Living with Diabetes? Enjoy Dark Chocolate

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Filed Under: Diabetes, Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

I know you are thinking that sugar-laden chocolate is the last thing people who are trying to manage diabetes should be eating. But, while it is true that chocolate has fat and calories—and it tastes way too good to be good for you—the health benefits of dark chocolate cannot be denied, even to people living with diabetes.

Italian researchers discovered that dark chocolate significantly improves markers of insulin sensitivity. It can also decrease 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.

I urge my patients to enjoy it in moderation so that it doesn’t interfere with their ability to maintain blood sugar levels. So, if you are dealing with diabetes, know that a square or two of dark chocolate every other day or so is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. Just be sure to keep caloric intake steady, and eat your dark chocolate in place of, rather than in addition to, other foods or snacks.

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