Chocolate is a timeless treat that no one can resist, and its creamy, dreamy flavor works in everything from ice cream to keto cookies. However, many chocolate-based desserts are loaded with sugar, dairy, and other ingredients that are not compatible with a ketogenic diet or a vegan one. Since the keto diet discourages the consumption of carbohydrates – the macronutrients found in many of standard chocolate’s ingredients – keto eaters will need an alternative form of chocolate to satisfy their sweet tooth.
That’s where MiiRO’s keto-friendly, vegan, gluten-free, low-sugar chocolate comes in! Our lifestyle-compatible desserts are carefully crafted and taste heavenly, but they still fit into a keto or plant-based diet. Because, yes, adults still need to get their chocolate fix, even when they’re following specific diets.
In this post, we’ll be covering the ins and outs of low-carb chocolate, which makes a delectable appearance in MiiRO products. We’ll discuss its ingredients, what sets it apart from run-of-the-mill chocolate, and why it’s a great idea to make it your dessert of choice. No carbs? No problem.
The Keto Diet Explained (Briefly)
Keto is a popular eating plan that involves drastically reducing your daily intake of carbohydrates. Carbs can provide your body with energy, but choosing the wrong carb sources – or eating too many carbs altogether – may hinder weight loss efforts. That’s why the keto diet encourages eating less than 50 grams of carbs per day.
Keto eaters strive to maintain a physical state known as ketosis. In ketosis, your body is burning fat for energy, not carbs. Ideally, this means steady, consistent weight loss without feeling exhausted or fatigued.
Does Low-Carb = Keto?
If you’re wondering whether the keto diet and a low-carb diet are the same thing, we’ve got a simple answer for you – not really.
While the keto diet is almost solely fat and protein-based, a low-carb diet typically still permits the consumption of up to 100 total carbs per day. This level of carb intake is still very low in comparison to a normal day of eating for most people. However, it’s not low enough for your body to enter ketosis—they’re taking the low-carb life super seriously.
That said, a low-carb diet – or even cutting back on less healthy sources of carbohydrates – can be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle. The form of low-carb eating that you choose depends on your body’s specific needs, your lifestyle, and your fitness goals. You might do great with 100-150 grams of carbs per day, or you might want to go lower and enter the keto zone. It’s all up to you and what you’re trying to achieve.
Ultimately, if you have questions or concerns about the keto diet and whether it’s right for you, you can always consult your doctor or dietician. Getting professional advice about the way you eat is always a great move!
And now, onto the important stuff—how can you eat chocolate when you’re following these diets?
Standard Chocolate vs. Low-Carb Chocolate: What’s the Difference?
Both low-carb and regular chocolate is made from a combination of two products of the cacao plant, which grows near the equator. Cacao beans are harvested from this plant, then fermented, dried, and roasted to make the base for chocolate. The two byproducts of the cacao bean that are used to make chocolate are cocoa mass and cocoa powder. You probably wouldn’t want to eat the chocolate at this point, just saying.
While all chocolate contains both cocoa powder and cocoa mass, it’s the other ingredients that distinguish standard chocolate from its low-carb counterpart. The main sources of carbs in most chocolate are the added dairy and sugar, which are often found in abundance in milk chocolate in particular.
Milk chocolate, one of the most popular desserts on the planet, is tasty without a doubt. However, it’s far from keto-friendly! A typical milk chocolate bar contains milk powder, which adds a rich, creamy quality to the overall flavor (is your mouth watering yet?). However, the use of milk powder also adds a lot of simple carbohydrates to the mix in the form of lactose. Luckily, when you sub in dairy-free milk, you can still get the same creaminess—thanks to options like MiiRO.
However, a dark chocolate bar can be high-carb as well, thanks to the use of lots of added sugar. Table sugar, also known as sucrose, is a simple carbohydrate that is used to sweeten most desserts. Each teaspoon of sugar contains four grams of the sweet stuff, which equates to four grams of carbohydrates.
However, a standard Hershey bar contains 17g of sugar (around four teaspoons), which is almost a keto eater’s entire permitted carb intake for the day. Should we put that in perspective for you? MiiRO chocolate has around 3g of sugar per bar—that’s just around half a teaspoon.
Low-Carb Chocolate: What’s in It?
Low-carb chocolate is typically made with a high concentration of cocoa and low sugar content. The higher the ratio of cocoa to sugar, the “darker” the chocolate is considered to be. In addition, low-carb chocolate typically contains an alternative sweetener such as stevia, monk fruit, maltitol, or erythritol to act as a substitute for high-carb sugar. We’re talking about MiiRO here, in case you couldn’t tell. We have our own super-secret blend made with stevia and erythritol that gives our chocolate that beautiful, sweet flavor, without all the extra sugar.
Thanks to the elimination of sugar and dairy from the picture, a serving size of low-carb chocolate is perfectly acceptable for keto eaters. That’s because, without high levels of sugar and dairy, there are virtually no carbs left in the chocolate aside from the fiber found in the cocoa itself. It might not be carb-free chocolate, but it can get pretty darn close.
Adding Some Protein Into the Mix
In addition to leaving out lots of sugar and dairy, low-carb chocolate is often fortified with plant-based protein to add to its nutritional value. Protein is a muscle-building macronutrient that is also essential for satiation (feeling full) and retaining existing muscle mass. This makes the nutrient an excellent addition to a sweet treat like chocolate!
While many forms of protein are derived from animal products, low-carb chocolate can be made without the inclusion of any ingredients that are not vegan-friendly. The use of protein derived from peas, nuts, seeds, rice, or other plant-based foods can help to up the nutritional value of chocolate without the need to add in any animal products.
And guess what? MiiRO contains g of protein per bar or bag without any of these additives—that’s right. It’s this delicious and high protein without even trying. That’s how you know it’s the good stuff.
What’s Wrong With Regular Chocolate?
While standard chocolate can be a tasty treat, it’s also not a sustainable addition to a healthy lifestyle. In other words, it’s probably not a good idea to eat run-of-the-mill chocolate on a daily basis, even if you aren’t trying to stick to a low-carb or keto eating plan. The high levels of dairy and sugar in milk chocolate make it nearly impossible to label this dessert a “health food.” However, when you eliminate these problematic ingredients from the picture, chocolate becomes much more compatible with a healthy diet!
Chocolate that includes high-carb ingredients like dairy and sugar is best saved to be an occasional treat rather than an everyday staple in your diet. If you’re looking for an ideal daily treat, look no further than MiiRO’s low-carb chocolate treats! They’re decadent, creamy, and low-carb. What more could you ask for?
Baking with Low-Carb Chocolate
If you love to make your own desserts at home, low-carb and keto chocolate is an essential ingredient to keep in your pantry. It’s the perfect source of sweetness and richness for cookies, brownies, muffins, and other delicious treats, but it won’t send the sugar levels of your chocolate cake and chocolate chip cookies flying through the roof.
While the keto diet might sound nearly impossible for someone who loves to bake, there are plenty of ways to make your own delicious treats while sticking with a low-carb eating plan. When baking with low-carb chocolate, it’s a great idea to experiment with other keto-friendly ingredients, such as the ones listed below.
- Nut-based flour. Most flour is made from grains like wheat, rice, oats, and corn, all of which are incompatible with a keto eating plan. However, there are several keto-friendly alternatives to these flours, including nut-based options like almond flour. Nuts are very low in carbohydrates, but they’re excellent sources of healthy fats and protein. This makes them a great base for your keto desserts. You can also try options like coconut flour.
- Coconut oil. The keto diet encourages the inclusion of plenty of healthy fats in your daily meals. The use of coconut oil in your keto-friendly baked goods gives your recipes an extra boost of good fats, as well as antioxidants.
- Erythritol. This alternative to sugar is keto-friendly, won’t cause spikes in blood sugar or insulin, and is perfect for adding sweetness without relying on sucrose. If you’re trying to stick with a strict keto diet, baking with erythritol instead of sugar is the way to go.
- Vegan and Keto-Friendly Baking Chips. The perfect cookie just isn’t complete without the addition of chocolate chips, and that’s where MiiRO comes in. Our chocolate baking chips and our peanut butter baking chips are the perfect opportunity to add a little extra oomph to your baked goods without all those extra carbs.
Choose Low-Carb Chocolate That’s Still Indulgent
There are plenty of good reasons to go keto, especially for the sake of reducing the overall sugar content in your diet. However, for dessert-lovers, giving up the sweet stuff can feel like an impossible sacrifice to make.
Luckily, MiiRO is here to help you enjoy dessert while taking good care of yourself. Our vegan-friendly, keto-friendly, high-protein treats are specially made to fit in with your fitness and lifestyle goals, all while keeping the taste and texture just like your favorite desserts from growing up. In fact, a full MiiRO chocolate bar only includes 2-4 net carbs. That way, you can limit your carb consumption while retaining that childlike wonder that makes dessert so special.
Even though eating too much sugar is never a good idea, it’s definitely important to leave room in your diet to enjoy and savor treats. MiiRO is all about helping you retain the magic of dessert as you strive to live a happy, healthy life.
We know that cutting down on sugar is hard, but we want to make it easier by offering you a delicious alternative to the standard, sugary dessert fare. Try out our vegan peanut butter bar or use our chocolate chips in your next chocolate dessert – you won’t be disappointed!