Chocolate – which is best?
Calling all fellow chocolate lovers!
We LOVE eating chocolate.
The most common thing our clients say when they start working with us is that they’ve been told they “need to stop eating chocolate to lose weight”.
This makes us CRINGE!
If you’re a chocolate lover like us, then being told you it’s something you can’t eat is like telling a child they can never eat ice cream or need to go in ‘timeout’ – it makes you want to cry!
At Vitruvian Health, instead of labelling chocolate as a ‘bad’ food which you need to avoid, we recommend making ‘smarter’ chocolate choices.
How do you make ‘smarter’ chocolate choices?
This starts with looking at the type of chocolate you are eating.
If you are eating anything that has ‘dairy milk’ in the title or come in a small, easy to unwrap bar, then these are the chocolates that you do want to avoid. Generally these chocolates are packed full of sugar, gluten and dairy. Eating these will lead to a rapid spike in your blood sugar which will make you feel good for a little bit, but then you’ll have a big crash in your energy levels and your body will just crave more chocolate leading to a decrease in mental function and productivity (aka riding the sugar rollercoaster). The energy crash will actually be bigger because you ate the chocolate, than if you didn’t.
In addition, this type of chocolate is packed full of calories, so if your goal is to lose weight then you are limiting your progress by not only eating food that inflames your body, but also the body will prioritise using the sugar from the chocolate as energy rather than the glucose in your fat cell (the latter process results in fat loss).
Which chocolate is a ‘smarter’ choice?
Generally any dark chocolate is a ‘smarter’ choice than it’s milk chocolate cousins.
We recommend dark chocolate over dairy milk because it:
- Generally has a lower sugar content, and higher fat content which means it helps to regulate your blood glucose levels so you’ll have less of an energy spike and drop off
- The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of magnesium which can stimulate the release of serotonin in the gut which promotes relaxation
- Makes you feel more satisfied because of the higher ‘good’ fat content
If you are not a dark chocolate fan, the flavoured dark chocolate (eg dark mint) is a good way to ease into the bitterness of the taste. Also you can make a ‘chocolate sandwich’ by eat a piece of dark mint with 90% dark at the same time!
When is a ‘smart’ time to eat chocolate?
We generally recommend that chocolate is eaten in the late afternoon and / or evening. Why? Because you may want a ‘treat’ at the end of your work day to reward yourself for your hard work. Eating chocolate in the morning will only spike your blood glucose and remind you of that time when you were a kid at Easter then you ate all your chocolate Rabbits before 12pm and then for some reason felt like the Energizer Bunny, only to then fall into a deep nap that afternoon.
Bonus.. Want to eat chocolate and increase your cognitive function?
Check out this video with Vitruvian Health Founder, Karl McKenna, where he explains chocolate that is combined with lion’s mane.
This post was proudly sponsored by Vitruvian Health.