Being a diabetic does not mean that you are now going to miss out on the nice things of life. Those lovely chocolate candy bars filled with rich, creamy goodness can still be part of your lifestyle, but in a healthy way. Little do people know that there is diabetic chocolate that is a healthy alternative, and gives the same great taste as other chocolate.
What Makes Chocolate Bad for you?
Persons become diabetics because their blood sugar is too high and their bodies are not able to deal with it properly. Their bodies do not produce enough insulin to contain their blood sugar, or their cells do not respond properly to the insulin.
Insulin is produced in your body by that small organ, the pancreas. Chocolate generally has a high amount of sugar, and a high fat content that will only make a bad situation worse.
If you eat a large amount of chocolate, it will send your blood sugar soaring, putting you at risk of other complications such as cardiovascular problems and stroke. Chocolate is also one of those foods that have high calorie content which can cause you to put on weight.
As a diabetic, this is a further recipe for heart diseases and stroke.
Is Chocolate Good any at all?
Chocolate is not all bad, however. The secret behind this delightful power food is the cocoa content which by itself does not have a nice taste, but is rather bitter and chalky to your palate. Cocoa contains flavonoids with antioxidant effects that boost the immune system. Flavonoids are particularly efficient in maintaining a healthy heart as they help improve blood flow.
It is said that darker cocoa contents come with the greatest benefits. Studies have also pointed to the ability of chocolate to prevent decline in brain function and reduce cholesterol.
According to a recent study, dark chocolate is a healthy ingredient for type 2 diabetics. Steve Atkin, Professor of Diabetes and Endocrinology, from Hull York Medical School, says:
Chocolate with a high cocoa content should be included in the diet of individuals with Type 2 diabetes as part of a sensible, balanced approach to diet and lifestyle. This study demonstrates that it can offer a potential reduction in cardiovascular risk without detrimental risks on weight, insulin resistance or glycaemic control.
Which Chocolate Is Best for Diabetics?
As a diabetic, it is important to avoid chocolate that will send your blood-
There are different kinds of chocolate. Each type has its own composition and vary greatly in flavanol content:
- Cocoa powder and baking chocolate:
It contains between 88 to 96 of cocoa and has more flavonoids than dark chocolate.
Its level of antioxidant activity is strong.
- Dark chocolate:
Also known as “bittersweet” or “semisweet” chocolate.
It has more than 60% of cocoa solids and more flavonoids than milk chocolate.
- Milk chocolate
It is not considered as a good antioxidant source.
It contains no cocoa solids.
- White chocolate:
it is not chocolate at all,but cocoa butter.
It contains no cocoa and has zero flavanols.
White chocolate is a blend of sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, lecithin and vanilla.
Diabetic Chocolate to The Rescue
It is possible to get the idea that chocolate is bad for diabetics. But diabetic chocolate has been making the rounds in stores today not just for persons with diabetes, but everyone who wants to go with a healthier choice.
Diabetic chocolate has the same cocoa base. It is the type and amount of sweetener that makes the difference. Experts use sugar alcohols or polyols, such as maltitol and sorbitol. Maltitol for example, is significantly reduced in calories and carbohydrates but still maintains a high source of sweetness. This sweetener is derived from certain foods such as corn and wheat.
The drawback to sugar alcohol sweeteners is that you could get a laxative effect if too much is consumed. In any case, the effects will vary from one individual to the next. Diabetics do not miss out on the sweet, rich and smooth flavor of chocolate that is mixed with sugar alcohols.
How to Use Diabetic Chocolate
When it comes to chocolate, Americans prefer the taste of milk chocolate over dark. So, choosing high-quality dark chocolate is a healthy choice for diabetics. The color must be brown or dark brown with no grayish tone or white spots.
Also, dark chocolate comes with high amount of calories and fat, which can raise cholesterol. It is highly recommended to consume it in moderation in order to keep your blood sugar under control.
A smart way to do this is by eating it after a delicious lunch or dinner. Portion control is very important for diabetes management.
To satisfy your sweet tooth , try these tips:
- Have a piece of orange or strawberry before dark chocolate, and enjoy its rich and complex flavors.
- Make your dessert exquisite by dipping seasonal fruit in melted dark chocolate. Try it with apples, pears, bananas, oranges, strawberries, or pineapple. For children with diabetes, it is a treat that makes any occasion special.
So, diabetic chocolate has debunked the myth that chocolate is bad for you. Now you can go ahead and indulge as you did before your diabetes. Only make sure it is a part of a balanced diet and include regular exercise in your routine.Why not have some and tell us about it?
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