Low Carb/Sugar Free Chocolate

June 10, 2011

For some reason, today I wanted CARBS! I forgot to bring any snacks to work, and by 3pm, I was starving and all I could think of was mouth-water desserts of all varieties, especially cup-cakes! I took a quick break and went over to the Health Nuts store (64th and 2nd ave, New York) and picked up a low carb chocolate. The chocolate was called Simply Lite – Dark Chocolate with Almonds, which you can also buy from Amazon.com.

The packaging looked great (not just in terms of the design but also in terms of the nutrition). Just under one-third of the chocolate bar had 2g net effective carbs. The serving size is 25g and there’s 3.5 servings in the entire bar. There’s 110 calories per serving with 13g of carbs (2g of dietary fiber and 9g of maltitol).

There are various other “low carb” or “sugar free” chocolates, but they generally all replace real sugar with maltitol or an equivalent.

So of course, I consumed over half of the pack in one fell swoop. It has a very sweet nutty taste, although it was rather lacking in almonds (there were some very small pieces). The chocolate didn’t really melt in my mouth – it was kind of crunchy, and you have to chew on it – but, it did taste like chocolate, and after 3 weeks of no real desserts, it didn’t taste all that bad! The main problem with the chocolate was probably the 9g of maltitol. Maltitol is a sugar alcohol that is used in many low-carb desserts because maltitol doesn’t have to be reported as sugar in the nutritional information. The claims are that maltitol is absorbed more slowly than sugar, and therefore there’s less of an blood glucose spike. The chocolate packaging even recommended it to diabetics! I know this is very unscientific, but I definitely felt a little lethargic after eating such a large piece of the chocolate. I probably had around 4g net carbs (with 18g of maltitol). I definitely don’t think it was the equivalent of consuming 4g of carbs, but I also didn’t feel like I had just consumed over 20g of carbs! Beware, all the “low carb” or “sugar free” chocolates that I’ve seen (and I’ve looked at all the major brands) replace real sugar with maltitol or an equivalent. My verdict: I’m going to try and stay away from maltitol unless I’m super desperate, but it’s more because of the warning on the back of the packet: “Excess consumption may cause a laxative effect”!

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