Cutting carbs out of your life is one of the hardest things you can do. Let me clarify: Cutting carbs out of your life — when you love bread and chocolate so damn much — is one of the hardest things you can do. But we'll let you in on a little secret: It's possible and pretty painless.
We can't speak to how to cut down (or cut out completely) your bread intake at this very moment, but we can give you the 411 on how to swap your go-to, decadent milk chocolate bar with a low-carb substitute that actually tastes good. (Yes, these exist; and, yes, there's more than one.)
You might be wondering, "Why wouldn't you just tell me to ditch chocolate for good? If I'm looking to cut my carbs in half, one would think that'd be the first treat to go…?" Good question. The answer is simple: Chocolate is delicious, and why cut something out of your life when you can find healthier alternatives?
Believe it or not, dark chocolate specifically has plenty of health benefits. For starters, it's packed with powerful antioxidants. According to a 2011 study published in the Chemistry Central Journal, it even has more antioxidant activity than blueberries and acai berries.
According to a 2012 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dark chocolate can also improve your blood flow and lower your blood pressure. And it was shown in a 2011 study published in the Clinical Nutrition journal that eating dark chocolate five times a week lowered the risk of heart disease by 57 percent.
Now that you're convinced of dark chocolate's benefits, it's time we discuss how to choose the right dark chocolate — especially one that's low in carbohydrates.
Aside from grabbing chocolate labeled low-carb (duh), look for the following:
- Chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao (the darker the chocolate, the healthier it is!)
- Chocolate free of artificial sweeteners
- Chocolate produced organically and under fair conditions
Here are 10 low-carb chocolate products, so you can treat yourself — guilt-free.
ChocZero Keto Bark
This milk chocolate-hazelnut bark has no added sugar, no sugar alcohols, no artificial sweeteners and only 3 grams of net carbs per serving.
ChocZero Keto Bark, $14.99 at Amazon
Simply Lite Low-Carb Dark Chocolate
At only 100 calories per serving, this dark chocolate has low net carbs: a measly 1 gram.
Simply Lite Low-Carb Dark Chocolate, $28.97 (pack of 10) at Amazon
Taza Chocolate Amaze Bar in Sea Salt & Almond
This gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and vegan chocolate bar is made with unrefined 80 percent dark stone-ground organic chocolate and has just 14 grams of total carbs per serving (which is half the package).
TZA Chocolate Amaze Bar in Sea Salt & Almond, $43.33 (for a pack of 10) at Amazon
Tom & Jenny's sugar-free soft caramels
These keto-friendly soft caramels are 100 calories per serving and pack up to 50 percent less net carbs than typical caramels.
Tom & Jenny's sugar-free soft caramels, $5.99 at Amazon
Innocent Chocolate dark chocolate bar
You won't find any net carbs in this dark chocolate bar — zero. Plus, each bar is packed with 28 grams of fiber.
Innocent Chocolate dark chocolate bar, $23.99 (for six bars) at Amazon
Vivani 100% organic dark chocolate
It's organic, it's made with 85 percent cacao, and it has just 15 grams of total carbs (including 6 grams of sugar and 6 grams of fiber).
Vivani 100% organic dark chocolate, $30 (for a pack of five) at Amazon
Lindt Excellence dark supreme
At 90 percent cacao, this gluten-free bar has 12 grams of total carbs, including 3 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fiber.
Lindt Excellence dark supreme, $32.16 (for a pack of 12) at Amazon
Endangered Species Natural Dark Chocolate
Boasting 88 percent cacao and 17 grams of total carbs, the cocoa beans used to make this dark chocolate bar were shade-grown and ethically traded.
Endangered Species Natural Dark Chocolate, $44 (for a pack of 12) at Amazon
Alter Eco Dark Blackout Organic Chocolate
According to the product description, the cacao for this sweet treat, which has 14 grams of total carbs, was "plucked from organic trees in the Peruvian Amazon and Ecuadorian Coast."
Alter Eco Dark Blackout Organic Chocolate, $9.18 at Amazon
Dagoba organic chocolate eclipse
With 19 grams of total carbs, including 8 grams of sugar and 8 grams of fiber, this bar is 87 percent cacao.
Dagoba organic chocolate eclipse, $37.07 (for a pack of 12) at Amazon
Chocolove Extreme Dark Chocolate
With 88 percent cacao, this dark chocolate bar from Chocolove is very low-carb: It has 10 grams of total carbs, with 4 grams of sugar and 4 grams of fiber.
Chocolove Extreme Dark Chocolate, $17.99 (for a pack of four) at Amazon