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!
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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 ;-)
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!
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