What is the chocolate that a diabetic is allowed to eat?


What type of chocolate can be eaten if you have diabetes, and is the recommended diet for type 2 diabetics different from what healthy people should follow, and then how to choose the best chocolate for diabetics?

What kind of chocolate can be eaten if you have diabetes?

Diabetics are advised to eat natural chocolate that is free of any additives and contains more than 85% cocoa. The higher the cocoa content, the lower the sugar content and the more flavonoids in chocolate, substances that can help improve insulin sensitivity, according to this report published in the journal Sabir Fifir Spanish, by writers Estria Rubio and Soledad Lopez.

Is the diet recommended for type 2 diabetics different from what healthy people should follow?

The authors say the diet recommended for type 2 diabetics is not much different from what healthy people should follow.

People with type 2 diabetes should follow a healthy, varied and balanced diet that includes vegetables and fiber, while reducing sugary and fatty products or ultra-processed foods. As for chocolate, it is one of the foods that can not be eaten daily, but from time to time.

Below, Dietitian Istria Rubio of Clinical Nutrition Center explains how to choose the best chocolate for diabetics.

Chocolate and cocoa are not the same thing

Each type of chocolate contains different percentages of cocoa, in addition to some other ingredients. To choose a good brand of chocolate, two main factors must be taken into account:

  • Cocoa must be 100% natural (without chemical processing or additives).
  • If you buy a chocolate bar, make sure that the cocoa paste is close to 100% and does not contain other ingredients such as fruits, vanilla, and caramel.

100% natural cocoa

Only natural cocoa retains its antioxidant properties, since it has not undergone any chemical alkaline process (either to reduce acidity or increase solubility). Natural cocoa is characterized by a dark color, unlike the light brown color with which chocolate is known, and it is often bitter and does not melt when mixed with any liquid. And 6 grams of natural cocoa (1 dessert spoon) contains about 200 milligrams of flavanols.

The more cocoa, the better the chocolate

Before buying a chocolate bar, it is best that the cocoa percentage be close to 100%. The lower the percentage of cocoa, the lower the percentage of polyphenols, compared to the higher the percentage of sugars, as follows:

  • Chocolate with 70% cocoa: 29 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
  • Chocolate with 85% cocoa: 14 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
  • Chocolate 90% cocoa: 7 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
  • Chocolate contains almost 100% cocoa: 0 grams of sugar per 100 grams.

Chocolate is a source of fiber and polyphenols

Natural cocoa provides a high percentage of insoluble fiber (35%), which is associated with increased satiety and a lower glycemic index.

The natural bitter taste of cocoa is due to polyphenols (particularly flavonoids), which are bioactive compounds that have antioxidant properties that help protect the body from free radicals. They are also anti-inflammatory and protect against cardiovascular disease and other diseases such as diabetes.

Polyphenols stimulate the production of nitric oxide in the arteries, which helps vasodilation and has a beneficial effect on blood pressure. For people with type 2 diabetes (when the body is unable to use insulin effectively), this anti-inflammatory effect could be linked to a possible improvement in insulin sensitivity especially in overweight and obese people.

And the nutritionist stresses that the consumption of cocoa should be moderate and within the framework of a healthy diet, at the rate of an ounce of chocolate, two or three times a week, not more.

And it will not be possible to take advantage of its properties if we follow an unbalanced diet, and it is not recommended for people with high cholesterol to eat chocolate.

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