There are not many things that can immediately trigger your taste buds, but dark chocolate is certainly one of those eatable items that make you lick your fingers. As a matter of fact, it is one of the best choices for dessert. Dark chocolate is not only delicious, it is equally nutritious as well, but not many of us know this fact. When we talk about the composition of dark chocolate, cocoa is the most prominent ingredient in dark chocolate, and therefore, it contains antioxidants and minerals. Not only that, but dark chocolate is also a rich source of fiber as well. But, where it is a mouthwatering treat for millions of chocolate lovers, it also poses a question, is dark chocolate keto friendly as well?
The reason behind this question is very simple, chocolates are generally known for carbohydrates, and when it comes to the keto diet, carbohydrates are not appreciated in keto friendly diet plan. Therefore, people often ask this question that does dark chocolate fits in ketogenic diet plan?
If you are looking for the answer to this very question, then this article can be very helpful for you. But, before moving to the main ingredient, let us get a better idea of what is dark chocolate?
What is Dark Chocolate?
In the simplest terms, dark chocolate is a mixture or composition of cocoa, sugar, and fats. Dark chocolate is different as compared to milk chocolate as there is no presence of milk in dark chocolate whatsoever. Also, dark chocolate has a higher proportion of cocoa and a comparatively smaller quantity of sugar. Sugar is added in dark chocolate to reduce or balance the bitterness that comes with cocoa.
The composition of dark chocolate may vary because of different proportions of sugar and cocoa. The quantity of sugar and cocoa is different in different brands manufacturing dark chocolate. Cocoa is the core ingredient of dark chocolate, and it defines how “good” and “dark” the final product is.
Composition of Dark Chocolate
The next thing about the composition of dark chocolate is, what should be the minimum quantity of cocoa in the dark chocolate? Well, in general terms, chocolate, which is made up of at least 70 percent of cocoa and lesser quantities of sugar, will be considered as high-quality dark chocolate. Also, a fine quality dark chocolate is full of flavonoids, and everybody knows that flavonoids are strong antioxidants commonly found in plant foods.
It may be a source of amazement for you that the quantity of flavonoids in dark chocolate is very high as compared to a lot of other high antioxidant foods such as apples, red wine, and black tea. As the dark chocolate contains flavonoids, it is known for a lot of health benefits. For example, dark chocolate is a great source of improving your brain’s functionality, and it is very beneficial in reducing the chances of heart diseases.
Dark chocolate and carbohydrates
Candies, chocolates, and sweets are known for higher quantities of carbohydrates, and therefore a keto friendly diet plan excludes these items. However, unlike other chocolates, dark chocolate has comparatively smaller quantities of carbohydrates. Composition of dark chocolate varies in different brands, and generally, their ratio of ingredients are as follows:
1 ounce (28 grams) of dark chocolate in which the percentage of cocoa is 70-85 percent, will have:
- Carbohydrates up to 13 grams
- Fiber, 3 grams
To calculate the number of net carbohydrates, we use this formula
Net carbs = total carb content – unabsorbable carbs
So, according to this formula, the net carbs ratio in the composition mentioned above will be 10 grams because fiber is also a type of carbs that are not fully digested by our body. Our small intestine does not fully absorb these carbs, just like it absorbs other types of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates and keto diet are closely linked, and net carbs formula is used to allocate the daily intake of carbs.
Can Dark Chocolate be Added to Your Keto Diet Plan?
Well, the simplest answer to this question is yes, Dark chocolate can be keto friendly. And we can use it in a keto diet plan, but in a specific proportion as per your diet plan. Now, the keto plan varies as per needs, but in general, a standard keto plan allows you to consume or intake of carbohydrates up to 5 percent of daily calorie intake.
While keeping that ratio in mind, if you use 28 grams (1 ounce) of dark chocolate daily, it would mean that 40 percent of your daily allotment of carbohydrates contains 1 ounce of dark chocolate. So, the consumption of dark chocolate in a keto friendly diet plan will depend on the consumption of other items in the diet plan.
If you wish to add dark chocolate as a component in your keto diet plan, you will have to monitor the intake of carbohydrates by adjusting your diet plan accordingly to avoid overconsumption of carbs. Moreover, always keep in mind that the selection of high-quality dark chocolate is vital. That said, always consume that dark chocolate, which is composed of at least 70 percent of cocoa solids.
Dark chocolate, in which the percentage of cocoa is less than 70 percent, is not recommended for a keto diet plan because it has a higher percentage of carbohydrates, and you may end up exceeding your allotted limit of carbs. Therefore, if you want to add dark chocolate in your keto diet plan, 28 grams (1 ounce) of high-quality dark chocolate will do nicely, but anything above this is not recommended.
Dark chocolate, no doubt, is a treat for chocolate lovers. Not only can it satisfy your sweet tooth, but its low carbs ratio makes it good enough to be added in your keto diet plan. As long as you are monitoring your regular intake of carbs, you can enjoy your favorite “sweet.” But make sure that you are consuming high-quality dark chocolate, which has at least 70 percent cocoa in it. Besides, it also boosts up your brain and strengthens your heart.