Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    The Dieter’s (and Diabetic Person's) Guide to Buying Chocolate

    The 'Recipe Doctor' taste-tests sugar-free chocolate.
    By
    WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature

    How can you get your daily chocolate fix -- and eat less sugar or calories, too? That's a million-dollar question that several companies are banking on people asking. Over the past few years, the sugar-free and portion-controlled chocolate market has exploded. There are all sorts of sugar-free versions of favorite chocolate bars. And you can now buy individually wrapped chocolate bars or sticks in 60- to 100-calorie portions, along with the ever-popular kisses.

    To help you decide among all the options out there, we taste-tested a number of sugar-free chocolate products (and some portion-controlled ones, too). But first, let's talk about how having a little chocolate every day could actually be good for you.

    Recommended Related to Diabetes

    Alternative Treatments for Diabetes Nerve Pain

    Some people with diabetes and the nerve pain -- or peripheral neuropathy that comes with it -- find relief in surprisingly simple ways. Sometimes a nice, warm (but not hot) bath is enough to relieve stress and nerve pain. If you have neuropathy, by the way, you might want to have someone else test the water to make sure it's not too hot. A massage can also help. Other people turn to biofeedback, meditation, relaxation techniques, or hypnosis -- all of which have been proven to help. "These methods...

    Read the Alternative Treatments for Diabetes Nerve Pain article > >

    Can Chocolate Really Be Good For You?

    Yes, it's true -- chocolate does appear to have some health benefits. Though more research needs to be done, studies have indicated that cocoa and darker types of chocolate may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, decrease blood pressure, and relax blood vessels.

    Many of the health benefits of chocolate seem to stem from the antioxidant flavanols (a type of flavonoid), which are also found in other plant foods including tea, grapes, grapefruit, and wine. The cocoa bean happens to be extraordinarily rich in them.

    The flavanol content of chocolate depends on the flavanol content of the cacao plant used, and the way the cocoa was turned into chocolate. But here are three general rules of thumb:

    • Cocoa powder and baking chocolate contain more flavonoids than dark chocolate.
    • Dark chocolate has more flavonoids than milk chocolate.
    • White chocolate has none.

    Of course, there's a catch to all this -- you don't want to cancel out all these potential health benefits of dark chocolate and cocoa by eating too many calories or too much saturated fat. So portion control is important.

    How Do They Make Sugar-Free Chocolate That Tastes Great?

    The first thing I learned while surveying the sugar-free chocolate market was that certain drug stores and supermarkets each stock certain brands of sugar-free chocolate. So, if you're looking for a certain brand, keep going to different stores.

    I also soon discovered that the sugar replacement du jour for sugar-free chocolates is maltitol (a sugar alcohol). Almost all of the companies who make sugar-free chocolates are using it.

    1 | 2 | 3

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Article
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    jennie brand miller
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    feet
    Slideshow