The ketogenic diet is mainstream now and adopted by millions of people worldwide. If you’re on a keto diet and a chocolate lover and aware of carb content in chocolate, you might wonder if you can eat chocolate or at least dark chocolate on a low-carb keto diet?
Well, the most straightforward answer to this question is yes, dark chocolate can be keto-friendly. You can eat dark chocolate on a keto diet in a specific proportion as per your diet plan. When choosing dark chocolates, you must find high-quality dark chocolate that contains a minimum of 70% cocoa solids.
However, the actual answer is a bit complicated due to the composition of dark chocolate and strict carb intake limits on the keto diet. Let’s explore how you can fit dark chocolate into the ketogenic diet plan. Before moving to the main ingredient, let us get a better idea of dark chocolate.
What is Considered Dark Chocolate?
In the simplest terms, dark chocolate is a mixture or composition of cocoa solids, sugar, and cocoa butter(fats). Dark chocolate is different from 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.
Cocoa is the core ingredient of dark chocolate, and it defines how “good” and “dark” the final product. Sugar or alternative sweetener is added to dark chocolate to reduce or balance the bitterness that comes with cocoa. However, you can find unsweetened dark chocolates too.
The composition of dark chocolate may vary depending on manufacturing brands because of different proportions of sugar and cocoa solids. In general terms, dark chocolate contains 45-90% cocoa solids.
However, to be considered high-quality dark chocolate, it has to be made up of at least 70% percent of cocoa and lesser amounts of sugar. Also, fine quality dark chocolate is full of flavonoids, which are healthy antioxidants that offer many health benefits to our bodies.
White chocolates and milk chocolates are known for higher quantities of sugar and carbohydrates. When it comes to the keto diet, you’re strictly limited to consuming carbohydrates. Hence, your only chocolate option is dark chocolate on a keto diet.
Carbohydrates in Dark Chocolate
Unlike other chocolates, dark chocolate is comparatively lower in carbohydrates. However, the composition of dark chocolate varies in different brands.
In general, 1 oz (28.35 g) of dark chocolate containing 70-85% cocoa solids will have carbohydrates up to 13 grams and fiber 3 grams. So the net carbs in the composition mentioned above will be 10 grams. The same amount of 60-69% and 45-59% dark chocolate contains 12.6 grams and 15.3 grams net carbs respectively.
When calculating carbs for the keto diet, remember to remove unabsorbable carbs from the total carbs to get net carbs. In this case, fiber is a type of unabsorbable carb that is not fully digested by our bodies.
How Can you add Dark Chocolate to your Keto Diet Plan?
However, you can incorporate dark chocolate into a keto diet plan by limiting your serving size as per your diet plan. The keto plan varies as per needs, but in general, a standard keto plan allows you to consume carbohydrates up to 5 percent of your daily calorie intake.
Hence, the consumption of dark chocolate on a Keto diet plan will depend on the consumption of other items in the diet plan.
Let’s say you’re on a 2,000-calorie/day diet, so your carb limit is 100 calories or 25 grams(1g carb=4 calories) per day.
If you consume half an ounce of dark chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa, it will take up 5 grams or 20% of your daily carb intake allotment and you’re left with 20 grams of carb for the day.
In that case, you will have to monitor the intake of carbohydrates from other foods by adjusting your diet plan accordingly to avoid overconsumption of carbs. So whatever you eat for the rest of the day, it cannot exceed 20 grams of net carbs. It is a bit tight but still manageable.
Therefore, if you want to add dark chocolate to your keto diet plan, up to half an ounce (14 grams) of high-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) a day will do nicely. Anything more will take up the more allotted carb and you may end up exceeding your allotted limit of carbs.
All sugars will spike insulin and glucose levels, throwing you out of ketosis. Even though you can have a very little amount of sugar on a keto diet, it is best to leave out sugars completely on a Keto diet.
If you are adhering to a rigid keto diet, you can look for sugar-free dark chocolate for your keto diet.
When choosing sugar-free dark chocolates, make sure to find brands that use low carb sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit sweetener, or erythritol as a sweetener. Though stevia and monk fruit sweetener contain little to no calories or carbs, our recommended sweetener is erythritol because of its similar taste to sugar and very little ‘total carbs’ and zero ‘net carbs’.
Try not to buy dark chocolates that are sweetened with maltitol, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and date syrup. These sweeteners are high in carbs and not keto-friendly.
If you’re thinking of using chocolate in baking/recipe, unsweetened chocolate(100% cocoa) also known as baking chocolate is the best option that contains only 3.5 grams of net carbs per 1 oz(28.35 grams).
Best Low-Carb Dark Chocolates for Keto Diet
It might be confusing to some people when it comes to choosing dark chocolates to eat on a keto diet. So we listed some of the best dark chocolate brands that will go perfectly with your keto diet. We’ve also mentioned carb content and recommended amount to consume.
Got a sweet tooth and on a keto diet? This dark chocolate provides a strong taste that is great for curing any sweet tooth. It comes in 4 different flavors; original, hazelnut, almond, and pumpkin seed.
This dark chocolate bar is free of sugar, gluten, dairy and has only 2-gram net carbs making it the perfect choice for the keto diet.
This dark chocolate bar is made with 88% cocoa content. Even though it has added cane sugar, still it’s very low in carbs because of the high cocoa ratio.
The flavor of this dark chocolate is strong but silky smooth and not overly bitter making it a delicious treat on a keto diet.
Lindt dark chocolate is manually crafted with the finest ingredients containing a whopping 95% cocoa makes it extremely healthy. Not to mention it’s one of the best dark chocolate for the keto diet.
It tastes bitter but it’s equally rich in strong cocoa flavor. Even though it’s bitter-tasting, it’s delicious and addictive. You’ll know when you bite one.
This dark chocolate is made with 85% cocoa solids and sweetened with stevia. It is sugar-free, gluten-free, and made of Non-GMO ingredients.
Although it’s sweetened with stevia, the taste is rich and creamy and you’re less likely to taste the stevia. This delicious dark chocolate bar helps you stay on the keto diet even when you feel like you’re cheating.
This 92% cocoa dark chocolate can brighten your day. Made with the finest organic cocoa beans from around the world to provide to produce a consistent chocolate flavor.
The taste of this chocolate is really smooth but it’s slightly bitter due to the high cocoa ratio. It should be quite delicious for dark chocolate lovers who are on a keto diet.
This dark chocolate is made with 85% cocoa solids sourced from Trinitario cocoa beans with a hint of vanilla, to produce an intense and dynamic flavor.
This dark chocolate is high in added sugar making it more sweet and delightful which makes it a bit high in carb but still keto-friendly. This chocolate bar will satisfy and will leave you feeling you’ve just guiltily indulged.
Dark chocolate, no doubt, is a treat for chocolate lovers. Not only it satisfies your sweet tooth, but also its low carbs ratio makes dark chocolate good enough to be added to your keto diet plan.
As long as you monitor 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.
About the Author
Lori Bogedin is a health and wellness writer and editor of TwigsCafe.com. She is in the restaurant business since 1999. In 2016 she was named one of the "Top Women in Business" by Northeastern Pennsylvania Business Journal.