Good news. You can still have your chocolate and eat it too! Surprisingly, you don’t have to give up chocolate if you’re following a Ketogenic diet. However, it’s important that you choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa solids, or more. Milk chocolate has less cocoa and more sugar, so that should be avoided while following low carb diets, like Keto.
Dark chocolate brands with a high cocoa content (70-85%) have less sugar, and most of the calories come from fat – which is perfect for Keto!
Savoring a small square of dark chocolate can reduce cravings for more sugary, carb dense sweets. Not only that, but dark chocolate is truly a powerful superfood with many important health benefits!
So go ahead and break yourself off a piece of delicious dark chocolate.
How Many Carbs are in Dark Chocolate?
One ounce (28 grams) of unsweetened chocolate made from100 % cocoa contains only 3 grams of net carbs.
One ounce of unsweetened chocolate made from 70-80% cocoa contains 10 grams of net carbs, depending on the brand.
How Many Calories are in Dark Chocolate?
A 1-ounce piece of dark chocolate made from 70-80% cocoa provides 155 calories.
|Serving Size: 1 ounce Dark Chocolate|
|Total Fat 9 grams||13%|
|Saturated fat 5 grams||25%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0.3 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat 2.7 grams|
|Trans fat 0 grams|
|Cholesterol 2.3 milligrams||0%|
|Sodium 6.8 milligrams||0%|
|Potassium 158.5 milligrams||4%|
|Dietary fiber 2 grams||8%|
|Sugar 14 grams|
|Protein 1.4 grams||2%|
|Caffeine 12.2 milligrams|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||0%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||0%|
Rich in Antioxidants
Dark chocolate is an excellent source of many powerful antioxidants. In fact, cocoa has been called a superfood because it provides at least as much antioxidant activity as most fruits, even that of blueberries and acai berries.
The flavanols contained in dark chocolate reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and preventing hardening of the arteries.
Improves Cholesterol Levels
Dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, raise healthy HDL cholesterol levels and protect against the oxidation of unhealthy LDL cholesterol.
Studies show that people who consume dark
chocolate regularly reduce their risk of heart disease by over 50%.
The cocoa in dark chocolate has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in people who have diabetes. Dark chocolate consumed in moderation may even prevent the onset of diabetes in pre-diabetic individuals.
Helps Fight Depression
Dark chocolates can improve your mood by stimulating the production of endorphins, a chemical in the brain’s reward system associated with feelings of pleasure. Dark chocolate also contains serotonin, another chemical in the brain that acts as an anti-depressant and improves mood.
Improves Brain Function
Cocoa is also known to improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairments, like dementia. It may improve verbal fluency and several risk factors for diseases like Alzheimer’s as well.
It is believed that the stimulant substances, caffeine and theobromine, are the reasons behind the positive effect on brain function and alertness.
Just a small piece of dark chocolate provides many important nutrients and minerals, many of which provide a good percentage of your recommended daily intake (RDI).
A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate provides:
- 67% of the RDI for iron
- 89% of the RDI for copper
- 98% of the RDI for manganese
- 58% of the RDI for magnesium
- A good source of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
Benefits for Skin
Like I mentioned before, dark chocolate is a powerhouse of antioxidants. These potent nutrients have the ability to fight the effects of free radicals and detoxifies the skin. They also protect against UV damage.
Additionally, the consumption of dark chocolate regularly can improve the hydration of your skin. The caffeine in dark chocolate sloughs off dead skin cells so that new fresh skin can shine through.
Eating dark chocolate will make your complexion look more youthful and glowing because it reduces the stress hormones that can take a toll on your skin.
Eating dark chocolate made from cocoa is safe for most people.
Because cocoa contains caffeine, eating large amounts can contribute to increased urination, migraines, sleeplessness, and a rapid heartbeat.
Cocoa may trigger allergic skin reactions, constipation, and migraines in sensitive individuals. It can also cause digestive upset, including nausea, bloating, and gas.
Applying cocoa butter to the skin is also generally safe, however, it can cause a rash if you have sensitive skin.
Consuming cocoa in larger amounts while pregnant may be unsafe because of the caffeine content, which crosses the placenta. Health experts advise keeping caffeine consumption below 300 mg per day during pregnancy.
The caffeine consumed in large amounts of cocoa might also worsen the symptoms of anxiety disorders by increasing feelings of nervousness.
Excess consumption of cocoa can increase the risk
of bleeding and bruising in people with bleeding disorders like Hemophilia. For this reason, you should not consume cocoa
at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Large amounts of caffeine can also cause irregular heartbeat in some people, so people with heart conditions should consume it in strict moderation.
Depending on the sugar content, chocolate can raise blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Large amounts of caffeine can cause diarrhea and worsen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in IBS sufferers.
Fiber in Dark Chocolate
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains 11 grams of fiber.
Sugar in Dark Chocolate
There are 7 grams of sugar in a 1oz bar of 75% dark chocolate.
Is Dark Chocolate Good for Weight Loss?
Yes! Dark chocolate can help you lose weight because of its ability to stabilize blood sugar, control appetite, and fight cravings.
A small piece
of dark chocolate eaten 20 minutes before a meal triggers the hormones in the
brain related to satiety, ultimately reducing the amount of food you eat afterward.
Enjoying another small square of dark chocolate in place of dessert can help stop snacking after dinner and reduce night-time cravings.
Can Dark Chocolate Improve Longevity?
Did you know that the oldest living woman in Europe reported the key to her long life was eating dark chocolate every single day? Italian born, Giuseppina Projetto, who sadly passed away in 2018, lived to the ripe old age of 116.
But Projetto wasn’t the only Centenarian who praised the longevity benefits of dark chocolate. Masazo Nonaka who is currently the world’s oldest man, claims his secret to longevity was allowing himself to enjoy all kinds of sweets, including chocolate.
Studies show, these wise souls may have been on to something. The antioxidants in cocoa may be attributed to a longer lifespan. These antioxidants ward off the free radicals in your body, thereby decreasing oxidative damage to cells and reducing your risk of cancer and other diseases.