The keto diet, it seems, is here to stay. Short for “ketogenic”, this way of eating has been adopted by millions, and many of those who are on it hail it as nothing short of life-changing. A clearer mind, more energy, rapid weight loss, better sleep, increased overall health — these are a few of the claims adherents promise.
To be fully on a strict diet, a person has to pay close attention to what they eat. Which begs a very important question: “is dark chocolate keto-friendly?”
But first, a few facts.
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is named for the state that the body achieves, namely ketosis. Ketosis happens like this: a person eats a very small amount of carbohydrates (there is a whole world of info on which carbs to eat and which you can not eat on the keto diet). This results in the brain being starved of glucose (sugars), which is its main fuel source.
The body and brain still need fuel to function, so it draws instead from the reserve of ketones. Ketones are key — they are compounds the liver creates from fat when blood insulin is low. When this is happening, it is known as ketosis.
In order to achieve a healthy state of ketosis, a person is encouraged to eat more fat and protein and fewer carbs. This will essentially re-route the body’s energy/fuel system. One great analogy is to think of the body as a hybrid car. Normally the car draws from either fuel source, depending on what is most efficient for the situation. During ketosis, the body is drawing only from the source of electricity, ie. stored fats.
Why Do People Do Keto Diet?
Some people point out the flaws in this system. It’s acceptable to eat a plate of processed bacon but potatoes, corn, and most fruits are off the table, for example. But others have re-set their health and lost weight, at least in the short term.
With any kind of diet, it is always critical to go in with an open mind and an ear toward their body’s warning signals. But we’re not here today to discuss the benefits and pitfalls of this diet. We’re here to talk about chocolate!
Let’s get back to the real question: “If you are on a keto diet, can you eat dark chocolate?”
If You Are On A Keto Diet, Can You Eat Dark Chocolate?
Luckily, gladly, the short answer is YES! Dark chocolate makes the cut.
Of course, there are a few things to remember. A diet of dark chocolate and bacon is not the route to health and well-being.
So, what’s the deal with dark chocolate and keto? How much and how often?
Dark chocolate, some say (we say), is the most perfect food on earth. So it’s no wonder that it belongs (or is at least permitted) in a keto diet. But as mentioned, if you are sticking to a strict keto diet, there are limitations to how much you can eat.
Keto diets are all about counting carb intake, which can only make up a small percentage of what is consumed in a day. So you can incorporate dark chocolate into a keto diet plan by making sure the serving size fits into your diet plan. Generally speaking, a standard keto plan allows you to consume carbohydrates up to five percent of your daily calorie intake.
Therefore, how much dark chocolate you can eat while on a keto diet will depend on how many other foods you are eating.
Here’s an example:
Say your keto diet has a strict limit of 2,000-calories/day. Your carb limit will then be 100 calories or 25 grams (1g carb=4 calories).
If you consume half an ounce of dark chocolate (that is at least 70% cocoa), it will take up 5 grams or 20% of your daily carb intake allotment. You will be left with 20 grams of carb for the day, which you may or may not choose to eat as more dark chocolate.
One of the things to focus on is that the higher concentration of cacao solids, ie. the darker the chocolate, the better. For example, a 1 oz (30 g) serving of 100% cacao dark chocolate may contain just 3 grams of net carbs, whereas a full bar at 70-85% may contain 35 grams.
How Do You Know How Many Carbs Are In The Different Types of Dark Chocolate?
Here’s a handy little chart we found. These are the net carb counts of different cocoa percent ranges of one bar of dark chocolate.
- 45-59% chocolate: 77.2g net carbs
- 60-69% chocolate: 49.9g net carbs
- 70-85% chocolate: 35.3 net carbs
As you can see, the net carbs are inversely related to the darkness of the chocolate. So to really stretch it out and enjoy, guilt-free, go for the higher percentage in dark chocolate available. The closer to the pure bitterness of cocoa you get, the less sugar it will have, and the more squares you can indulge in. If dark bitter chocolate is not your thing, keep trying! We have a feeling you’ll learn to love it.
When it comes to keeping on the keto path and still enjoying dark chocolate, it’s easy to do once you’re in the swing of things.
1. Remember to Read The Labels
This comes in handy in life, and especially with keto diets, especially if paying attention to exactly what you are eating is a new habit you are forming.
2. Look For “No Added Sugar.”
You’ll soon learn the nuances of statements like this. Keto is all about proportions and not going over your daily limits. So when it comes to dark chocolate, either you choose to eat more of the chocolates that use alternative sweeteners or natural sweeteners like agave or monk fruit to reduce the carb amount, or you reduce your serving size substantially and opt for more traditional chocolates. Either option is fine, so long as you have an accurate idea of your net carb intake for the day.
3. Think Quality
One definite bonus of keto diets is that it really helps people think about what they are eating and why. So when it comes to dark chocolate, think high quality, gourmet, delicious and healthy.
If keto diets get people to appreciate high-quality chocolate more, there’s nothing wrong with that! If you are looking for dark chocolate for your keto diet, you can order dark chocolate online!