Dark chocolate is a popular sweet treat and everyone loves to enjoy it. Diabetes is a non-communicable disease affecting the lives of millions of people.
There is a lot of conflicting information out there about whether dark chocolate is good for diabetics or not. Some people say that it is, while others maintain that it isn’t.
So what’s the truth? Is dark chocolate good for diabetics or not? In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of eating dark chocolate for people with diabetes and try to come to a conclusion based on the latest evidence.
Before we can answer the question “is dark chocolate good for diabetics”, we need to first understand what dark chocolate is.
Dark Chocolate is a type of chocolate that is made from the cacao bean and has no milk content like milk powder or milk solids. It is known for its astringent taste and bitter flavor.
Dark chocolate also has a higher percentage of cacao than milk chocolate or white chocolate. The cacao content in dark chocolate can range from 60% to 99%. The higher the percentage of cacao, the less sweet the chocolate will taste. Know more about dark chocolates.
Most importantly for people with diabetes, dark chocolate has a lower sugar content than milk or white chocolate. This is because the sugar is masked by the astringent and bitter tastes of the chocolate.
Sugar content of Dark Chocolate
One of the main arguments against dark chocolate is that it is still high in sugar and calories. While this is true, it is important to remember that dark chocolate is not 100% sugar like milk chocolate or white chocolate.
The first thing to understand is that not all dark chocolate is created equal. Some dark chocolates are higher in sugar and calories than others.
The sugar content in dark chocolate ranges from 7% to 35%. This means that a 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with a cacao content of 70% will have about 24 grams of sugar.
On the other hand, a 100-gram bar of milk chocolate with a cacao content of 30% will have about 55 grams of sugar and a 100-gram bar of white chocolate with a cacao content of 20% will have about 85 grams of sugar.
Calories in Dark Chocolate
In addition to having a lower sugar content than milk chocolates or white chocolates, dark chocolates also have fewer calories. The calorie content in dark chocolate also varies from brand to brand.
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with a cacao content of 70% has about 559 calories on average while a 100-gram bar of milk chocolate with a cacao content of 30% has about 549 calories and a 100-gram bar of white chocolate with a cocoa content of 20% has about 628 calories.
While the difference in calorie amount may seem small, the fact that dark chocolate has less sugar makes it healthier for people with diabetes to eat as part of their diet plan.
Thus, it can be said that dark chocolate is generally lower in sugar and calories than milk or white chocolate.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that is characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood. There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is when your pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, while type 2 diabetes is when your body can’t properly use the insulin it produces.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is a result of lifestyle choices such as being overweight, eating unhealthy foods, and leading a sedentary lifestyle.
As per World Health Organisation(WHO), more than 420 million people around the world have diabetes in 2014. This number is expected to increase by more than 20% between 2015 and 2040.
While there is no cure for diabetes, there are ways to manage the condition and help keep blood sugar levels under control. One way to do this is by eating healthy foods and maintaining a healthy weight.
Science of Dark Chocolates
So what does the science say? Are there any benefits to eating dark chocolate for diabetics?
Studies have shown that dark chocolate is good for diabetics as it helps to lower blood sugar levels. This is due to the fact that dark chocolate has a low glycemic index, which means it will not cause sudden spikes in blood glucose levels like other types of chocolates.
Dark chocolate also contains flavonols, which help to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation, both of which are important for people with diabetes.
A systematic review published in 2016 looked at all the available evidence on the subject and found that dark chocolate may indeed have some benefits for people with diabetes. The review found that dark chocolate can help to lower blood pressure and improve insulin sensitivity.
Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants that can help to protect your cells from damage. These benefits are especially important for people with diabetes as they are at a higher risk of developing complications such as heart disease and stroke.
Dark Chocolates and Diabetes
So is dark chocolate good for diabetics? It certainly has a lot going for it. So let’s take a closer look at some of its benefits.
The main benefits of dark chocolates are that they can help improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels.
When you eat foods high in sugar, your body releases insulin to bring your blood sugar levels back down to normal.
Lower Blood Pressure:
In addition to improving insulin sensitivity, dark chocolate also has been shown to reduce blood pressure.
This is because dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that can help relax and dilate blood vessels in the body.
Increased antioxidant levels:
Antioxidants have been shown to help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, which can help lower your risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Eating dark chocolate has been linked to improved circulation, which can help prevent the development of blood sugar complications such as neuropathy or retinopathy in people with diabetes.
Improved Cardiovascular Health:
The anti-inflammatory properties of dark chocolate also make it great for maintaining a healthy heart and reducing your risk of heart disease.
So if you have diabetes but want to enjoy the occasional treat, dark chocolate is a good option to choose.
Of course, as with anything, moderation is key. When it comes to dark chocolate, the higher the cacao content, the better. And be sure to check the labels for sugar content and calories so you can make the healthiest choice for your needs.
Sugar-Free Dark Chocolates
If you’re looking for a healthier option, sugar-free dark chocolate is a great choice. Sugar-free dark chocolate is made with natural sweeteners such as xylitol or erythritol, which means it won’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
Sugar-free dark chocolate is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without having to worry about blood sugar levels. So if you have diabetes, be sure to stock up on some sugar-free dark chocolate today!
Dark Chocolate or Sugar-free Dark Chocolate for Diabetes?
So which is better – dark chocolate or sugar-free dark chocolate? While both are good options, there are some key differences to consider.
On one hand, dark chocolate contains natural antioxidants and flavonols that can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. This makes it a great option for people with diabetes who want to maintain their overall health.
However, sugar-free dark chocolates contain no added sugars or artificial sweeteners, making them the healthier choice for blood sugar regulation. So depending on your needs and goals, you may find that one type of chocolate works better for you than the other.
Overall, both dark chocolate and sugar-free dark chocolate have their benefits when it comes to managing diabetes. But it’s important to choose the option that is right for your body and lifestyle to get the most out of this delicious treat.
How much dark chocolate can a diabetic eat per day?
As with anything, moderation is key. When it comes to dark chocolate, the higher the cacao content, the better. And be sure to check the labels for sugar content and calories so you can make the healthiest choice for your needs.
The amount of dark chocolate that a diabetic can eat per day will depend on a number of factors, including their age, overall health, and personal preferences.
That being said, most experts recommend that diabetics limit themselves to no more than one ounce of dark chocolate per day. So if you’re looking to indulge in some dark chocolate, be sure to do so in moderation!
High-Quality Dark Chocolate is the Key
Overall, there is a lot of evidence that dark chocolate can be beneficial for people with diabetes. Not only does it help to lower blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation, but it also contains antioxidants that can protect your cells from damage.
For these reasons, many experts recommend incorporating small amounts of dark chocolate into a healthy diet for diabetics.
However, it is important to choose high-quality dark chocolate that is low in added sugars and calories to maximize its health benefits.
So if you are looking for a healthier treat or just want to indulge in the occasional sweet snack, be sure to try some sugar-free dark chocolates today!