The Keto diet has soared in popularity over the years. Other than losing weight, the diet can regulate blood pressure, improve acne, and even reduce the risk of cancer. However, it can be difficult sticking to keto, especially when your choice of sweet treats is limited. Regular chocolate is banned on low-carb diets, but dark chocolate is a different story.
If you’re on keto and have a sweet tooth, you may be wondering: Is dark chocolate keto, and can I eat it on a low-carb diet?
In this article, we’ll look into what dark chocolate is, and if it’s suitable for a keto diet.
Is dark chocolate keto?
The short answer is – yes! If you’re on keto or a low-carb plan, you can add dark chocolate to your diet. When you choose dark chocolate, you have to be careful with your choice. Higher quality brands with a greater percentage of cacao are keto friendly, and only in small amounts.
What is dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate is a mix of sugar, cocoa butter, and cocoa solids. Milk chocolate has a lower percentage of cocoa, around 10% – 50%. Milk chocolate comes in a lot of varieties. Liquor, vanilla flavorings, and caramel can all be added to create milk chocolate. These all add to the carb count, meaning that milk chocolate isn’t suitable for the keto diet.
Dark chocolate has no milk in it at all, and has a greater percentage of cocoa solids. Without all the extras that milk chocolate has, dark chocolate has a lower sugar and carb count.
Cocoa is vital to produce dark chocolate. It determines how rich and dark the chocolate is. Some manufacturers add sugar or sweetener to their mixture, which can offset the bitterness of cocoa. If you don’t mind the bitter taste, there are unsweetened options available as well.
Dark chocolate generally contains between 45-90% cocoa solids, but has to consist of at least 70% to be respected as high-quality chocolate. It also has to contain less sugar than other brands.
Good quality chocolate contains healthy antioxidants called flavonoids. These can have many health benefits, like lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol, and improving brain function.
As you limit your carb intake on keto, milk and white chocolate contain too much sugar and carbohydrates for a keto diet. On the other hand, if you’re craving a bit of chocolate, dark chocolate can be a great solution.
Can dark chocolate kick you out of ketosis?
Dark chocolate may be lower in carbs, but if you’re not careful, it’s easy to eat too much and get kicked out of ketosis. A normal keto diet allows you to eat carbohydrates, up to 5% of your total macronutrient intake. Working out how much chocolate you can have depends on the number of other carbohydrates you eat in a day.
For example, On a 2000 calorie diet, 5% of your intake can come from carbohydrates. This works out to 25 grams of carbs, or 100 calories from carbohydrates each day.
Chocolate is very calorie-dense, so it’s easy to overeat, even in small quantities. If you eat 50 calories of chocolate, you’re left with just 50 calories of carbohydrates for the rest of the day.
This isn’t a lot to work with, but it’s still doable if you keep it in check. Try not to eat more than half an ounce a day. You can still get your carbs from good sources, like vegetables, while having a small treat too.
Why is dark chocolate good for low-carb diets?
Dark chocolate is a popular treat with people on low-carb diets. Here are a few reasons why:
- Dark chocolate can help people on low-carb diets enjoy a sweet treat once in a while. It can curb chocolate cravings without eating a lot of sugar.
- In recipes, you can substitute dark chocolate in place of milk chocolate. It’s also used in many low-carb and keto dessert recipes.
- There are many health benefits of dark chocolate. Some need further research, but others have lots of evidence proving them. These include helping stress levels, improving memory loss, and lowering the risk of heart disease.
Dark chocolate may have many benefits, but remember to eat it in moderation. This isn’t an excuse to eat bars of the stuff!
How To Add Dark Chocolate To Your Keto Diet
If you want to eat dark chocolate on a keto diet, here are a few rules you must follow to stay within your carb count.
Stick To Higher Cocoa Percentages
Stick to chocolate with a greater amount of cocoa solids. There will be less room for sugar, which lowers the carb count. If you don’t like bitter flavors, stick to lighter bars at 70% cocoa.
Any more than this means that the chocolate will be bitter and less sweet. If you like strong flavors, you can find bars with 90% and even 99% cocoa.
Look For No Added Sugars
If you can’t stand sharp tastes, you can find dark chocolate with no added sugar. Some even use sweeteners instead. Sweeteners range from artificial ones, like aspartame and sucralose, to natural options, like monk fruit and stevia.
Depending on your diet, you might have no problem with chemical sweeteners, or you may want to go for an all-natural approach instead. Another option is eating a tiny bit of normal chocolate.
Unlike dark chocolate, you’ll have to eat a much smaller amount of these to stay in ketosis. As long as you match or keep under your daily carb intake, you should be fine.
Always Read The Label
Now that you’re on keto, you can’t walk into a store and buy the chocolate bar you fancy the most. Bars labeled dark chocolate can be filled with other things. You can buy dark chocolate with added caramel, butterscotch, and cream, which all rack up the carb count.
Always read the label. It’s easy to go over your allotted carb intake, so always check the number of carbs and sugar before you buy.
The Bottom Line
Yes, you can eat dark chocolate on keto! But there are a few rules you must follow to make sure you stay in ketosis.
Remember to stick to cocoa concentrations of 70% and above. Always read the label to check the carb count, and only eat a small amount each day. If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy chocolate and still keep to your keto diet!