How to Enjoy Chocolate Wisely
During Holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter (or pretty much anytime) candy is everywhere, especially chocolate.
It's enough to drive any "chocolate lover" into the candy jar. But take heart, taking care of your blood sugars doesn't mean you can never indulge in a sweet treat as long as you indulge mindfully with chocolate that is very low in sugar and does not contain sugar alcohols such as sorbitol or mannitol.
ONE CAVEAT: If chocolate is a food trigger for you, (that means no matter what you can't eat one bite without going on a full out binge), you need to be very, very careful with how you add chocolate to your food plan.
But, if chocolate is not one of your trigger foods you can enjoy a small piece of chocolate and still keep your blood sugars under control.
Tips for Enjoying Chocolate without sending blood sugars soaring
Type of Sweetener: Today there are delicious brands of blood sugar friendly chocolate that sweetened with Stevia (and a very small amount of Erythritol. If are diabetic, pre-diabetic or have insulin resistance this is your best choice. My favorite brands are Lilly’s™ and Coco Polo.
If you are watching your sugar intake, but do not have health issues, a small amount of low sugar dark chocolate (70%-80% cacao) will satisfy your sweet tooth without major health consequences.
If you are watching your sugar intake, but do not have health issues, a small amount of low sugar dark chocolate (70%-80% cacao) will satisfy your sweet tooth without major health consequences]
Amount of cacao: Higher cacao content (50% to 80%) means more health benefits and lower sugar or other sweetener. Choose brands that offer higher cacao content.
Amount: The trick to enjoying chocolate in a healthy way is to moderate the amount and to enjoy it slowly. After a meal or for a snack, a square or two of dark chocolate with a cup of tea or coffee is very satisfying. If you have children and will be around candy, make sure to keep some healthy chocolate on hand so that you have it readily as an alternative to highly sweetened chocolate.
Monitor your reactions: if you find that having even small amounts of chocolate sets you off on a binge, (take a step back and determine if chocolate is a food that you need to limit. There are many other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. [we explore options in great detail, in several of the coaching studio courses]
Ideas for enjoying chocolate:
Indulge in a few squares of high quality chocolate with a cup of tea or coffee as a snack or after a meal
Add some protein with a dab of peanut butter or almond butter on a square of chocolate for your own version of popular "peanut butter cups".
Try melting a portion of a bar for an easy fondue with strawberries.
Melt a few squares and swirl it in some yogurt
Make a trail mix of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and Lily's chocolate chips