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Friday, June 4, 2010

Low Carb Chocolate & Lindt Excellence

Low carb chocolate doesn't have to mean chocolate with artificial sweetner. It can also mean dark chocolate with a very high cocoa content, high cocoa butter, and no milk.

I'm a long-time fan of Lindt chocolate. I love the rich chocolate taste and the silky smooth texture that just melts across your tastebuds. I recently tried 2 dark chocolate bars from the Lindt Excellence line. It was darker than what I'm used to but I've been noticing that since I've been on an almost no sugar and low carb diet, I've been able to taste the natural sweetness of foods more. I'm more sensitive to taste of sugar and even a small amount tastes pretty sweet to me. So the low carb Lindt Excellence dark chocolate bars were plenty sweet for me but I don't think they would have been 3 months ago.

I tried both the:
  • Lindt 70% - Lindt Excellence 70% - 70% Cocoa Intense Dark Excellence
  • Lindt 85% - Lindt Excellence 85% - 85% Cocoa Extra Dark Excellence
Most people seem to just refer to them as Lindt 70 and Lindt 85. There's also a Lindt 90% but it is evidently harder to find and the store I went to didn't carry it. Lindt's regular dark chocolate (no milk) is 60% cocoa.

Here are the ingredients for the Lindt Excellence bars I tried:

Lindt 70% Ingredients: Chocolate, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Natural Bourbon Vanilla Beans.

Lindt 85% Ingredients: Chocolate, Cocoa Powder, Cocoa Butter, Sugar, Natural Bourbon Vanilla Beans.

Even though Lindt Excellence bars are not labeled as "low carb chocolate" and Lindt doesn't seem to market them as low carb, they definitely are low carb compared to most chocolate bars that contain real sugar.

Lindt Excellence bars are sold as BIG bars with just under 3 times the chocolate you have in a regular sized Hershey's Bar. On the nutrition information label, they break this down into  2.5 servings. The bar has a total of 10 pieces. Here are the net carbs per serving (4 squares) and per piece:

Lindt 70%: 11 net carbs per serving, 2.75 net carbs per piece

Lindt 85%: 5 net carbs per serving, 1.25 net carbs per piece

You can definitely taste the difference in sweetness between the Lindt 70% and the Lindt 85% but I thought both were excellent and both have that same silky smoothness I love so much about Lindt chocolate in general. I've found that a single square of both eaten slow with a nice hot cup of coffee fully satisfies my chocolate craving. That's only 4 net carbs total so I'd say that is definitely low carb chocolate without having to deal with the artificial sweetners. If I got a serious chocolate craving, I'd probably go for a full serving of Lindt 85% which is only 5 net carbs.

I know there is a wide variety of low carb chocolate candy that contains artificial sweetners. However, I don't trust any of the artificial sweetners. For most of my life, I have refused to partake of artificial sweetners feeling like I'm putting little packets of white carcinogens in my food and drink. However, I did break down and buy a box of splenda packets a month or so ago for my chai tea and occasionally coffee when I want it sweet. I don't plan to bake with it or use it a great deal and I'd rather find a quality stevia product (without the licorice aftertaste) for my chai if anyone has some recommendations.

I've read many good reviews of ChocoPerfection bars, a popular low carb chocolate bar that comes in both low carb milk chocolate and low carb dark chocolate. They are sweetened with oligofructose made from grinding up chickory root. They also contains erythritol. These deserve further research, and depending on what I find out about oligofructose, I may try these and if I do I'll review them on my blog.

Find out the truth about Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate and other Americanized so called "dark chocolate" here (warning: this is a long post but it contains information that I think all diabetics and low carb dieters should know). Hint: it isn't REAL dark chocolate and it isn't low carb chocolate and it eliminates the majority of healthy antioxidants in chocolate.

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