Valentines day just recently passed and I can say that this was the first one in forever that I have not had chocolate! Chocolate has always been something that had a very big space in my life. So why is it not there anymore? Mostly because I am in the middle of a carnivore experiment and its not allowed. Does that mean I will never touch it again, I can’t answer that at this point. What I can help with is letting you know that there are Keto friendly options when it comes to chocolate. These options are also better choices for those who enjoy chocolate, but don’t want all the added sugar and junk that commercial chocolate has added to it.
Just like most things in life, when it comes to chocolate you get what you pay for. You need to be looking for high quality chocolates with minimal ingredients. If you can find local that’s even better, if you can’t then you are going to have to do some research, because let me tell you not all chocolate is created equal.
First an foremost milk chocolate is a no-no, there is so much added sugar in milk chocolate. So first thing you want to do is look for darker chocolates. They are the better choice. Now, do not run out and buy a 100% cocoa bar right off the bat! This means it has zero sugar of any kind and it will be very bitter. I have loved chocolate for years and I tap out at anything above 90% and that’s even pushing it. Most people can find around 80-85% quite palatable and it can also alleviate a craving.
Secondly, watch for adders in a chocolate. Things like nuts, spices, and caramels will drastically change the nutritional composition of the bar. Example I may not like 100% cocoa bars but I love the addition of cocoa nibs to a bar. It makes the already slightly bitter dark chocolate seem a little sweeter. Different nuts hold different carb values as well so a bar with almonds may better fit than a bar with cashews in it. I don’t care if you buy the same brand religiously, ALWAYS read the label! You never know when something may change in the ingredients.
Third….I would say almost 95% of the chocolate bars sold in stores (even health stores) are not healthy and do not meet a Ketogenic lifestyle. Even the darker chocolates all have added in sugars. So, depending on your taste buds there are a couple really good options out there. There are definitely others as well, but these are two that I have personally tried and have used for quite some time.
Chocolate brand number one is by a small company in North Carolina called Sinless Raw. You can visit their website at http://www.sinlessraw.com. Their bars are made using erythitol so are a very good option for keto. The issue with these bars is they do have a little bit of a cooling taste at the back end of the chocolate from the erythitol. I happen to like this, but it’s not for everyone. Their product is also a vegan product as well. Now if you are counting total carbs a bar has an average of 12g, but if you are following net carbs they have 1g. Those amounts are for 1/2 a bar. These chocolates are so pure in my opinion a 1/2 bar is way more than you will need to consume a craving.
Chocolate brand number two is one that I recently discovered and would highly recommend. Lily’s chocolate is a company that focuses on less sugar and sweetens their products using stevia. You can check out their products at www. lilyssweets.com. So you don’t get the cooling after effect with these bars, and they taste much sweeter due to the stevia. One of my favorite thing about Lily’s is I can find it in my local health food stores and they have chocolate chips! So I can melt it down and use it in multiple ways! They have all different degrees of chocolates most being around 55% cocoa and many flavor options. One of their original dark chocolate bars has total carbs of 22g and net carbs of 4g per 1/2 bar. Once again the chocolate is so pure that you don’t need more than a square or two to satisfy your craving.
These are just two great options that I have personally tried and would recommend. In addition to these chocolate bars I would also encourage you to purchase a high quality cocoa powder as well. These will also have a few carbs in but can be great added into many Keto friendly desserts. I’ve even made my own hot chocolate with cocoa powder, heavy cream, hot water and some keto friendly sweetener. Just read the labels and make sure your getting pure products and not a bunch of ingredients that you don’t even know what they are.
That being said if you are constantly craving chocolate there are a couple things you can do to alleviate that besides eat more chocolate. Number one is check you fat levels. Often we crave things because our body is not in a satiated state. Fat helps alleviate that and will get you through to the next meal. Secondly you may have low magnesium levels. Low magnesium can often cause you to crave chocolate. So have your doctor check your labs and see if you need to supplement.
While the majority of my cravings have long left the building it does ease my mind knowing if I ever want a chocolate fix I have options that will not derail my progress. It is all about will power and control. If you think eating the chocolate would be a trigger for you then I would avoid it like the plague. Don’t put yourself in a spot that can cause stress and triggers when you don’t need to. Take the time and educate yourself about the products that you are eating and/or want to eat. Until next time Keep Ketoing On!