Is Dark Chocolate Good For Diabetes Control?

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Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBSGeneral Physician, 6+ Years
Published On : 21-Dec-2021Read Time : 3 minutes
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Chocolates are a universal favorite. Bitter dark chocolate with more cocoa also has a loyal fan following. If you’re one among them who wonders if dark chocolate is good for diabetes, you’ll be delighted to know a lot more. So, what makes dark chocolate good for diabetes? Does it control blood sugar? How much dark chocolate should a diabetic eat everyday? Let’s find out more!

Contents:
  • Dark Chocolate: Nutritional Profile
  • Advantages of Dark Chocolate for Diabetes
  • Ways to Consume Dark Chocolate
  • How Frequently to Consume Dark Chocolate?
  • Dark Chocolate: Risks of Overconsumption For Diabetes
  • Other Benefits of Dark Chocolate For Diabetes
  • Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • FAQs

Dark Chocolate: Nutritional Profile

The glycemic index (GI) of dark chocolate is 23, which is very low compared to milk chocolate’s GI of 42. This scientifically makes dark chocolate good for diabetes.

50 grams of dark chocolate contains the following:

Calories: 252

Total Fat: 17.1 g

Saturated Fat: 10.04 g

Trans Fat: 0.495 g

Monounsaturated Fat: 5.61 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 8 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 29.8 g

Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g

Sugars: 25.74 g

Protein1.95 g

Calcium: 12 mg

Iron: 1.38 mg

Potassium: 145 mg

Vitamin A: 0 mcg

Vitamin C: 0 mg

 

Milk chocolate is largely made of milk solids and sugar. On the other hand, dark chocolate contains 70-85% cocoa, which makes them heart-healthy. So, when eaten wisely, dark chocolate is health-friendly.

You may be surprised to know that this same bar will have over 10 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein. Apart from iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, it also has vitamins A, E, and K and B-vitamins. These nutrients make dark chocolate a rich source of antioxidants.

 

Advantages of Dark Chocolate for Diabetes

Dark chocolate has polyphenols, which are compounds with great antioxidant properties. Antioxidants combat oxidative stress and tissue damage caused by free radicals (unstable atoms). They also help cells use insulin more efficiently, thus lowering insulin resistance.

  • Loaded with antioxidants
  • Improves blood flow
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces cholesterol levels 
  • Reduces risks of heart disease
  • Protects skin from sun
  • Improves brain function.
  • Controls blood sugar

Together, polyphenols and flavonoids boost effective production and usage of insulin, regulating blood sugar levels. 

Ways to Consume Dark Chocolate

  • Diabetics can eat a small piece of dark chocolate as a post-meal dessert twice daily (post lunch & dinner).
  • Always choose a bitter variety that contains 70-85% cocoa. 
  • The carbohydrate content indicates how much sugar is present. Keep it to 15-30g for one serving. 
  • Grated dark chocolate tastes great over oatmeal, yogurt, and smoothies.

How Frequently to Consume Dark Chocolate?

  • With dark chocolate, moderation is key. A small piece (20-30 grams) of dark chocolate for diabetes is permissible. 
  • Big and small brands alike sell specially-made diabetic chocolate today. Check the food label for cocoa and sugar content. 

Dark Chocolate: Risks of Overconsumption For Diabetes

  • Excessive consumption of dark chocolate can cause a spike in blood glucose levels and weight gain.
  • Cocoa also contains caffeine, which may cause excess urination, sleeplessness, faster heartbeat, and nervousness. 
  • Do not consume compound chocolate as it contains vegetable oil like palm and soy, and not cocoa butter, making it difficult to digest for diabetics.

Other Benefits of Dark Chocolate For Diabetes

  • Dark chocolate reduces LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) and increases HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) in people with high cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Its flavonoids may help reduce blood pressure.
  • Antioxidants in dark chocolate tackle free radicals that cause aging and illness. This means dark chocolate promotes anti-aging properties.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • The low glycemic index of dark chocolate makes it safe for diabetics.
  • Dark chocolate has minerals, vitamins, flavonoids, and polyphenols: all rich sources of antioxidants. These combat aging and illness.
  • Flavonoids and polyphenols stimulate insulin production and lower insulin resistance.
  • Dark chocolate reduces cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease.
  • A small piece of dark chocolate after meals will not affect blood glucose levels in diabetics.
  • Use Phable Care App to consult India's leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate Accu-Chek instant and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Let's treat diabetes together.

Frequently Asked Questions

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