We will forever be thankful to the ancient Mayans who first cultivated the cacao tree and brought chocolate's origins into the world. Chocolate has a number of health benefits, antioxidants, and even mood-boosting properties. Delicious AND nutritious? That's chocolate for you.
In our eyes, chocolate makes the world go 'round! You would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't enjoy the velvety rich taste of chocolate.
With new innovations in the food space, pretty much everyone can enjoy chocolate these days. This means people following a ketogenic diet can also savor chocolate's yummy flavor — but people on a keto diet know firsthand that finding foods that fit their lifestyle can sometimes be tricky.
What specifically makes chocolate keto-friendly? Are there particular ingredients that classify something as "keto"? We’ll cover everything you need to know about what makes chocolate keto-friendly so that you don't have to miss out.
What Is Keto?
You probably have heard the words "keto" and "ketogenic" here and there over the past few years. But what exactly IS keto?
Let's think about what our bodies use for fuel — AKA what makes our organs and systems work properly! The human body relies on carbohydrates for a lot of its energy intake.
After all, consuming carbs is a quick way to produce glucose. Glucose is also known as blood sugar, which is our body's main energy source.
The ketogenic diet gets its name because it puts your body into a state called "ketosis." When you lessen the number of carbohydrates in your diet, your liver begins to make ketone bodies from stored fat. This means your body is now using fat instead of sugar or carbs for fuel. Welcome to ketosis!
Even though keto diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, the ketogenic diet has been around for a while. Dr. Russell Wilder developed this diet in 1924 to help individuals who have epilepsy. While this diet is still used to help people who have epilepsy, other health benefits have since emerged, too.
What Are the Benefits of a Keto Diet?
Following a keto diet can have a noticeable improvement in many conditions. Some areas that ketogenic diets can help improve are:
- Epilepsy. The keto diet was originally crafted with people living with epilepsy in mind. Ketogenic diets have been shown to be about 50% successful as the first line of treatment for epilepsy.
- Insulin Resistance or Pre-Diabetes. Following a keto diet can help improve blood cholesterol while also reducing blood sugar.
- Obesity. There have been studies that have evidence to support that adhering to a keto diet can help with weight loss.
Whatever reasoning resonates with you, beginning a new diet is something that needs to be done carefully. An important thing to note is that those deciding to start a ketogenic diet should do so by following their doctor's advice.
What Foods Should Be Avoided on a Keto Diet?
You'll remember that lower carbohydrate intake is what triggers the body into a state of ketosis. With that in mind, many higher-carb foods are a no-go for keto dieters.
Keto dieters may want to stay away from high carb, high sugar foods like:
Juice and soda. Both of these drinks have large amounts of sugar.
Sweetened yogurts. However, unsweetened yogurt can be a satisfying addition to your diet!
High-starch vegetables. Veggies with lots of starch usually translate to being high in carbs. These include corn, beets, and potatoes.
Sugary fruits (including dried fruits). Many fruits have surprisingly high sugar contents.
Grains. Most commercially available bread, pasta, and rice have a lot of refined carbs. Consider alternatives like cauliflower rice or spiralized zucchini.
Honey, agave, and maple syrups. Lucky for you, you can use our No Added Sugar Maple Flavored Syrup instead!
This is not necessarily a comprehensive list, but it’s something to be mindful of if you're thinking of going keto. If you feel limited, don't worry! It's more about how your carb allotment is spent versus having foods that are entirely off-limits.
With low-carb options, you can snack a bit more freely. Hurray!
What Kinds of Foods Are Keto-Friendly?
Now that we've covered what keto diets don't include, it's time to take a look at what foods can be savored in a keto diet.
Some veggies. Perusing the produce aisle for low-carb vegetables will have you grabbing cauliflower, green beans, and bell peppers — just to name a few!
Seafood. Seafood fits the keto bill due to its carb/fat ratios.
Avocados. Avocados have healthy fats in spades, which is perfect for keto dieters.
Berries. A small serving of strawberries with our Dark Chocolate Baking Chips sprinkled on top is a great keto dessert!
Unsweetened teas and coffees. Makes sense: no sugar!
Nut and seed oils. More healthy fats and plenty of protein — need we say more? Coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil are all wonderful choices for cooking and baking during keto.
Dark chocolate. A lot of items that we would deem "sweet treats" are frequent hosts of high amounts of both sugar and carbohydrates. This seems like a ketogenic nightmare! However, in certain kinds of chocolate, you don't have to worry about either. What a dream!
That’s right: Chocolate can be keto-friendly! But how?
Can I Eat Chocolate on a Keto Diet?
Is chocolate allowed on a keto diet? Yes, but not all chocolate is keto-friendly.
Milk chocolate is generally ruled out of the keto diet because of its high sugar content. High-quality dark chocolate is perfect for those seeking ketosis. This is because chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or more typically has less sugar.
It can seem like a chore at first, but your best bet is to read the ingredients list. If you know what to avoid and how much is too much, you'll be on the right track.
What's even better is finding a brand you can trust to deliver quality products with your lifestyle in mind. Take MiiRO, for example: We seek out plant-based ingredients that are keto-friendly for our chocolates. Our “milk” chocolate Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar, Peanut Butter Cups, and White Chocolate Bar With Crispy Almond Pieces are all vegan and keto-friendly (and they’re delicious, too).
With only a handful of ingredients, reading the keto-friendly ingredients in our chocolate is a cinch.
What Makes Chocolate Keto-Friendly?
The main pinnacles of a ketogenic diet are maintaining a low sugar intake and a low carbohydrate intake. Here is what sets MiiRO apart and makes all of our craveable chocolatey delights friendly to a keto lifestyle.
With our chocolates, you may find some of the same components in many of our offerings. Let's take a look at a few of those ingredients, and we will reveal what the common thread is!
Cocoa butter is one of the star ingredients in our chocolates, and you'll see it in most of them. Cocoa butter is the main building block of chocolate. We love cocoa butter because it is a great natural fat.
Cocoa butter is what helps give our chocolate that melts in your mouth creaminess. So yummy!
Another staple in our chocolate that is keto-friendly is chicory root. Chicory root is a prebiotic fiber that is used as a sweetener in keto diets. It's derived from a plant that is closely related to dandelions and has a rich history in cooking.
Chicory root has even been used as a caffeine-free coffee substitute! With our friend chicory root, you get both sweetness and the added bonus of dietary fiber.
Chicory root is invited to this chocolate party with its "plus one": Stevia. Stevia is a natural sweetener and, like chicory root, also derived from plants. This brings a whole new meaning to the term "plant-based," and we aren't mad about it!
The great thing about stevia is that it is sweeter than table sugar but does not spike your blood sugar. Stevia provides sugar-like sweetness and is low in carbs. It sounds like a ketogenic powerhouse to us!
Curious as to what all of these ingredients have in common? Their lack of carbs and sugar! Having a diet with low amounts of carbs and sugar is essential to reaching ketosis. This makes our chocolate the ultimate keto-friendly delicacy.
Because low carbohydrate and low sugar foods are often considered keto-friendly, MiiRO has the answer with keto-friendly chocolate options.
You can include chocolate in your diet regularly with low-carb and low-sugar choices. We all deserve a little more fun, right? And keto-friendly chocolate doesn't just stop at a chocolate bar. Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge, anyone?
Sweetened with No Sugar Added Maple Syrup, these low-carb squares of wonder can be the perfect addition to your list of keto-friendly choices.
People who stick with a keto diet don't have to miss out on baked goods, either. There is a wide variety of Keto flours out there that can serve as the perfect vessel for your keto chocolate.