National Chocolate Day: chocolate is safe and beneficial for type 2’s

The United States celebrates International Chocolate Day on September 13. National Chocolate Day is celebrated two times a year, first on October ...

The United States celebrates International Chocolate Day on September 13. National Chocolate Day is celebrated two times a year, first on October 28 and then again on December 28. That’s plenty of days to indulge.  With Halloween right around the corner and National Chocolate Day here we want answers to some of our questions; what are the best types of chocolates for type 2’s? Can we safely consume chocolate? Are there any benefits to eating chocolate? 

Can type 2’s safely consume chocolate?

Simple sugars tend to raise blood glucose levels faster and higher than complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat and oatmeal. In order to control type 2 diabetes and keep blood sugar levels down, we must limit our intake of sugar and calories. As well as cutting down on sugar, it’s important not to consume too many calories as being overweight increases the risk of complications in type 2’s. However, enjoying a moderate amount of chocolate is perfectly safe for type 2’s when eaten in small amounts and spread out.

Chocolate tip - Decide how much you are going to eat and put the rest of the chocolate away, out of reach. This should help prevent you from having 'just one more piece' and eating more than you planned to. Chocolate can stay in the fridge or freezer for 6 months! 

Which kind of chocolate is the best for type 2’s?

Forget about diabetic chocolate or other chocolates claiming to be diet friendly. The answer is simple, dark chocolate is the winner.  The darker the better and with the least amount of ingredients possible. 

First of all, what about “diabetic chocolate”? Diabetes UK reports that, “Diabetic chocolate is chocolate that is made with 'sugar alcohols'. The idea is that these forms of sugar have less of an effect on sugar levels. Don't be tempted to eat too much though as they will affect sugar levels to some extent and they can have a laxative effect too.” 

Generally speaking, diabetic chocolate is made by replacing some or all of the sugar content with an alternative source of sweetener, such as the polyols (sugar alcohols ) maltitol and sorbitol.  Polyols can have laxative effects and therefore they should not be consumed in large quantities. The effect of polyols may vary from person to person. Additionally, diabetic chocolate is just as high in fat and calories as ordinary chocolate, it can still raise blood glucose levels and is often more expensive than regular chocolate. We therefore don’t necessarily recommend eating diabetic chocolate. 

When you’re looking for the best chocolate, eat a small, moderate portion of dark chocolate. A good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa is best). Look at the label and try to find the bars with the most simple ingredients. It has a stronger taste than milk chocolate, so you are likely to eat a bit less. If you don’t love dark chocolate, try weaning yourself onto it slowly so you get used to the taste. Eating dark chocolate every day reduces the risk of heart disease by one-third.

Ethical BONUS: when you buy your dark chocolate from a company such as Tony’s Chocolonely, whose mission is to make 100% slave free the norm in chocolate, you can feel that you are supporting an organization that is committed to eliminating the child labor and slavery in the chocolate industry. To learn more about this click here.

What are the benefits of chocolate?

Chocolate contains a number of beneficial nutrients, some of which called flavonoids are thought to guard against heart disease. Chocolates are filled with antioxidants that help the body to use insulin in ways that can control blood sugar. Therefore, chocolates reduce insulin resistance of your body. And insulin resistance is one of the key causal factors in Type 2 diabetes. Chocolates have also been associated with stress and anxiety relief. Lastly, they reduce inflammation, a common condition with type 2.

Other Chocolate Recipes for type 2’s

Chocolatey Cake - Keto Friendly! - Everyone is always on the search for the best chocolate cake recipes and no one seems to really nail it. Whether you are gluten free, dairy free, keto, diabetic, the search always goes on, doesn’t it? We felt the pressure to find the best of the best diabetic-friendly chocolate cake recipe that works for any occasion… especially the holiday season.

Chocolate Keto Brownies Recipe - You're in luck for this rich and moist batch of brownies that are also diabetic-friendly, score!! There are SO many ways to recreate diabetic-friendly brownies. Really, the possibilities are endless!

Enjoy your chocolate today and throughout this week of Halloween. Remember moderation is key and that for maximum benefit, combine your taste for dark chocolate with a healthy lifestyle.  Find out more ways to live a healthy lifestyle with type 2 by connecting to our online community Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together.