It’s no secret that chocolate is a delicious treat, but what you may not know is that it can also be keto-friendly.
It’s no secret that chocolate is a delicious treat, but what you may not know is that it can also be keto-friendly. Chocolate comes in many different varieties, and some are better for those on a ketogenic diet than others.
If you’re new to the keto diet, this article will outline what you can eat and drink on a low-carb, high-fat diet. We will also go over how to determine if chocolate is keto-friendly or not.
We will explore the best keto-friendly chocolate options available and provide tips on how to enjoy them while staying in ketosis.
Keto Diet or Ketogenic Diet
To start, we’ll define the keto diet and talk about how it differs from other low-carb diets.
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan that was originally designed to treat disorders such as epilepsy in children. It has since been shown to have many health benefits for adults, including weight loss and increased energy levels.
A ketogenic diet is one that switches your body into ketosis -- a state of burning fat for fuel rather than carbs. This is achieved by reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing healthy fat intake. So instead of running off refined sugars like glucose, your body draws its energy from fats in your bloodstream -- which are converted into molecules called “ketones.”
How to maintain Keto Diet?
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state. However, it’s not easy to get your body into this state without following a ketogenic diet plan.
When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce insulin to move the glucose into cells for energy. An elevated level of insulin puts your body into a state of storage and makes it harder for your body to utilize its fat stores as energy.
By reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing healthy fat intake on the keto diet plan, you can reverse insulin resistance and help burn stored fat off your body -- which often results in steady weight loss without feeling hungry or deprived.
The best foods to eat on a ketogenic diet vary depending on who you ask because there isn’t one single formula for keto. However, there are some staple foods that are very common among those who follow the keto diet.
Some of these include:
- Butter and cream
- Low-carb vegetables like broccoli, sprouts, bell peppers, asparagus, and leafy greens
- High-fat dairies like hard cheeses and high-fat yogurts
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy oils including coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil
- High-protein meats like lamb, and chicken
- Fish including salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel
Calorie and Carbohydrate intake in Keto Diet
One of the most appealing aspects of the keto diet is that you get to eat delicious foods while still losing weight. However, it’s important not to lose sight of the macronutrient ratios when making food choices.
On a typical ketogenic diet, 75% of daily calories come from fat, 20% come from protein, and 5% come from carbs.
A general rule of thumb for those who want to lose weight and get into ketosis is to aim for about lesser than 20 grams of net carbs per serving day. This can vary depending on the individual, though -- some people can actually go quite a bit higher in carbs and stay in ketosis.
Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the fiber and sugar alcohol content of a food item from its carbohydrate content.
How Keto Diet differs from other low-carb diets.
Keto diets are different from other low-carb diets because they emphasize consuming healthy fats. The types of foods you can eat on a keto diet will vary depending on your level of carb intake.
If you are following a standard diet, your daily carbs intake will likely be in the neighborhood of 300 grams. If you’re on the stricter end of ketogenic diets, then about 50-75 grams (or even less) is recommended in order to enter and maintain ketosis.
This is not to be confused with the Atkins Diet, which also focuses on lowering carbohydrate intake but does not have as strict restrictions as a keto diet.
The best part about many keto-friendly treats is that they taste just as good (if not better) than their high-carb counterparts.
What is Keto Chocolate?
Keto chocolates are the type of low-carb, high-fat treat that meets the nutritional requirements for people on a ketogenic diet.
They can either be dark, milk, or white chocolate bars or powders that you can mix with water to create your own low-carb hot chocolate drinks.
The ingredients in these kinds of chocolates include healthy fats like coconut oil and cocoa butter rather than sugar and milk (which contain lactose). All varieties should also be vegan-friendly.
When looking at the labels of keto-friendly options, pay attention to both carbohydrate and net carb counts per serving; these numbers will tell you how far over your carb limit you are getting when eating it.
Dark Chocolate is keto-friendly?
Keto chocolate is made with healthy fats, moderate amounts of carbohydrates, and no added sugar.
The dark chocolate bar is typically made up of at least 70% cocoa, making them a keto-friendly choice for those on the strictest level of the diet.
Dark chocolate is one of the best keto-friendly treat options because it contains healthy fats, its carbs are mainly fiber (which won’t affect your blood sugar levels), and it tastes great! But make sure to stick to 70% dark chocolate or higher.
If you look at the label on a typical 70% dark chocolate bar, you’ll see that it contains about 14 grams of total carbohydrates per serving -- which means that 14 grams come from net carbs (total carbs minus dietary fiber).
Of course, it also comes with health benefits like antioxidants and magnesium -- making it worth every bite (and sip!).
What’s the Difference Between Keto Chocolate and Regular Chocolate?
The difference between keto chocolate and regular chocolate is that most standard chocolates contain more carbohydrates than keto-friendly ones do.
If you’re a chocoholic, then the good news is that some types of chocolate can be included in your keto diet.
White chocolate isn’t technically chocolate because it doesn’t contain any cocoa solids. It does, however, contain healthy fats -- making it friendly for those following a low-carb diet like keto.
Although dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate contains more carbs than white chocolate (and less fat), it still remains an acceptable keto-friendly option.
While milk chocolate has less total sugar than semi-sweet or white chocolates, it’s not recommended as a keto-friendly choice due to its high carbohydrate content (and low fat).
What’s the Difference Between Keto Chocolate and Sugar-free Chocolate?
Sugar-free chocolate is not the same as keto chocolate. Why? Because sugar-free chocolates don't contain carbs but they do contain artificial sweeteners that could increase your cravings for sugary foods.
Sugar-free chocolates often contain the artificial sweetener maltitol or Stevia, which has been shown to cause bloating and stomach upset in some people.
On a keto diet, you want to avoid foods that might cause your body to react this way -- especially since the effectiveness of your weight loss depends on how well you maintain ketosis.
Keto chocolate, on the other hand, contains no added sugars or artificial sweeteners -- only healthy fats and moderate amounts of carbohydrates (most of which come from stevia or erythritol).
Benefits of consuming Keto-friendly Dark Chocolate
Keto chocolate is a great option when you’re looking for a sweet snack. Here are reasons why:
1) Satisfies your chocolate cravings:
Dark chocolate contains trace amounts of caffeine and theobromine, which can help suppress your appetite and satisfy your food cravings (and chocoholic urges!) even if it’s just in moderation.
2) Keto-friendly dark chocolate can reduce appetite.
Several studies have shown that eating dark chocolate in the morning leads to greater satiety throughout the day. The high-fat content of dark chocolate may be responsible for this, or it could also result from the fact that people tend to eat less when they consume food (including chocolates) with a high percentage of cocoa.
3) Keto-friendly chocolate can improve your mood.
As we already mentioned, high-quality dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and magnesium -- which can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety (and even ADHD). If you’re looking to feel happier on keto, then getting more dark chocolate into your diet might be the answer.
4) Boosts heart health.
Research has shown that eating dark chocolate (in moderation) can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Plus, it may also decrease your risk for stroke or heart attack.
The high percentage of cocoa found in most types of dark chocolate plays an important role in preventing cardiovascular disease.
5) Keto-friendly chocolate can help you sleep better.
Eating dark chocolate before bed may improve your chances of getting a good night’s rest -- thanks to its natural melatonin content. However, it’s advisable not to eat more than 40 grams or 2-3 squares of dark chocolate per day, since studies have shown that too much cocoa can interfere with sleep.
6) Keto-friendly chocolate can make you smarter!
The brain-boosting powers of cocoa are well known in the scientific community… But did you know that research has also shown that eating cocoa might enhance memory and cognitive performance?
Many keto dieters think of chocolate as a “cheat food” that they aren't allowed to eat because it's full of sugar and carbs.
While you should still limit your intake, eating a small amount of dark chocolate on a regular basis can actually help you lose weight and improve your overall health -- thanks to its high antioxidant content!
To make the most of its benefits, make sure to choose dark chocolate without additives or added sugars. And make sure the dark chocolate is free from any preservatives or emulsifiers.
Just keep in mind that moderation is key if you want to avoid upsetting your stomach... Or derailing your fat loss efforts!