diabetestalk.net

Can Diabetics Eat Dark Chocolate

Diabetes And Dark Chocolate

Diabetes And Dark Chocolate

Share: Mouthwatering dark chocolate; could it be true that there are health benefits to eating it? Should someone with diabetes avoid the sheer pleasure of dark chocolate? Are there any precautions to take? What is the real story surrounding dark chocolate and diabetes? Last but not least DiabetesCare.net has a list of 5 recipes that include dark chocolate for your utter enjoyment. The health benefits of eating chocolate: Research scientists are studying good bacteria found in the digestive tract of people that normally eat cocoa. Preliminary findings are pointing in the direction that this bacteria is helping to ferment antioxidants and fiber found in cocoa. These bacteria are thought to help create compounds that are anti-inflammatory and help with our cardiovascular health. In one study of healthy individuals, it was found that by eating a small square (8 grams) of dark chocolate (70% cocoa chocolate) every day for a months’ time an improvement in vascular function over their own baseline as well as the control group was shown. This small amount can potentially help to decrease the risk of heart disease. The research was done on pure, unsweetened cocoa powder and it is advised that even the darkest chocolate must be consumed in moderation to avoid excess calories and weight gain. At this time scientists can not recommend an ideal amount of cocoa powder to eat. (1) For people with type 2 diabetes, daily dark chocolate consumption of 20 grams per day (that was rich with polyphenols) helped increase the sensitivity to insulin. This is important for blood glucose control. Increasing insulin sensitivity may also help delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in people with pre-diabetes. (1) A review of literature in 2012 found that eating dark chocolate every day reduced blood Continue reading >>

Why Diabetics Should Eat Dark Chocolate

Why Diabetics Should Eat Dark Chocolate

Everyone loves chocolate and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s delicious and it makes you feel good. There’s not much about chocolate not to love. Unfortunately, many chocolates are also filled with sugar and additives. They make that delicious chocolate unhealthy and even dangerous for diabetics. When you go with a good dark chocolate though, it can do your body and your diabetes a world of good. Here are five great things about dark chocolate: It’s Nutrient Rich Dark chocolate is super nutritious. It’s especially hearty when it comes to antioxidants. Dark chocolate is filled with flavonoids polyphenol antioxidants and catechins. These nutrients work to beat inflammation and fight against illnesses. Dark chocolate is also filled with fiber. Fiber is used by the body to aid digestion and keep your heart healthy. Dark chocolate is also rich in minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc. Dark chocolate may have fats but they are healthy fats such as monosaturated fat and healthier natural saturated fats. Healthy fats like these keep your body running smoothly. It Can Keep Your Heart Healthy A study done in 2004 about the heart and dark chocolate found out a few interesting things. The study was done by the Journal of American College of Nutrition and discovered that dark chocolate created from cacao is rich in flavonoids. The antioxidant properties, along with the inhibition of platelet activity, and the activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase are all effects that protect your cardiovascular system and dark chocolate is responsible for them all. It really looks like eating some dark chocolate can do wonders for your heart. Which is funny considering what milk chocolate can do to it. It Can Lower Bloo Continue reading >>

Chocolate And Diabetes

Chocolate And Diabetes

Easter is a time for family, friends, new beginnings and, of course, chocolate… If you – or a child in the family – has diabetes, you might be wondering if it’s OK to eat chocolate and other sweet treats. How could eating chocolate affect your diabetes? Is ‘diabetic’ chocolate a good choice? We’re here to answer all your chocolate questions, plus there are eight top tips on how to eat chocolate in moderation and and some chocolate recipes. Can you eat chocolate if you have diabetes? When you have diabetes it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet and only include sugary, high-fat foods occasionally as a treat. That said, Easter only comes once a year, so don’t worry about the odd one or two indulgences as these will not affect your long-term blood diabetes management. It’s a myth that you can’t eat chocolate if you have diabetes, just eat it in moderation, rather than using it to satisfy hunger, and don’t eat a lot in one go as it affects your blood sugar levels. Should I buy ‘diabetic’ chocolate? In a word, no! Here’s why: Chocolate labelled ‘diabetic’contains a type of sweetener, such as fructose or sorbitol, which can affect blood sugar levels. It also tends to contain just as much fat as ordinary chocolate – and is often high in the really bad type of fats – saturated and trans fat. It usually has as many calories, if not more, than normal chocolate. It can a laxative effect and make you need the loo more often. It is also more expensive. Children and chocolate Easter is a fun time for children. There are Easter eggs to be eaten and Easter egg hunts they’ll want to be part of, so it’s important that they don’t feel that their diabetes excludes them from any of this. They’ll also want to enjoy a chocolate treat like Continue reading >>

Dark Chocolate And Diabetes: The Benefits Of This Tasty Snack

Dark Chocolate And Diabetes: The Benefits Of This Tasty Snack

Hardly a day goes by without a media source advising us to "Eat a tomato each day for better skin," "have a glass of red wine each night with dinner" — or some other dietary directive. Perhaps you've heard about the potential health benefits of dark chocolate and diabetes. But is it true? Chocolate fans, rejoice! Yes, in fact, this snack could lower your diabetes risk according to Endocrine Abstracts. Daily consumption of dark chocolate is associated with positive effects on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar — two key factors in developing diabetes. But before you jump and start incorporating chocolate into meals, make sure you know the facts. The Link Between Dark Chocolate and Diabetes The secret of how dark chocolate works against diabetes lies within the sweet snack's makeup. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which are naturally occurring compounds that have antioxidant properties (which protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules). Polyphenols in dark chocolate may improve insulin sensitivity, or how well insulin works in the body. This, in turn, may help control blood sugar, according to research published in Endocrine Abstracts. Such improved insulin sensitivity may delay, or even prevent, the onset of diabetes. A study published by the journal Appetite found that people who eat chocolate, including dark chocolate, at least once a week had a lower prevalence of diabetes and were at lower risk for diabetes four to five years later. The analysis of 908 nondiabetic people and 45 people with diabetes discovered that people who ate such chocolate less than once weekly were at twice the risk of diabetes versus those who ate it more than one day per week. But what if you already have diabetes? Well, there may be some benefits of dark chocolate cons Continue reading >>

Can Diabetics Have Chocolate?

Can Diabetics Have Chocolate?

If you’re a diabetic, you know that too much sugar is not good for you. But what about chocolates? Should someone with diabetes avoid the sheer pleasure of indulging in chocolates? Or should they have a “diabetic” chocolate? Or should they just throw caution to the winds and give in to the cravings of eating chocolate? Let us try and answer some of these questions. What Chocolate is Good For Diabetics? Chocolate is made from the fruit and seeds of the cacao tree. Chocolates come in different varieties, ranging from dark to white to milk. All the health benefits we associate with chocolate are found in dark chocolates, which have natural antioxidants – flavonoids and flavanols. If the cocoa content ((a powder made from the seeds of cacao) is high, the chocolate will be purer, darker and less sweet. Unsweetened cocoa powder has 88 to 96 percent of cocoa, dark chocolate contains 45 to 80 percent, and milk chocolate has only 5 to 7 percent of cocoa. Dark chocolates are also good for diabetics. Polyphenols (nutrients with antioxidant activity) found in cocoa help in increasing insulin sensitivity, thus improving glucose metabolism and insulin function. What About Diabetic Chocolates? This is only one word for these — “NO”. Diabetic chocolates contain sweeteners, such as fructose or sorbitol, which can increase blood sugar levels. They tend to contain just as much fat as ordinary chocolate; in fact, they are often high in bad types of fats, viz. saturated fats and trans fats. Also, they usually have as many calories, if not more, than normal chocolates. What Are The Benefits of Chocolates? According to a 2014 study by researchers from Louisiana State University, the digestive tracts of people who eat chocolate contain good bacteria. These bacteria help in creati Continue reading >>

Can Diabetics Eat Chocolate?

Can Diabetics Eat Chocolate?

If you have diabetes, you can eat anything -- although possibly not in the quantities you'd like. That includes chocolate. Some types of chocolate, such as dark chocolate, might even have health benefits, in moderation. Portion control is the key to enjoying foods like chocolate if you have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association reports. Dark chocolate is rich in polyphenols, plant substances that act as antioxidants and that might also help prevent heart disease and lower blood glucose levels. Types of Chocolate All chocolate is not created equal in terms of health benefits. When it comes to foods high in simple sugars, less is better if you have diabetes. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa and less sugar than milk chocolate, so you can eat a little more of it if you're controlling your calories or sugar intake. With dark chocolate, the higher the cocoa percentage, the better it is for you. Look for dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa, registered dietitian Mitzi Dulan recommends. White chocolate contains no cocoa and is higher in calories and saturated fat than dark or milk chocolate. Potential Benefits According to a study that appeared in the January, 2015 issue of ARYA Atherosclerosis, high-cocoa polyphenol-rich chocolate lowers blood pressure and insulin resistance in patients with diabetes and high blood pressure. Insulin resistance restricts the uptake of glucose into cells, which causes blood glucose levels to rise. People who ate white chocolate did not experience a decrease in blood pressure or insulin resistance. In a British study published in the November 2010 issue of Diabetic Medicine, diabetics who consumed chocolate high in cocoa for 16 weeks experienced a decrease in total cholesterol and an increase in high-density lipoprotein, the so-c Continue reading >>

The Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate

The Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate

Now, I know you may be thinking that sugar-laden chocolate is the last thing people with diabetes should be eating. But, while it’s true that chocolate has fat and calories, the health benefits of dark chocolate cannot be denied. Dark Chocolate Beneficial to Diabetics Surprisingly, Italian researchers discovered that health benefits of dark chocolate include significantly improved markers of insulin sensitivity, decreasing fasting insulin and glucose levels, as well as insulin and glucose responses to the glucose tolerance test. High-quality dark chocolate is sold in health-food, specialty and grocery stores. Look for bars that contain 70 percent cocoa or more. Don’t be put off by the fat content, and expect it to have some sugar. Unsweetened dark chocolate is extremely bitter and, even sweetened, it is for some an acquired taste, so shop around for a brand you like. Enjoy the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate—in Moderation Most of all, eat dark chocolate in moderation. A square or two of dark chocolate every other day or so is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth and is fine to include in a diabetic diet. To keep caloric intake steady, eat it in place of, rather than in addition to, other foods or snacks. More Dr. Whitaker Advice on Diabetes Continue reading >>

The Benefits Of Chocolate For Diabetes

The Benefits Of Chocolate For Diabetes

Ohhhhhhhhhh….Chocolate! Chocolate! How many times have you just had that sometimes nearly overwhelming urge to have some chocolate—in any form! You can have a chocolate bar, chocolate milk, chocolate cake, brownies, a chocolate ice cream sundae or a cup of hot cocoa just to list a few forms of chocolate. Oh wait—you can have dark chocolate, milk chocolate, orange, mint or raspberry-flavored chocolate or white chocolate….so much to choose from! But….should you? And if you should, just how much is enough and how much is overdoing it? Are there “healthier” forms of chocolate? Many of us sure as shootin’ hope there is! The “Dark” History of Chocolate Chocolate comes from the fruit and seeds of the cacao tree and is native to the Amazon forest. Botanically, the cacao tree is known as Theobroma cacao – this tree has three major varieties; the Forastero, the Trinitario and the Criollo. The Forastero is the most commonly used variety while the rarest and most prized for its aroma and its delicate taste is the Criollo variety. Christopher Columbus is credited with being the first European to come in contact with the cacao bean—he and his crew found—and stole, apparently—a canoe filled with various food items, including baskets of cacao beans. The cacao beans were actually used as local currency, but their chocolate quality was missed for another twenty years until Hernando Cortez brought 3 chests of cacao beans, this time stolen from the Aztecs, back to the court of the Spanish king—and the popularity of cacao and chocolate took off![1] The history of chocolate though, actually appears to be much older, going back to at least the Mayan civilization and possibly the Olmec civilization that predates the Mayan civilization. The traditional chocolate be Continue reading >>

Dark Chocolate & Diabetes

Dark Chocolate & Diabetes

Dark chocolate is different from milk chocolate. It isn't just the color or the taste. Dark chocolate is chemically different from milk chocolate, because it doesn't contain milk solids and usually doesn't have a high percentage of sugar. Because of the low sugar content, dark chocolate doesn't spike blood sugar the way other sweets and candies do, making it an acceptable as an occasional sweet for the diabetic. Video of the Day Diabetes is a chronic disease that is marked by high levels of sugar in the bloodstream, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, is used to usher glucose from the bloodstream into the cells to be burned for energy. When you have diabetes your body produces too little insulin or none at all or doesn't use it correctly. This increases the amount of sugar or glucose in the bloodstream, which can lead to hypertension, stroke, heart attack, loss of eyesight, kidney damage and peripheral vascular disease. The good news for chocolate fans is that dark chocolate has been linked to improved insulin sensitivity and reduced resistance. A study published in 2005 in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that dark chocolate improved insulin sensitivity in healthy study participants. The authors recommended larger studies to confirm this finding. The improvement in insulin sensitivity may help prevent the onset of diabetes, but you must also eat dark chocolate that has not undergone processing that removes the flavanoids or overeat dark chocolate, which can increase your caloric intake and lead to weight gain. Scientists presented a review of 21 studies at the conference of the American Heart Association in 2011. They linked improved health of blood vessels and levels of good cho Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Chocolate

Diabetes And Chocolate

Tweet A diabetic eating chocolate may raise eyebrows amongst some people but within reason, chocolate needn’t be completely cut out of your diet. In most cases, chocolate will cause blood sugar levels to rise and in light of this it’s best to limit chocolate consumption to small amounts and to avoid eating when blood sugars are already higher than the recommended blood glucose levels. Is eating chocolate good or bad for you? Chocolate contains a number of beneficial nutrients, some of which called flavonoids are thought to guard against heart disease. However, it should be noted that larger quantities of chocolate can be disadvantageous to health in other ways. If a larger amount of chocolate is consumed, it will raise blood sugars which increases the risk of complications, of which cardiovascular problems is one. Secondly, the calorific content of chocolate is relatively high and therefore overconsumption of chocolate could lead to weight gain which also raises the risk of heart problems. How much chocolate should I eat? For most people with diabetes, chocolate is best restricted to a few squares to prevent too much of an increase in sugar levels. For people with diabetes without weight problems, chocolate can be appropriate to have before exercising. For more strenuous activity, however, even shorter acting carbohydrate may be required. Which chocolate is best for me? Chocolate with higher amounts of cocoa solids are best, as the sugar and fat content will often be lower as a result. For high cocoa solids content, dark chocolate is usually a good pick. Is diabetic chocolate better for my sugar levels? Generally speaking, diabetic chocolate is made by replacing some or all of the sugar content with an alternative source of sweetener, such as the polyols (sugar alco Continue reading >>

Use Of Dark Chocolate For Diabetic Patients: A Review Of The Literature And Current Evidence

Use Of Dark Chocolate For Diabetic Patients: A Review Of The Literature And Current Evidence

Go to: 2. Positive effects 2.1. Dark chocolate and pre-clinical studies Flavanoids in the cocoa plant may ameliorate insulin resistance by improving endothelial function, altering glucose metabolism, and reducing oxidative stress [2–5]. Oxidative stress has been proposed as the main culprit for insulin resistance [10]. This hypothesis is supported by the observation that many anti-diabetic drugs demonstrate antioxidant effects. This effect may be direct – as in the case of calcium channel blockers (CCBs), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and statins – or indirect – as in glinides and acarbose, which prevent oxidative stress caused by postprandial hyperglycemia [10]. If this hypothesis is proved correct, the demonstrated antioxidant activity of dark chocolate could theoretically also protect against insulin resistance [11]. However, there is presently stronger evidence for an insulin-sensitizing effect mediated by altered glucose metabolism and changes in endothelial function [11]. Many polyphenols, including epicatechin and catechin, have been found to alter glucose metabolism in in vitro laboratory studies [12]. Similarly to acarbose, the epicatechin and catechin in dark chocolate inhibit alpha-glucosidase activity [13]. These compounds have also been shown to inhibit absorption of glucose from the intestine [13]. In in vivo studies, diabetic rat models confirmed the insulin-sensitizing effect of dark chocolate. In two such studies, epicatechin increased insulin secretion and regenerated pancreatic β-cells [13–15]. Similarly, supplementation of diabetic rats with cocoa extract for four weeks was dose-dependently associated with reduced serum glucose, post-prandial hyperglycemia, atherogenic lipid levels, insulin resistance, and 8-isoprostane, Continue reading >>

The Best Ways To Enjoy Dark Chocolate When You Have Diabetes

The Best Ways To Enjoy Dark Chocolate When You Have Diabetes

One of the most widely believed myths about living with type 2 diabetes is that all sweets are off-limits, and upon receiving a diabetes diagnosis, you may feel forced to say goodbye to all the after-dinner treats and 3 p.m. pick-me-ups you once loved. Fortunately, it’s actually true that some sweets are safe for people with diabetes — and in the case of dark chocolate, a moderate amount may even lead to some significant health benefits, including lower blood sugar. Among the possible perks of noshing on a square of the dark stuff are improved brain function, blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart health, according to the American Diabetes Association. Those benefits may seem like enough reason to race for the candy aisle, but not so fast. As with eating any food when you're managing diabetes, details are key. Follow this guide to enjoy dark chocolate safely without throwing your blood sugar out of whack. Why Dark Chocolate and Diabetes Make a Sweet Combination A plain square of high-cocoa dark chocolate is packed with good-for-you components that put that designer cupcake or gourmet chocolate-chip cookie to shame. “The antioxidants in chocolate help the body use its insulin more efficiently to help control blood sugar,” says Anna Simos, CDE, the diabetes education and prevention program manager at Stanford Health Care in Palo Alto, California. “This in turn helps lower blood sugar levels naturally and actually helps your body use your insulin. As a result, it helps decrease insulin resistance, which we see in type 2 diabetes.” According to an animal study published in the November 2017 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, it’s the compounds found in cocoa called cocoa flavanols that appear to enhance certain cells’ ability to secrete insuli Continue reading >>

Good News For Chocolate Fans

Good News For Chocolate Fans

"It seems like anything that tastes good isn’t good for you." This was a lament I heard more times than I can remember from patients who were bemoaning what they thought was the loss of their favorite foods. While this isn’t 100% true, it can certainly seem that way, especially for people who are newly diagnosed with diabetes or who find out they have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, for example. However, there’s good news for chocolate lovers: Chocolate can actually be good for you! But don’t rush out and load up on Hershey Kisses just yet—read on to learn how and why chocolate may actually be more friend than foe. Chocolate is made from cacao beans that are roasted and then cracked. The insides of the beans, or the “nibs,” are crushed into a paste called chocolate liquor (which contains no alcohol). Chocolate liquor can be made into cocoa powder if the fat (cocoa butter) is removed. But to make chocolate, sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, vanilla, and milk (in the case of milk chocolate) are combined. The chocolate then goes through various refining processes to give it a smooth, silky texture. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa than milk chocolate, contains no milk, and also is lower in sugar. Why is chocolate considered healthy, then? Well, it’s really the dark chocolate that carries the health benefits (sorry, all you milk chocolate lovers). You may recall from previous posts and other reading you’ve done that some foods contain phytonutrients called flavonoids, which are a type of antioxidant. Cocoa, or cacao, beans are rich in flavonoids. Researchers have been learning more and more about flavonoids in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and tea. Now they’ve added chocolate to their list. So, then, what health benefits does dark cho Continue reading >>

5 Blood Sugar Friendly Diabetic Snacks

5 Blood Sugar Friendly Diabetic Snacks

back to Overview Looking for some snacks that are blood sugar friendly? Health coach and mySugr blogger Markus Berndt shares some of his secrets for taming the snack monster. Diabetic Snack Attack Today is all about diabetic snacks, or snacks that are more blood sugar friendly than your typical carb bombs we often crave. Thankfully we have Markus here to help. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in May of 2012 which catalyzed his devotion to healthy living through diet and exercise. He’s currently a management consultant for workplace health promotion and a health coach. He writes a popular blog (in German) at www.diabetesade.com and contributes regularly to the German side of our website. He has lots of great information to share, and from time to time I’ll do my best to bring a translation to you in English. Over to you, Markus! A Universal Feeling We all experience the urge to snack (if not outright binge) and reward ourselves with culinary delights. The monster is hungry! Finding snacks that are blood sugar friendly can help a lot. Of course, when the urge strikes, we’re not craving health food. Unfortunately, it’s usually the common snack foods, which, by the way, are designed to addict us. It’s a vicious cycle that can be really hard to break free from. So what to do? We don’t want to cave in completely, but constantly nibbling on naked celery isn’t fulfilling either. Finding blood sugar friendly snacks is often really hard. But thankfully there are a few goodies that we can turn to for some satisfaction without needing to feel terribly guilty. These small snacks that, in moderation, will increase your blood sugar a “tolerable” amount and are still really tasty! Some of them I even consider to be miracle products of nature! Walnuts These are cl Continue reading >>

The Dieter’s (and Diabetic Person's) Guide To Buying Chocolate

The Dieter’s (and Diabetic Person's) Guide To Buying Chocolate

How can you get your daily chocolate fix -- and eat less sugar or calories, too? That's a million-dollar question that several companies are banking on people asking. Over the past few years, the sugar-free and portion-controlled chocolate market has exploded. There are all sorts of sugar-free versions of favorite chocolate bars. And you can now buy individually wrapped chocolate bars or sticks in 60- to 100-calorie portions, along with the ever-popular kisses. To help you decide among all the options out there, we taste-tested a number of sugar-free chocolate products (and some portion-controlled ones, too). But first, let's talk about how having a little chocolate every day could actually be good for you. Can Chocolate Really Be Good For You? Yes, it's true -- chocolate does appear to have some health benefits. Though more research needs to be done, studies have indicated that cocoa and darker types of chocolate may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, decrease blood pressure, and relax blood vessels. Many of the health benefits of chocolate seem to stem from the antioxidant flavanols (a type of flavonoid), which are also found in other plant foods including tea, grapes, grapefruit, and wine. The cocoa bean happens to be extraordinarily rich in them. The flavanol content of chocolate depends on the flavanol content of the cacao plant used, and the way the cocoa was turned into chocolate. But here are three general rules of thumb: Cocoa powder and baking chocolate contain more flavonoids than dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has more flavonoids than milk chocolate. White chocolate has none. Of course, there's a catch to all this -- you don't want to cancel out all these potential health benefits of dark chocolate and cocoa by eating too many calories or too mu Continue reading >>

More in diabetes