Posted by Andrew Boyd from Carb Freedom
With Easter over and done with for another year, many of us may be feeling the ill effects of an over indulgence of chocolate. It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially for many of us who for 12 months of the year carefully watch over our chocolate intake. At Easter our guard can easily drop and we can find ourselves vulnerable to the temptations born of the Easter season. In fact, a recent report in Melbourne’s Sun Herald stated that in 2013 Australians spent over $150 million on chocolate over the Easter season.
Avoid Added Sugar
Yet while chocolate is often demonised as one of the great nemesis of the healthy eater it’s easy to forget that it is the added sugar contained within most commercially manufactured chocolates, rather than the cocoa, that is villainously high in carbohydrates. For example, a 100g serving of Cadbury milk chocolate contains 57g of sugar, whereas a low carb chocolate bar without any added sugars contains as little as 4g.
While unsweetened cocoa is quite high in fat, it’s not terribly high in carbs – its net carb content tends to sit between 10-15g per 100g, dependent on the brand. However, it’s important to bear in mind that the above count relates to pure cocoa, the most concentrated form of chocolate – far too bitter to eat by itself. In most cases we would look to use pure, unsweetened chocolate as part of a recipe and by then, its net carb count is diluted even further.
Transition to the Darkside
According to dietitian, Kate Save we should exercise caution when completely banning foods from our diet. “Don’t completely ban food. If you make food forbidden, an area in our brain tells us we have to have it, so allow yourself a small portion and the satisfaction of having it in little bits,” she says. Eating a small portion of dark chocolate can actually have many positive health benefits as it is high in vitamins and minerals. So remember, reducing your intake of sugar and carbohydrates doesn’t have to take all the joy out of eating chocolate, you just have to think outside the box and familiarise yourself with eating darker chocolates with at least 70% cocoa.