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Chocolate

Discussion in 'Prediabetes' started by DianaMC, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. DianaMC

    DianaMC Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Folks,

    Well, I'm about 7 months on from my initial diagnosis of pre-diabetes (at the 43 mark) noted on an Hba1c test taken because I was having episodes of feeling faint and spaced out (usually when out and about, shopping) - and also mornings when I was struggling to get going, with just no energy. I had a further Hba1c last month as part of a pre-med for an eye operation and was down to 42, so I guess something's working in my dietary changes! However, I was strongly encouraged to have some biscuits with tea after the op, to help get my blood pressure up, as it tends to be on the too-low side. They had Bourbons, so I weakened and had two of those! Afterwards I noticed how high the sugar content is and almost freaked - because I have not been eating much with added sugar for months now, apart from a few desserts when out at parties over Xmas. And I mean a few - as in maybe 3 over the whole festive season. I do make up for lack of desserts by eating cheese, but that's another matter...!

    Anyway, the blasted Bourbons have set off my chocolate craving. And I've noticed that I've been finding ways to have some sort of cocoa, cacao, or low sugar chocolate ever since. I think I'm probably addicted to the choc more than the sugar, so I can make a hot chocolate equivalent with just half a sachet of sugar substitute (erithrytol/stevia) and 1.5 tsp cocoa or cacao in almond milk with a little dairy milk added and that's pretty nice, as far as I'm concerned.

    But I'm noticing the attraction to chocolate and I've been trying out various chocolate bars - mostly buying ones that advertise no added sugar. They vary in terms of how much sugar they actually contain, I've discovered. And they also tend to have stomach side effects in any quantity more than 1 or two squares, I find, unfortunately. I found some chocolates in Holland and Barrett's sale in January and same thing with more than 1 or 2 of those - I think they contained Maltitol, which is apparently known for digestive challenges.

    Anyway, I've lately found that Lindt's 90% dark chocolate actually contains less sugar per 100g than some of the chocolate bars that claim to have no added sugar! It has 7g per 100g. The better bars have around 4g, but some of them have 22g, which is massive by comparison (Cavalier's milk chocolate for example). Interestingly, Perlege does some very nice dark chocolate bars with equally gooey fillings as the Cavalier, but the sugar content is far less - around 3.6g.

    Although I'm keeping to only a little chocolate at a time, I'm noticing that I think about it a lot. Which means I could be tempted to eat it more than once a day, in some format or another. Which could maybe be dodgy?

    I'm interested to know what other people have found with this sort of thing. Do you eat chocolate at all? Have you found the no added sugar types to be ok? Have you tried the Lindt 90% cocoa and are ok with it? Am I on a slippery slope with messing around with chocolate?!

    I do try and eat more wholesome food most of the time. But if I was left to my own devices I'd probably survive on cheese, chocolate and something crunchy - tortilla chips, nuts, etc. I tend to not eat tortilla chips so much these days, actually, since becoming aware of low carb eating. But before I ever had any alerts about prediabetes, it would have been crisps of some kind.

    I gather saturated fat is not exactly the fat of choice for those with diabetes issues. So there is that to consider, too - although, to be honest, it tends to be a secondary consideration when it comes to choices like chocolate or no chocolate!

    Thanks for reading this. I look forward to hearing any thoughts, experiences or recommendations.

    PS I've lost over a stone in weight since adjusting my diet, but it didn't contain chocolate in the adjustments! Just had to buy a load of smaller size jeans as the old ones no longer fit. All good, I'm sure. Kind of hoping I'm not going to mess this all up now, though...
     
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    #1 DianaMC, Feb 22, 2019 at 1:08 AM
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  2. NoCrbs4Me

    NoCrbs4Me I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Who told you that?
     
  3. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    I have no qualms at all when it comes to sat fats. Seed oils on the other hand are verboten in my home.
    As to chocolate, I had to give it up many years ago due to another condition I suffer with and I must say it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. In my experience just one mouthful was enough to mean weeks of fighting with cravings again so, eventually, I gave it up completely. I still to this day have to swerve to avoid Thorntons Choc Shops as even the smell can weaken my resolve. Sigh...
     
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  4. Veryanxious

    Veryanxious Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I make my own chocolate sometimes with stevia. But going keto has reduced the craving.
    Also I see you are more mixing up sugar, tortilla chips with saturated fat. That's not much recommended IMHO.
     
  5. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Ancel Keys :meh:
     
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  6. DianaMC

    DianaMC Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing that @Guzzler. I have much sympathy. I sometimes have to look the other way if I see a dark chocolate cake! Otherwise, all I do is think about it (not very sociable, I know).

    I stopped eating chocolate for 18 months, a few years back, due to gallbladder illness. As I don't have a gallbladder anymore, that may be why I have more worries about eating a lot of fat than some people do. My body rebels...
     
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  7. DianaMC

    DianaMC Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    What a great option, @Veryanxious :) I like the idea of making my own chocolate. Do you use a recipe that you've found to be good?

    Re your other comment, if you mean do I eat chocolate, tortilla chips and saturated fat together, the answer is no. What I meant was that I'm a bit of a lazy eater and those are the sorts of things I'd eat if I didn't have to think about food too much. Sometimes, I just can't be bothered with food, especially when busy working, or out on the go. But I do get hungry sometimes. And when I do, one of those as a snack might be what I automatically reach for. But I think I should be eating a proper meal most of the time - fish and veg or chicken and salad, or a nice soup with beans, perhaps - something with a bit more fibre and substance than the titchy snacks, with a limit of nutritional value, that my lack of imagination or patience seem to want to send me to. This is just my opinion of what I think might be better for me, though - some of those other items might suit other people just fine!
     
  8. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    I don’t bother with the words “no addd sugar” at all. I’m not so much interested in the sugar amounts but the carbs amounts. (Sugar is just one type of carb).

    I find I can eat just a square of very high % cocoa chocolate letting it melt in the mouth and that does the job nicely.
     
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  9. Listlad

    Listlad Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I bought some 85% dark chocolate yesterday for my train journey. I really buy it just for something to eat that is a bit different and less carby (than other options). To be honest, although I eat it, I cannot say I enjoy it. I ate the last of it amongst some Greek yoghourt and fresh strawberries which made it more palatable.
     
  10. Veryanxious

    Veryanxious Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I am very new to baking and cooking but Mixing cacao powder, cream cheese, butter , nuts or your choice can make up pretty good chocolate. It settles my craving. You can add up vanilla flavour or use cocoa butter instead of cream cheese. You can also find lot of options on YouTube for low carb chocolates.
     
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  11. DianaMC

    DianaMC Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the heads up, @Jim Lahey - makes for some interesting reading, searching that name on Google. The plethora of information, citing all the various criticisms of his 'findings' is a bit overwhelming to take in all at once! There is mentioned, on the Wikipedia page about him, that Keys' study ignored the cases of Norway and Denmark where there was a fat rich diet but low incidences of heart disease. But I seem to remember the Norwegian government deciding they had a national crisis going on regarding the state of the country's diet - some years back now - and they actively overhauled their guidelines...?

    I've read The Great Cholesterol Con and so consider myself a skeptic about sat fat as a cause of cholesterol problems that lead to heart disease. But, having said that, the author of that book also wrote a book making alcohol sound like an 'ok' substance for all and maybe it's not. However, the official line on saturated fat in mainstream nutrition is still that it's a problem for heart disease.

    To offer another answer to the question from @NoCrbs4Me - lots of people have said that (to me), including throughout the NHS (where it transpires they're more trusting of existing studies than anything less documented/trialled or which is only anecdotal - rightly or wrongly). But they're not still saying that saturated fat causes insulin resistance - although that's a very recent change of attitude, apparently. So recent, that the message they've been giving out about it, on the diabetes course, has changed midstream over a series of months!
     
  12. Listlad

    Listlad Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Very much a fish diet in Norway.
     
  13. DianaMC

    DianaMC Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Well I’d have thought that, too. But it’s not been the case, according to the government initiative there about 5 years ago:

    “Despite several positive trends in the food consumption in Norway in recent years, large parts of the Norwegian population still have a low intake of vegetables, fruits, fish and whole-grain foods and have a high intake of saturated fat, sugar and salt.”

    - from:

    https://www.regjeringen.no/contenta...tion_plan_for_a_healthier_diet_an_outline.pdf
     
  14. Listlad

    Listlad Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Right. I worked in Norway for a while and they seemed to chomp their way through pickled herring and stuff like that. :D
     
  15. DianaMC

    DianaMC Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for those options and ideas @Veryanxious - inspiring stuff!

    Do you keep the chocolates made from cream cheese in the fridge?

    I found a recipe using coconut oil that said to keep them in the freezer as those ones melt very easily. Not sure if frozen chocolate seems too enticing! But ‘from the fridge’ might be ok - a bit like fresh cream chocolates.

    I saw a tub of cacao butter in a health food store today and was tempted to buy, but it was quite expensive (£7.99) for one ingredient, without having a recipe to work from yet (or knowing how many other items I might need to buy). So I think I’ll look up more recipes before rushing in.

    Thanks very much for your help and inspiration!
     
  16. Listlad

    Listlad Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    @DianaMC

    My wife brought back to the U.K. some Cacao as it is known. It is ground down cocoa bean formed into a tube / bar. She used it to make “chocolate rice” and hot drinking chocolate. But the point is this stuff can probably be bought in Asian stores in the U.K. and used for cooking all sorts.

    When she first told me about it I thought her pronounciation and spelling was wrong. But not so.

    http://industry.gov.ph/industry/cacao-tablea/

    Carbs?

    https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/nutrition/raw-cacao-powder,503803/

    Oompah Loompahs love it.
     
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    #16 Listlad, Feb 23, 2019 at 10:48 PM
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  17. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Tortilla chips? The almost 2/3rds carbohydrate from corn chips?
    Not a good idea.
    I find that there are some high cocoa bars which are not much over my 11 percent limit for normal foods, so I buy those and eat a small amount at a time - and if I don't make them last long enough then there is no buying more.
    You do need to check the carbohydrates, not just sugars. Some foods have starches added to bulk them up - it always makes me smile when something is advertised as 100 percent fish or chicken etc. but it is then coated in 'delicious crunchy batter' or 'golden breadcrumbs' so it is more like 80 percent fish or chicken.
     
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  18. DianaMC

    DianaMC Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    @Listlad thank you for all that info on cacao - it’s really helpful. I had no idea Asian stores might stock it. I found a tub of cacao powder in Sainsbury’s- makes really nice “hot chocolate”! Those links are interesting - I was wondering how it was different from cocoa powder. Looks like it’s in the fermentation - and maybe being roasted. Though I don’t know how cocoa powder is produced; maybe they both involve roasted beans?

    I made the mistake, a while ago, of buying cacao nibs (from another health good shop - I love those places!) thinking I could make hot chocolate from them. But they’re like hard pellets and quite difficult to break down even with a mortar and pestle! I think they would be better off ground, but maybe they need to be roasted first? Like coffee beans?...
     
  19. DianaMC

    DianaMC Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hmm... maybe that’s an item that most of the population can afford and access easily? That government document seems to cite social inequalities as part of the issue - so it may be to do with location, too. I don’t know if you were in one place or moving around, among different communities...

    Doesn’t pickled herring have quite high sugar added to the pickling water? Just a thought!
     
  20. Listlad

    Listlad Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know much about the stuff. I recall seeing my wife opening up the tube (I thought they were chocolates) and just spooning it into what she was cooking which was a breakfast comprising rice with this cacao added. I looked it up earlier and it is not the same as cocoa but comes from the same source.

    The chocolate rice or Champorada as they call it, was very nice by the way, very chocolatey and rich, but she had added sugar and of course the rice wouldn’t go down very well with T2s.

    Health shops tend to be pricey though. When I visit the local Asian store I shall ask if they have any.
     
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