Is Chocolate Allowed on Low Carb?
Yes. Low carb chocolate and dark chocolate has health benefits, and helps speed up weight loss. Just choose the best chocolate and follow the chocolate rules.
- Chocolate for weight loss research
- “The Rules” for eating low carb chocolate
- Best low carb chocolates and how to choose
- Low carb chocolate pros, cons and recipe sources
New research shows eating low carb chocolate also increases weight loss – if you play by the chocolate rules. Don’t worry, they’re deliciously easy to follow.
Low carb chocolate is filled with calcium, iron and healthy fat. Dark chocolate has half the sugar and four times the fiber of milk chocolate.
Here’s what you need to know before adding low carb chocolate to your diet.
Eating Chocolate to Lose Weight
Dr. Beatrice Golomb, associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego reveals the truth about weight loss and low carb chocolate:
It’s surprising, but eating healthy dark, low carb chocolate frequently is linked to weight loss.
Although rich in fat, chocolate has favorable metabolic effects. Fewer calories end up as fat deposited in the body, translating into weight loss.
Why Low Carb Chocolate Works
Golomb suspects it has something to do with cocoa’s epicatechins, an antioxidant that increases muscle mass and weight loss in lab tests.
Chocolate Weight Loss Studies
Why is eating chocolate associated with weight loss? Two recent studies find some very surprising answers.
The Golomb Dark Chocolate Study
Dr. Beatrice Golomb studied 975 men and women, aged 20 to 85. Half the participants ate low carb dark chocolate daily. The other half did not eat any chocolate. Both groups did the same amount of exercising.
- Even though the dark chocolate eaters logged more daily calories, they wound up with a lower body mass index (BMI) than the chocolate-avoiders.
Golomb’s chocolate weight loss study does not prove why eating low carb chocolate has this effect, but the weight loss results are a sweet surprise.
The Cocoa and Chocolate Study
In 2012 the American Chemical Society researched the health benefits of chocolate and cocoa, concluding:
- Dark chocolate helps weight loss and reduces cholesterol. Elderly chocolate eaters score higher on cognitive tests (University of Illinois, 2008).
- Dark chocolate has more cell-shielding antioxidants than the juice of “super fruits” (University of Oxford, 2009).
Eating Chocolate on a Low Carb Diet
When it comes to chocolate, darker is usually healthier. Dark chocolate is generally made with a high ratio of chocolate solids and very little added sugar.
Choosing Low Carb Chocolate
- Choose dark chocolate made from at least 70% cocoa solids
- Choose chocolate that hasn’t come in contact with any gluten-containing grains.
- Select chocolate produced organically by people working under fair conditions.
- Choose specifically labeled low carb chocolate.
- Double check the label for net carbs and hidden carbs.
The Chocolate Rules
For health benefits and weight loss, dark chocolate enjoyed in moderation on a low carb diet is possible – but there are rules.
- Set a “chocolate limit” and eat only a realistic amount – a few square inches.
- Count your carbs and your calories. Be strict, honest and accurate.
- If your cravings for sweets increase, reconsider your decision to eat chocolate.
- Eat a maximum of 10 net carbs per hour to avoid insulin spikes.
Your Best Chocolate Choices
Low carb chocolate is readily available online and in retail stores. The amount of choices is mind-boggling. These all-natural choices are the highest in nutritional value and the lowest in net carbs.
Natural Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate can be a part of your low carb diet or keto plan. Dark chocolate is low in carbs and contains powerful disease-fighting antioxidants. Use the darkest chocolate you can find with real cacao and cocoa butter.
Dark Chocolate Chips
Lily’s premium dark chocolate chips are your low carb solution for recipes. Lily’s dark chocolate chips melt and blend easily.
Stevia-sweetened, all-natural, non-GMO ingredients. Fair trade and gluten-free certified cocoa.
Organic Raw Cacao Nibs
Organic Raw Cacao Nibs are “nature’s chocolate chips,” boasting a strong, raw dark chocolate flavor. Snack on these chocolate nibs or use them in recipes.
- Plentiful source of antioxidants and magnesium
- Raw cacao is high in fiber, iron and essential minerals
Organic, kosher, non-GMO, certified gluten-free and vegan.
Organic Cacao Powder
Cacao powder offers a rich taste and bold chocolate flavor. Viva Labs Cacao Powder is made from Criollo cacao beans – the highest quality cacao without bitterness.
Viva Labs Cacao Powder is unprocessed, retaining important nutrients like magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber and protein.
Antioxidants in cacao provide cellular defense against the effects of free radicals, improving the look of skin and promoting cellular repair and rejuvenation.
Lift your mood, elevate energy and burn more fat. Add cacao to your favorite cup of Bulletproof coffee and smoothies.
Atkins Low Carb Chocolate
The Atkins company features an Endulge line. Each low carb chocolate treat has less than 4 net carbs. Grab three free full-size Atkins bars (and the quick start kit) here.
These chocolate bars do have artificial sweeteners, so track your progress. Some low carbers experience a diet stall when eating these types of low carb treats.
Russell Stover Low Carb Chocolate
Russell Stover Low Carb Chocolate has a flavored line: pecan delight, milk chocolate dotted with almonds, truffles and French.
Stover chocolates are artificially sweetened and have 0.3 net carbs per square.
Amber Lyn Low Carb Chocolate
Amber Lyn Chocolate strives to give the “perfect chocolate experience” – especially to low carbers. Their rich, low carb dark chocolate has only 2 net carbs per bar.
Hershey’s Low Carb Chocolate
Hershey’s 1 carb chocolate bars are available at popular drug stores and grocers.
This corporate giant’s 1 net carb collection of chocolate bars come in three flavors: chocolate candy, chocolate candy with soy chips and chocolate candy with almonds.
Should You Be Eating Chocolate?
Thinking of adding chocolate to your low carb diet? First, weigh the pros and cons.
- Chocolate has antioxidants and helps repair free radical damage.
- Dark chocolate is a good source of iron, magnesium, copper and manganese.
- Dark chocolate is low or very low in sugar.
- Cocoa butter is a healthy, low in polyunsaturated fat.
- Eating chocolate on a low carb cheat day speeds fat loss.
- Dark chocolate still has some sugar – a toxin.
- Chocolate often triggers sugar cravings and carb binges.
- Many chocolates have soy lecithin, an emulsifying agent.
- Some chocolates are cross-contaminated with gluten grains.
- Global chocolate is sometimes made in exploitative or unsafe working conditions.
Low Carb Chocolate Recipe Sources
If you decide to add chocolate to your diet, start with these deliciously simple low carb chocolate recipes:
- Easy Sugar Free Fudge
- Low Carb Chocolate Rum or Bourbon Balls
- Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups
- Low Carb Brownies
- Chocolate Pecan Torte
- Dark Chocolate Mousse
- Egg Free Chocolate Mousse
- Sugar Free Chocolate Chip
- Italian Cocoa Almond Pudding
- Cincinnati Chili
Low Carb Chocolate Ideas
Improving health and fat burning are excellent reasons to enjoy low carb chocolate without the guilt. Think beyond the ‘bare square.’
Experiment by using cocoa powder in unexpected ways:
- Add unsweetened cocoa powder (as a spice) to meat and stews.
- Top low carb desserts with a dash of sea salt and melted dark chocolate.
- Use unsweetened cocoa or dark low carb chocolate in coffee.
Almost Zero Carb Meal Plan
Three easy days, one aggressive technique and major fat loss.
The Almost Zero Carb Meal Plan is designed to break even the worst stall, burn large amounts of stored fat, and induce deep ketosis – in 3 days.
- The Technique
- 150 Recipes (100 under 1g net carb)
- Shopping List & Sample Menus
- Printable Meal Planner
If what you’re doing isn’t working, get your meal plan now.