Can You Eat Chocolate with Diabetes? by Caron Golden

With all the foods you think you need to limit to manage your diabetes, you may be excited to know that chocolate—and dark chocolate—can be part of your eating plan. So long as you manage portion sizes to fit it into your eating plan, chocolate is not off limits. And dark chocolate is a better choice.

Can You Eat Chocolate with Diabetes?

The Different Types of Chocolate

Dark chocolate, often referred to as semi-sweet or bittersweet, contains 50 to 90 percent of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar. High-quality dark chocolate has at least 70 percent chocolate. It has little to no milk solids.
Milk chocolate, on the other hand, contains 10 to 50 percent of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk of some form, and sugar—much more than dark chocolate.
Then there’s white chocolate. It’s even less healthy, having no cocoa solids, just cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids, and often vanilla.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Because of that higher percentage of cocoa solids, dark chocolate contains more flavonols. Those flavanols are related to nitric oxide production, which relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow—as in helping lower blood pressure and better protection from heart disease. Flavanols also have antioxidant properties to help fight age-related cell damage. Plus, according to the American Diabetes Association dark chocolate is packed with minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper, as well as fiber.
That makes enjoying a square of 70 percent dark chocolate far different than eating white chocolate or milk chocolate, especially bars filled with caramel, crisped rice, and nuts. You’re potentially digesting more fats, sugar, and calories with a typical candy bar than a clean piece of dark chocolate.

How to Fit Chocolate in Your Diet

Want to indulge a bit? Examine dark chocolate nutrition labels and keep your portion size to one serving to avoid excessive calories from carbs and fat. Then, if you want to enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate for dessert or a snack, cut another carb or starch from the meal to ensure you don’t go over your carb limit. Yep, it may come down to a choice between potatoes or a dinner roll and humoring your sweet tooth.
If you do eat chocolate—or any other sweet or dessert—do so in moderation and as part of your eating plan to manage your blood glucose (blood sugar).

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