The Dieter’s (and Diabetic Person's) Guide to Buying Chocolate
The 'Recipe Doctor' taste-tests sugar-free chocolate.
Best-Tasting Sugar-Free Chocolates
There were definitely some brands that most of my tasters really liked and
would buy again (myself included). Here are four winners:
- Galler Belgian Royal (available at Whole Foods Markets). The taste
and texture are great! This brand fooled me into thinking it was regular
chocolate. I would definitely buy it again and again. It has that smooth,
creamy Swiss chocolate texture. Cost: About $5.99 for a 100-gram bar
- Dove Sugar Free Rich Dark Chocolates with Chocolate Creme (it also
comes in Raspberry Creme option). This has a nice, smooth texture and rich dark
chocolate taste. Cost: $3.29 for a 96-gram bag
- Yamate Chocolatier Sugar Free Milk Chocolate (available at Whole
Foods Markets). Creamy texture; rich flavor. Cost: $3.39 for an 85-gram
- Weight WatchersPecan Crowns (this does
contain some sugar). The caramel texture is good -- thick, chewy, and
satisfying. It tastes like regular, delicious turtle candy. Cost: $2.99 for an
Does Sugar-Free Chocolate Have Fewer Calories?
The good news is that there are some calorie savings with sugar-free
chocolate. The bad news is that it isn't an impressive amount. A 40-gram
serving of Dove sugar-free chocolate has 190 calories, and the same amount of
regular milk chocolate totals around 210 calories. If this represents a daily
savings of 20 calories, the weekly savings could be 140 calories, and the
monthly savings, 560.
Given these calorie totals, it's important to keep portion size in mind even
if you opt for sugar-free chocolate. Three pieces of the new Hershey's Special
Dark Sugar Free Chocolates (24 grams weight) add up to 114 calories, 9 grams
fat, 5.4 grams saturated fat, 13.8 grams carbohydrate, and 1.8 grams fiber.
While even a little calorie savings could add up for someone who enjoys some
chocolate every day, the bottom line is that these new sugar-free chocolates
probably are of most benefit to people with diabetes. These products could help
them enjoy a little bite of chocolate without worry of it raising their blood
What about Regular Chocolate?
If you don't want to go sugar-free, the trick is enjoying your chocolate
(preferably the flavanol-contributing dark chocolate) in small portions. And
you can easily find portion-controlled chocolate options, whether you choose
mini-bars, kisses, or "nuggets."
Can you really be satisfied with a half-ounce portion? Maybe so, if you
really stop and take the time to savor it. Don't just pop it in your mouth as
you run out the door. See how long you can take to enjoy that half-ounce of
One of the more nutritious and satisfying dark chocolate options out there
is Hershey's Special Dark Nuggets with Almonds. This way, you get some
nutritious almonds along with your dose of dark chocolate. If you can be
satisfied with 2 of these "nuggets," (19 grams) this would add up to
110 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat (0 trans
fat), 10 grams of carbohydrate and 1.5 grams of fiber and 1.5 grams of
Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the "Recipe Doctor" for the WebMD Weight
Loss Clinic and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her
opinions and conclusions are her own.