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February  14

Mmmmmm, Fake Chocolate


What better day than Feb. 14 to extend a hearty blogosphere welcome to Bloomfield blogger Sean Hughes, who's recently launched the Diabetic Food Critic at www.diabeticfoodcritic.com? Hughes rates low-sugar sweets on his site, and recently gave a big thumbs-up to an offering by Hershey's.

A nice woman in my office named Mary Kate knows that I am a diabetic and generously gave me a Christmas gift with sugar-free candy in it. One piece of candy was Hershey’s 1 gram Sugar Carb Chocolate Bar with Almonds. I have always enjoyed chocolate bars but have slowed that down since being diagnosed with diabetes. My last experience with a low-sugar or no-sugar candy bar was far from good, and I was interested to see if this could be a turn in the right direction.

As soon as I opened the bar, I could totally smell the chocolate and boy it got me excited about taking a bite. Needless to say, I took a bite of the bar as quickly as I could. My first reaction was ummmmm chocolate and then I could taste the almonds, which are a good added bonus. As I ate it, the chocolate was so smooth until I got to the little ripples of almonds, which tasted great. This is clearly the chocolate bar I have been looking for.

Sadly, we recently passed the low-carb store on Bloomfield Ave (near the Wellmont Theater) and saw that it was going out of business. They sold gourmet sugar-free candies from a classy glass-fronted case. One word of warning, though, for those who would try to avoid the calories of full-sugar chocolate by loading up on the low-sugar stuff:


February 14, 2006 in Food and Drink | Permalink


Gas only if the stuff contains maltitol or sorbitol. Those sugar alcohols are digestable by bacteria in our guts and produce the equivalent of methane - gas.

Other sugar substitutes, like sucralose, don't have the same effect.

Does your chocolate critic above have a label handy to list the ingredients?

Posted by: max | Feb 14, 2006 12:44:09 PM

For those of you looking for a low sugar, non-gassy treat, I highly recommend the following:


They sell retail in Manhattan at Zabar's and The Conran Shop (Bridge Market on the East Side).

Yummy and High Quality....unfortunately also high price. But a nice occassional treat.

Posted by: Lisa | Feb 14, 2006 12:49:07 PM

Godiva offers a sugar free collection.

Posted by: Jim | Feb 14, 2006 12:55:51 PM

Sorry to hear that store Sugarfree Sensations is going out. Although I am not a diabetic, I feel better not eating sugar (personally, I think sugar ruins the flavor of a lot of foods) and used to shop there for the holidays all the time.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 14, 2006 1:00:53 PM

Sugarfree Sensations went out of business last Autumn.

Posted by: Krys O. | Feb 14, 2006 1:22:24 PM

sugar free doesn't mean carb free. Its all of the carbs that breakdown into sugar anyway.

Posted by: katrina | Feb 14, 2006 1:51:41 PM

Katrina, you are right, sugar is only one form of carbs. However, most of the sugar alcohols aren't digested by us. Fructose is but more slowly and for diabetics, doesn't raise blood sugar levels the same way glucose or sucrose does. Inulin (one of the ingredients in the super dark chocolate) is a soluable fiber and only marginally sweet.

The sugar alcohols to watch out for that give you gas and diarrhea are maltitol and sorbitol and for some people, lactose.

Posted by: max | Feb 14, 2006 1:59:00 PM

Sorbital, unfortunately, is used in sugarless gum and doesn't agree with a lot of folks. Would love to see them leave this ingredient out.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 14, 2006 2:00:57 PM

BTW, I've found that in the case of almost all recipes that call for granulated sugar, you can get by on about a 1/3 of the amount. Never had any complaints.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 14, 2006 2:02:25 PM

There is no sorbitol or any other sugar alcohol in Vere's chocolates. They are still delicious.

Posted by: Lisa | Feb 14, 2006 2:07:22 PM

The Diabetic Food Critic is Daily Doormatt approved. Now get the Hell back to work Sean.

Posted by: MyManMisterC | Feb 14, 2006 2:11:38 PM

Lisa, no there isn't but there is fructose. Sucrose is simply glucose+fructose chemically bound together. It is cleaved upon digestion and the glucose is handled differently than the fructose. For some people (not due to diabetes but other metabolic disorders) fructose is also a problem. In high amounts most people have some problems with fructose and it isn't calorie free like artificial sweeteners.

Posted by: max | Feb 14, 2006 2:13:35 PM

Hey anyone else out there have their significant other out of town this Valentine's Day?

Posted by: MyManMisterC | Feb 14, 2006 2:14:48 PM

Oh and fructose isn't as sweet as sugar so my guess is they use more fructose than they would sucrose for the same amount of sweetness. You'd have to look at how many calories come from the fructose to figure out the actual carb count.

Posted by: max | Feb 14, 2006 2:15:02 PM

Thanks for the clarification, Max.

My husband and I are South beach dieters....so the nutritionals on this worked out very nicely for us....only 2 grams of sugar with 2 grams of fiber and a total of 7 carbs per serving.

Posted by: Lisa | Feb 14, 2006 2:20:51 PM

"Hey anyone else out there have their significant other out of town this Valentine's Day?"

Sounds like a craigslist listing ...

Posted by: Jim | Feb 14, 2006 2:33:19 PM

LOL, I do, Matt...

Posted by: Tom | Feb 14, 2006 2:48:30 PM

I never really cared for Valentine's Day until this year. It really sucks when you are alone. Every one else is all smiley because they are eating lobster and steak tonight.

Posted by: MyManMisterC | Feb 14, 2006 2:50:05 PM

Sorry, My Man..:-(

Well, you can just make it up when she returns. You'll probably get a dinner reservation a lot easier, too.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 14, 2006 2:59:07 PM

How about the use of Xylitol now? It seems to be up & coming in the healthfood world.

Posted by: PAZnj (AMiL) | Feb 14, 2006 3:20:40 PM

And what's up with Splenda? What IS that stuff anyhow?

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 14, 2006 3:23:01 PM

Xylitol - no gas, not quite as sweet as sugar but many less carbs, actually good for your teeth because it clogs up the bacteria that causes tooth decay.

Miss Martta, splenda or sucralose is the newest artificial sweetener. Some of the hydrogen atoms are converted to cloride rendering it non-absorbed and non-digested by us or bacteria or yeast. It still tastes sweet, in fact many times as sweet as sugar but it goes through and is eliminated unchanged (for the most part).

For those that hate all things unnatural, don't buy the hype, it isn't sugar, it is just chemically related to sugar.

I use it and like it but it doesn't have all the normal properties of sugar (like bulking and carmalizing for cooking).

Posted by: max | Feb 14, 2006 3:58:11 PM

be careful with sugar free chocolate!!! there is a yellow warning label on the back of the bag which i did not read this past summer while on the south beach diet. i ended up almost having to go to the emergency room with violent "abdominal distress"

Posted by: Angela | Feb 14, 2006 6:20:27 PM

geez...."violent abdominal stress". I have that every time I look at my checkbook!

Posted by: PAZitol (AMiL) | Feb 14, 2006 7:54:36 PM

erratum: make that "distress"....>(;o}=)8+++

Posted by: PAZitol (AMiL) | Feb 14, 2006 7:57:00 PM

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