For chocolate lovers on a low-carb diet, the question "is dark chocolate is low carb" and whether or not it’s low enough to fit into their strict diet plan, is an important one. With its natural sugars and fats, can dark chocolate bar be part of eating low carb? Or is all milk chocolate off limits when you’re limiting carbs to 20-50 grams per day?
The good news is that dark chocolate can indeed be low carb friendly...in moderation. While milk chocolate is too high in sugar due to added milk, dark chocolate has less sugar and more healthy fats from its high cocoa content.
Let's explore the carb count of dark chocolate, how to choose low carb chocolate bar, and the best ways to work dark chocolate into your low carb diet.
⬇️ Jump to:
- How Many Carbs Are In Dark Chocolate?
- How Low Can You Go with Cocoa Percentage?
- What to look for in Low Carb Friendly Dark Chocolate
- Great Options for Low Carb Chocolate Bars
- Health Benefits of Eating Dark Chocolate
- Tips for Incorporating Dark Chocolate into Low Carb
- Potential Downsides of Chocolate on Low Carb
- FAQs about Dark Chocolate and Low Carb Diets
How Many Carbs Are In Dark Chocolate?
The level of carbs in dark chocolate depends largely on the percentage of cocoa solids versus added sugars and fillers. Here is a breakdown:
- Cocoa solids: Contain very minimal net carbs naturally
- Sugar: Added cane sugar drastically increases carb count
- Milk solids: Also raise carbs and lower cocoa content
Therefore, the higher percentage of cacao in dark chocolate, the lower the net carbs. It's important to read nutrition labels closely, as carb counts can vary greatly between dark chocolate low carb bars and milk chocolate bars.
Generally, a 1 ounce serving of dark chocolate with 85% cocoa or higher will contain around 15 grams total carbs and 3-5 grams of net carbs when you subtract fiber. This makes it a smart lower carb chocolate choice for low carb diets.
How Low Can You Go with Cocoa Percentage?
Technically speaking, dark chocolate bar must have a minimum of 35% cocoa solids. However, on low carb you'll want to go as high as possible. Here are the carb differences:
- 35% cocoa: Around 18g net carbs per ounce
- 70% cocoa: Around 10g net carbs per ounce
- 85% cocoa: Around 5g net carbs per ounce
- 90-100% cocoa: Around 3g net carbs per ounce
As you can see, the very darkest chocolate options in the 90-100% cocoa range will provide the richest chocolate flavor with the lowest amount of net carbs. This makes them perfect for keeping chocolate in your diet while staying in low carb.
What to look for in Low Carb Friendly Dark Chocolate
When evaluating sugar free dark chocolate low carb bars, here are the ideal specs:
- 85% cocoa content or higher
- Less than 5g net carbs per serving
- No added sugars like cane sugar
- Sweetened only with stevia, monk fruit or erythritol
- Organic cacao beans
- Non-alkalized cocoa (for the antioxidants)
Ideally, the ingredients list should be short and contain just cocoa, extra virgin coconut oil or cocoa butter, and low carb natural sweetener. This ensures you’re getting the highest quality unsweetened chocolate without unnecessary carbs.
Great Options for Low Carb Chocolate Bars
Many companies now offer excellent dark chocolate products made specifically with low carb diets in mind. Here are some great ready-to-eat options to try:
- Lily’s Dark Chocolate Bars: Stevia-sweetened and just 1g net carb per square
- ChocZero Low Carb Bark: Monkfruit dark chocolate in assorted flavors with 1g net carb
- Eating Evolved Primal Dark Chocolate: 85% cocoa and only 3g net carbs
- Theo Super Dark Chocolate: Certified organic and fair trade chocolate at 85%
- Hu Kitchen Vegan Sugar Free: 85% dark chocolate chips and chocolate bars
- Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate: 85% cacao and sugar free
These brands offer the ideal balance of intense dark chocolate taste alongside ultra-low carb numbers. They require no sacrifices on low carb.
Health Benefits of Eating Dark Chocolate
Adding high quality dark chocolate to your low carb diet provides some nice bonuses beyond satisfying your sweet tooth. Dark chocolate is packed with beneficial antioxidants and has been shown to:
- Lower blood pressure
- Support brain function
- Boost mood
- Reduce inflammation
- Protect the cardiovascular system
Cocoa flavanols support heart health and blood flow by increasing nitric oxide production to relax blood vessels. The flavonoids act as antioxidants. Additionally, the theobromine in chocolate can reduce coughing.
When enjoyed in moderation, dark chocolate offers amazing flavor and excellent nutrition. Just watch your portions to keep the carbs, calories, and caffeine in check. A little goes a long way.
Tips for Incorporating Dark Chocolate into Low Carb
Here are some simple suggestions for working a small amount of dark chocolate into your daily low carb diet successfully:
- Carefully measure 1-2 squares at a time and track the carbs
- Pair chocolate with nuts, nut butter, berries, or cheese
- Melt a few chips into low carb mug cakes or smoothies
- Use cocoa powder to make sugar-free hot chocolate
- Add 85% baking chocolate to low carb dessert recipes
- Spread chocolate over celery sticks for an easy snack
- Mix cocoa into your morning coffee for a mocha treat
When the dark chocolate craving hits, turn to one of these tips instead of derailing your low carb diet. A little thoughtful planning goes a long way!
Indulge your cravings guilt-free with our mouthwatering low-carb chocolate dessert! Unlock the secret to our delectable recipe by visiting our page and savor every low-carb chocolatey brownies.
Potential Downsides of Chocolate on Low Carb
While dark chocolate can fit into low carb dieting, it pays to be mindful. Here are a few potential downsides:
- Portions are extremely small, making chocolate easy to overeat
- The sweet flavor may increase cravings for other sweets
- Dark chocolate low carb bar has caffeine that may cause energy crashes in sensitive people
- High oxalate content can be risky for anyone prone to kidney stones
- Allergies to chocolate are fairly common among children
As with any delicious treat food, dark chocolate works best on low carb when used judiciously by those who tolerate it well. Know yourself and adjust intake accordingly.
FAQs about Dark Chocolate and Low Carb Diets
Can you eat dark chocolate on a low-carb diet?
Yes, but in moderation. Look for a high quality dark chocolate bar that contains at least 85% cocoa solids to keep the net carbs low. Limit your portion to 1-2 small squares per day and account for the carbs in your daily tally to stay within your carb intake limits.
Which chocolate has the lowest net carbs?
The chocolate options with the lowest carbs will be the ones with the highest cocoa percentages, ideally 90-100% unsweetened baking chocolate. (1) These will contain lower amounts of added cane sugar, resulting in fewer net carbs per serving. Good low carb dark chocolate brands like Lily's, ChocZero, and Endangered Species offer chocolate bars with 90% cacao or higher.
Elevate your awareness of carb intake and make informed dietary choices effortlessly. Don't miss out on this empowering tool – click to access the net carb calculator and embark on a journey of balanced nutrition and vibrant well-being!
Can I have chocolate every day on low carb?
It's best to limit chocolate to a few times per week rather than daily on low carb. While dark chocolate fits into the diet in small amounts, overdoing it could lead to cravings or stalls in weight loss. Enjoy it as an occasional treat a few times a week rather than every single day.
Enjoy our tasty low carb zucchini pasta before diving into a low carb dark chocolate.
Is Dark Chocolate Low Carb - Key Takeaways
- While milk chocolate is too high in carbs for low carb, quality dark chocolate with 85%+ cocoa can fit into the diet in moderation.
- Focus on net carbs, not just total carbs. Look for bars with less than 5g net carbs per serving.
- Higher cocoa percentage means lower sugar content and fewer carbs.
- Pair chocolate with nuts, nut butters or low carb dairy for more nutrients and fat.
- Limit portions to a square or two max per day. Too much can lead to cravings.
- Enjoy chocolate slowly and mindfully. Make it part of your daily carb limits.
- Add cocoa powder or unsweetened chocolate to low carb recipes instead of chocolate bars. (2)
- Dark chocolate provides antioxidants and health benefits when consumed judiciously.
- With smart choices, chocolate lovers can still enjoy chocolate as an occasional treat within a low carb diet.
- Berkheiser, K. (2020, March 23). Is dark chocolate keto-friendly?. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-dark-chocolate-keto
- Brooks, A., Millard, E., Bedosky, L., Barrie, L., Migala, J., Blanton, K., Kennedy, K., Palinski-Wade, E., Cherney, K., & Garone, S. (n.d.). 8 healthy reasons to Eat Dark Chocolate. EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition-pictures/delicious-reasons-to-eat-dark-chocolate.aspx