1

votes

Re: Dark Chocolate - simple answer for a newbie

Answered on January 16, 2015
Created March 24, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Ok I am probably going to irritate some of you with a redundant question but there are so many contradictions on past postings I dont know what to believe. I have been migrating over to a paleo diet for the last 9 weeks and things are going VERY well. lost 24+ pounds (now 6'2" and 229lbs) but want to do everything I can to regain my athletic build of yesteryear. I lift 5 days a week and do an hour of cardio everyday but dont want to undo all that effort over something that I could do without but would like to keep IF it is paleo. So plain and simple, is dark chocolate ok or not? I dont plan on making a meal out of it but it is a nice flavor to break up the rather savory or spicy flavors that tend to be on the menu (aside from fruit of course) most of the time.

Please someone just tell me yes or no and a brief laymans terms explanation. And if its yes, what is the minimum level of cacao I should purchase? 70%? 85%

Thanks in advance for your input as it of great assistance to the new guy over here.

Have a great day!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 28, 2011
at 06:20 AM

Pardon me, delayed response: Well, again, I wouldn't make anything chocolate-related into a staple, but as far as *fats* go, the fats in chocolate are pretty good. Check out this thread from the old days at the PaNu forum: http://www.paleonu.com/panu-forum/post/1000850 Read the first few posts at least, and look for Dr. Harris's comments. My opinion about chocolate in general, though, just one among many, is that chocolate is fine in moderation. Although I pretty much never eat it anymore. But that might be because I'm turning into a paleo health nut freak.

219ce991d8c94447870c824680de53e0

(457)

on March 26, 2011
at 03:56 AM

WCC Paul - I was just assuming that based on the negative tone associated with cocoa butter that it was frowned upon in terms of Paleo discipline. No expert just trying to gleen the yes and no foods at this point. So you are of the mind set that this is ok?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 26, 2011
at 12:49 AM

Hey ChrisO, why do you say that cocoa butter is a no-no? Good fats in there. I mean, aside from the fact that it's not an animal, and so anything that's not an animal shouldn't be consumed in huge doses.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on March 25, 2011
at 02:17 PM

I have no problem with eating a whole bar even soon after full meaty meal... ;-)

219ce991d8c94447870c824680de53e0

(457)

on March 25, 2011
at 10:42 AM

Not to drag this out but after reading further responses I am noting that cocoa butter is on the "no no list" too correct? Or in the most minimal amounts? And on this note, for those of you who dont eat chocolate, what constitutes an endulgence? And please dont tell me berries because that is not really what I had in mind. Thanks in advance.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on March 25, 2011
at 02:46 AM

I eat the Green and Blacks. I have half a block at a time (50g) which is less then 8gm of carbs.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 25, 2011
at 01:04 AM

The Lindt 90% if my favorite and the easiest/cheapest for me to find. I bet the difference Todd, is the different incarnations of Lindt, there is the "excellence" and the other one. I forget the name.

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on March 25, 2011
at 12:12 AM

I have I love %100 percent. 90% is also too sweet for me, it's funny because I use to be a sugar addict.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on March 24, 2011
at 11:01 PM

100 percent Dr. K? I was thinking it was very high, but not necessarily that high. Anyways, I'm not giving up my 85!

7402630da1d0b9bb97d614fe402d032a

(290)

on March 24, 2011
at 10:21 PM

oh no. You need to eat a full healthy meal and wait for digestion to kick in before embarking upon a treat and then you will not be as hungry and tempted to go the second, third, etc.

7402630da1d0b9bb97d614fe402d032a

(290)

on March 24, 2011
at 10:14 PM

I am so glad you said that. I love Lindt because it has not got the other additives I saw on the other packets. Ok it has demerara sugar (which is refined I know but not as much as white sugar). If I could get one without sugar that tasted ok I would switch. I have a cup of tea with one cube and that makes me happy.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 24, 2011
at 08:56 PM

I have Lindt's all the time, in fact I have a box of 90% sitting in front of me as I type. A serving of 4 squares is 3g sugar. For the 85% its 6g sugar for the same 4 squares.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:50 PM

UMMMMM....Oldest living human ate two lbs per week? Do I go with her or Stephan? UMMMMM? And she smoked too......and still lived til 122? Pass me the pure chocolate. Its Paleo. Its 100% natural and has no sugar in pure form. 85% cacao is not paleo in my opinion.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:47 PM

The longest lived humans that we know of all have a few things in common.....eating high grade chocolates with 100% cacoa powder is one.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:43 PM

Agree. I'm pretty sure that the high-cacao bars like the Lindt 90% have extra cocoa butter added, for richness and "mouth feel," which gets you more delicious saturated fat. Though if you go all the way up to 99% (i.e., 100%) then they don't have the added cocoa butter generally.

219ce991d8c94447870c824680de53e0

(457)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:41 PM

Thanks for all the feedback! it helps to get an idea of the general consensus. Some of the earlier posts provided so much info as to make it even more confusing than helpful! lol. Thanks again.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:25 PM

world market has 99% pure cacoa chocolate bars with no sugar at all. And they are paleo and completely natural. Use it. I suggest a piece every day. Good Luck

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Mark Sisson calls it a "sensible indulgence" along with red wine/coffee/tea (in moderation, of course)

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:09 PM

ha! The "Paleo Orthodox Committee" needs some rebels sitting on the board :)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:07 PM

The Lindt 85% cacao is very low in sugar ~ 1g per square (1/8 bar). Its lower than the 90% one for some bizarre reason! Chocolate contains polyphenols which are thought to be antioxidants - but as Stephan Guyenet explains, they are really oxidants that provoke an antioxidant response through hormesis. Good in small amounts, bad in large amounts. Hope that helps!

  • 219ce991d8c94447870c824680de53e0

    asked by

    (457)
  • Views
    25.3K
  • Last Activity
    1060D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

14 Answers

7
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on March 24, 2011
at 06:07 PM

All except for the very strictest folks indulge in chocolate, from everything I've read on PaleoHacks and in the blogsophere.

The higher the percentage cacao content you can tolerate, the less the sugar, and the less the impact on your blood sugar. My personal favorites are Green & Black's 85% and Lindt 90% - both of which have less sugar than even a big bite of most fruits. I wouldn't indulge in chocolate in the middle of a fast, though, because the digestion of even a couple of squares could interrupt the metabolic benefits you're seeking; wait until you want the fast to be truly broken before having some.

(That said, if your goals include weight loss, maybe consider trying exhaustive weight training 2-4 days/week instead of 5 - give yourself more recovery days, and cut back on the cardio and WAY back on the fruit. Looks like you already know about intermittent fasting so that's great! You may be surprised to notice that your muscle gain remains constant or improved while your fat loss accelerates.)

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on March 25, 2011
at 02:46 AM

I eat the Green and Blacks. I have half a block at a time (50g) which is less then 8gm of carbs.

7402630da1d0b9bb97d614fe402d032a

(290)

on March 24, 2011
at 10:14 PM

I am so glad you said that. I love Lindt because it has not got the other additives I saw on the other packets. Ok it has demerara sugar (which is refined I know but not as much as white sugar). If I could get one without sugar that tasted ok I would switch. I have a cup of tea with one cube and that makes me happy.

2
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on March 24, 2011
at 06:24 PM

Also remember that if you are sticking to the high cacao level stuff, it is VERY rich. That's one thing I love about it, you can have the indulgence, but then realize how little it takes to be satisfied. You dont have that milk and sugar and other nonsense getting in the way. My go to is the Lindt 85%, and about 2 squares with a nice glass of red wine takes about an hour to eat. I think an official serving is 4 squares. So when you look at what you are putting into your body, it isnt all that much.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:43 PM

Agree. I'm pretty sure that the high-cacao bars like the Lindt 90% have extra cocoa butter added, for richness and "mouth feel," which gets you more delicious saturated fat. Though if you go all the way up to 99% (i.e., 100%) then they don't have the added cocoa butter generally.

2
Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:07 PM

It depends on what you consider a "paleo" food to be. You're not going to reverse your success with a little chocolate, and many paleo subscribers indulge in a little dark chocolate from time to time. The general rule of thumb is the darker the better, because it means less sugar and milk. A lot of people can't stand the bitter taste of ~99% dark chocolate, so most don't go that dark.

In a lot of ways, chocolate is like alcohol: it's not strictly paleo, but as long as you can control your intake and don't overindulge, it shouldn't be a problem if you're doing most everything else right.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Mark Sisson calls it a "sensible indulgence" along with red wine/coffee/tea (in moderation, of course)

1
Ee957129d157b9b1225b52131f098e63

on November 15, 2011
at 08:47 PM

100% chocolate? Wow! I'm impressed, when i got the 90% from Lindt, that was already pretty much my limit. I stick to 85%, after a piece or 2, i usually don't need any more. Had them with some almonds today as well, that was a pretty good combo. As said by a few already, is probably not 100% Paleo, but i am going for the 80/20 approach, allowing myself stuff like dark choclate or a glass of red wine. I certainly don't want to fuss about the little stuff, whilst there are a lot of bigger things to worry about too (like cutting out wheat, etc.) I feel like we live in a social environment already where you are being expected to do a 100% of everything, we freak out if we do something "not good enough". Relax, have some dark chocolate and enjoy life ;-)

1
96061d386f8929f50a4d71e0420e3d5d

(208)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:32 PM

My newest addiction is 2 big scoops of hershey's 100% baking chocolate mixed into 1/4 cup of coconut milk. Creamy, chocolatey goodness.

1
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on November 15, 2011
at 08:02 PM

Everything is relative to your goals; so to say if something is "OK", or "not OK" is completely up to what your trying to achieve and when you want to achieve it.

For example if you're looking to cut 1/2 your BF % in 30 days than dark chocolate shouldn't be on the menu.

That being said, if you want to live a relatively sane life and make this Paleo thing a lifestyle choice and not a fad diet that you're probably going to ditch in 6 months than have some dark chocolate.

The thing about dark chocolate is you have to look at the cocoa content, anything >80% is pretty solid; the fact is that more cocoa means less suga and more fiber.

If you look at the specs of a "Green & Blacks" 83% cocoa bar you'll see that it hardly has any sugar per serving, and a good carb/fiber ratio:

re:-dark-chocolate---simple-answer-for-a-newbie

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 4 sqaures (40.0 g)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 210 Calories from Fat 162 % Daily Value* Total Fat 18.0g 28% Saturated Fat 11.0g 55% Trans Fat 0.0g Cholesterol 0mg0% Sodium 20mg1 % Total Carbohydrates 8.0g 3% Dietary Fiber 3.0g 12% Sugars 5.0g Protein 4.0g Vitamin A 0% ??? Vitamin C 0% Calcium 4% ??? Iron 15% * Based on a 2000 calorie diet

1
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on March 24, 2011
at 07:16 PM

I like dark chocolate a lot, but unfortunately in the past months I couldn't control portions. I mean, I was devouring a bar at a time. every day. scary stuff.... ;-)

7402630da1d0b9bb97d614fe402d032a

(290)

on March 24, 2011
at 10:21 PM

oh no. You need to eat a full healthy meal and wait for digestion to kick in before embarking upon a treat and then you will not be as hungry and tempted to go the second, third, etc.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on March 25, 2011
at 02:17 PM

I have no problem with eating a whole bar even soon after full meaty meal... ;-)

1
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on March 24, 2011
at 06:03 PM

The reason you did not find a definitive answer is because there isn't one, really.

Dark chocolate is not "officially Paleo". The Paleo Orthodox Committee would most likely put it on the NO list.

The reason many Paleo people are willing to eat the high cacao type is because there isn't much sugar in it at all.

I would say, go ahead and eat the chocolate unless you aren't able to keep the serving size to something small and you are the type to binge on a treat like this, then I would recommend against the dark chocolate. If everything else in your diet is in line 2 or 3 squares of chocolate each night are not likely to stall you or stop your weight loss.

I would say that I don't go lower than 72% cacao and am much happier when I can find 85% and above.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:50 PM

UMMMMM....Oldest living human ate two lbs per week? Do I go with her or Stephan? UMMMMM? And she smoked too......and still lived til 122? Pass me the pure chocolate. Its Paleo. Its 100% natural and has no sugar in pure form. 85% cacao is not paleo in my opinion.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:07 PM

The Lindt 85% cacao is very low in sugar ~ 1g per square (1/8 bar). Its lower than the 90% one for some bizarre reason! Chocolate contains polyphenols which are thought to be antioxidants - but as Stephan Guyenet explains, they are really oxidants that provoke an antioxidant response through hormesis. Good in small amounts, bad in large amounts. Hope that helps!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:09 PM

ha! The "Paleo Orthodox Committee" needs some rebels sitting on the board :)

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 24, 2011
at 08:56 PM

I have Lindt's all the time, in fact I have a box of 90% sitting in front of me as I type. A serving of 4 squares is 3g sugar. For the 85% its 6g sugar for the same 4 squares.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 25, 2011
at 01:04 AM

The Lindt 90% if my favorite and the easiest/cheapest for me to find. I bet the difference Todd, is the different incarnations of Lindt, there is the "excellence" and the other one. I forget the name.

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on January 16, 2015
at 02:08 PM

The really dark stuff >= 85% is very rich and it's hard to have a lot of it.  The fats, antioxidants, and flavanols are good for you too.  I will have a square or two of chocolate after most dinners.  I find it really satisfies and puts a cap on my appetite.

I think this is definitely not true of milk chocolate, white chocolate, and other desserts with chocolate in them, which are generally high in sugar.  So don't be thinking you can have a Snickers bar.  I eat straight 85-95% chocolate, it's very strong and a little bitter but I've learned 

0
4c9c4d3b6de06c4ac282e7e40ec5992f

on April 15, 2014
at 03:10 AM

(1) Has someone got a good chunk of info as to why dark chocolate is SO GOOD for us? (2) @ChrisO you said: "...I lift 5 days a week and do an hour of cardio everyday..." Man that's way, WAY too much. - You won't get the results you're after. - You need recovery time (and lots of sleep) to build muscle. - Exercise is utter SHITE for weight loss. (It's great for lots of things, but not weight loss). - You'll get more results from far less work. Look up Tim Ferriss' notion of 'M.E.D.' (Minimum Effective Dose) as it applies to exercise. It's just like drugs. You only need the M.E.D. for it to achieve the results you're after. Beyond that, you're wasting time, wasting money, REDUCING your progress and potentially doing a lot of damage. Here's one quick page, but there are many more: http://www.4hourlife.com/2012/11/26/the-4-hour-chef-finding-the-minimum-effective-dose-med-of-life/

0
A4181403d4eb6fad2c5e565d0872b887

on May 16, 2012
at 06:03 AM

oh wow. paleo diet is a new thing for me as a dark chocolate enthusiast.

0
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5516)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:15 PM

Chocolate is delicious and probably will not derail your progress, but be careful not to make what we know to be an "indulgence" into a staple food. You don't want to wake up one day realizing half your calories come from Lindt at $5 a bar.

0
B19771935a62d3b0480540c8ffd07ffe

on November 15, 2011
at 07:19 PM

These were all SOOOOOO helpful. I am a Paleo newbie, doing a Paleo 40 day challenge at Crossfit and wanted to see where people were at in terms of dark chocolate. Thanks for all the awesome input!

0
101b3a5c96d313d22262f65bdff20acf

(539)

on March 24, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Anyone else graduated to 100% chocolate? I've settled into a loving relationship with Ghirardelli's 100% dark (gotta get it in the baking section) and now anything else, even the 90% stuff, is just too sweet.

My advice, push it as high as you can!

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on March 25, 2011
at 12:12 AM

I have I love %100 percent. 90% is also too sweet for me, it's funny because I use to be a sugar addict.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!