.
The Benefits of Sugar-Free Chocolate
Chocolate, in general, has tons of health benefits. But you are more likely to get these benefits from dark chocolate and sugar-free chocolate than regular milk or white chocolate. How come? The benefits of chocolate come from a compound called flavonoids.
Flavonoids are present in different plants, fruits, and veggies—including the cocoa plant from which chocolate is derived. Raw cocoa powder has a high flavonoid content. Since sugar-free and dark chocolate has higher cocoa powder content than milk chocolate, they also have more flavonoids in them.
These flavonoids are rich in antioxidants that are said to have the potential to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases 3, decrease blood pressure 4, improve endothelial function 5, and reduce blood clotting 6.
Some studies even show that these flavonoids can help improve insulin sensitivity 7. Although it can't reverse the effects of diabetes once you're diagnosed, it can help control blood sugar levels from spiking. And for people with high blood sugar levels but aren't diabetic yet, eating chocolate high in flavonoids may delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.
How Much Sugar-Free Chocolate Can You Eat?
Any food should be consumed in moderation, even sugar-free chocolate. Although sugar-free chocolate has a lower risk of raising your blood sugar, over-consumption can still cause your blood sugar to rise. Limit yourself to only a few squares a day.
To avoid eating too much chocolate, pair it with other nutrient-dense foods or eat it after a full meal. Try not to distract yourself while you're eating so you can really savor the chocolate and make the most out of it. Or, you can even take things a step further and use diabetic chocolate for baking!
Where Can You Find The Best Diabetic Chocolate?
With the increasing popularity of diabetic sugar-free chocolate, you'll find tons of it in almost any store or pharmacy. But not all diabetic chocolate is made with the same high-quality ingredients. Some brands may be sugar-free but have tons of saturated fat and carbohydrates in their mix. It defeats the point of diabetic chocolate.
If it's 100% diabetic-friendly chocolate you're looking for, Mid-Day Squares is the best one you'll find online.
Mid-Day Squares - The #1 Risk & Guilt-Free Diabetic Chocolate
Mid-Day Squares Diabetic Chocolate is made from high-quality chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, yacon syrup, and pink Himalayan salt. For extra nutritional value, we packed our squares with superfoods such as pumpkin seeds, maca powder, and sacha inchi protein to really help satiate your hunger and leave you feeling satisfied throughout the day.
Our chocolates come in three different flavors Fudge YAH, Almond Crunch, and Peanut Butta. Each flavor is just as great as the next. Not sure which one you should try first? Good news! We offer a variety pack so you can try all three flavors and choose your own favorite.
Mid-Day Squares are the perfect pick-me-up during a long day. It only takes one Mid-Day Square to curb your chocolate cravings. Take it after a meal as a dessert or eat it as a snack. Some people even use our bars as a pre-workout energy booster. Grab your own 12-pack today!