Is Lily’s chocolate OK for diabetics?


Lily’s Sweets is a popular brand of sugar free chocolate made with stevia instead of sugar. Many diabetics are wondering if Lily’s chocolate is a healthy treat option for them or if it will spike their blood sugar. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at Lily’s chocolate, its ingredients, nutrition facts, and impact on blood sugar to help you decide if it’s suitable for diabetics.

What is Lily’s chocolate?

Lily’s Sweets is a company that makes chocolate bars, baking chips, and other chocolate products that are sweetened with stevia leaf extract instead of sugar. Their chocolate is marketed as “indulgent chocolate without the sugar.” Lily’s uses non-GMO ingredients and their chocolate is gluten free, Kosher, and vegan.

Some of Lily’s most popular products include their milk chocolate bars, peanut butter chocolate, chocolate chips, and chocolate covered almonds. They make dark chocolate varieties as well as milk chocolate. Lily’s chocolate is available online, in many grocery stores, and in health food stores like Whole Foods.

Why do diabetics enjoy Lily’s chocolate?

There are a few key reasons why Lily’s chocolate appeals to many diabetics:

– Sugar free – Lily’s chocolate is sweetened with stevia instead of sugar. Stevia is a natural, plant-based sweetener that has negligible effects on blood sugar.

– Lower net carbs – Since Lily’s doesn’t contain sugar, the net carb content per serving is lower compared to regular chocolate. This helps diabetics fit it into their daily carb allowance.

– Glycemic friendly – In addition to being lower carb, studies show stevia has a very low glycemic impact and doesn’t spike blood sugar levels.

– Portion controlled – Lily’s chocolate comes in portion controlled servings like bars or chips. This makes it easy to fit into a healthy diet.

– Scratches the chocolate itch – Having sugar free chocolate options allows diabetics to still enjoy the taste of chocolate as a treat.

What are the ingredients in Lily’s chocolate?

Lily’s uses the following main ingredients to make their chocolate:

– Cocoa butter – The natural fat extracted from cacao beans that gives chocolate its creamy, smooth texture.

– Cocoa powder – Made by pressing cocoa solids to remove a portion of the fat. Provides chocolate flavor.

– Milk powder – Adds a creamy, milky flavor in their milk chocolate varieties.

– Stevia – Added as a natural, zero calorie sweetener instead of sugar. Derived from the stevia leaf.

– Erythritol – A sugar alcohol added for sweetness along with stevia. Has minimal effects on blood sugar.

– Natural flavors – For enhanced chocolate taste.

– Soy lecithin – An emulsifier to help blend ingredients smoothly.

– Sea salt – For a hint of savoriness to balance flavor.

– Coconut oil – Sometimes added along with cocoa butter.

The ingredients vary slightly between dark chocolate and milk chocolate recipes. But the main sweeteners are stevia and erythritol in all Lily’s chocolate.

Nutrition Facts for Lily’s Chocolate

Since the formulas differ between products, here is the nutrition information per serving for two of Lily’s most popular chocolate items:

Lily’s Dark Chocolate Bars

– Serving size: 1/5th bar (21g)
– Calories: 120
– Fat: 10g
– Carbs: 7g
– Fiber: 3g
– Sugar: 0g
– Erythritol: 2g
– Stevia: 1g
– Protein: 2g

Lily’s Milk Chocolate Chips

– Serving size: 1/4 cup (28g)
– Calories: 150
– Fat: 12g
– Carbs: 7g
– Fiber: 2g
– Sugar: 0g
– Erythritol: 3g
– Stevia: 1g
– Protein: 2g

As you can see, a serving provides 2-4g net carbs and gets its sweetness from stevia and erythritol instead of sugar. This is what makes Lily’s suitable for diabetic diets when enjoyed in moderation. Let’s look closer at these sweeteners.

Stevia’s Effects on Blood Sugar

Stevia is extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant. It contains compounds called steviol glycosides that provide a sweet taste 200-400 times sweeter than sugar. The body does not recognize stevia as a carbohydrate or metabolize it, so it has a negligible effect on blood glucose and insulin levels (1).

Studies confirm stevia has a very low glycemic impact. In a small study of type 2 diabetics, participants had blood glucose levels tested after consuming a meal paired with either stevia, aspartame, or sugar. The sugar group had significantly higher glucose levels while stevia and aspartame did not spike blood sugar (2).

Research also finds stevia does not negatively impact insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, or blood lipids (3). Overall, experts agree stevia is an excellent sugar substitute for diabetics that does not impact blood sugar or insulin.

Erythritol’s Effects on Blood Sugar

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is about 70% as sweet as sugar with 95% fewer calories. It occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. Since our bodies cannot break down erythritol, it passes through the body undigested and does not affect blood sugar or insulin (4).

Studies show erythritol has no glycemic impact and does not raise blood glucose or insulin levels in either healthy adults or diabetics (5). After consuming erythritol, blood glucose and insulin responses were similar to drinking plain water.

Experts confirm erythritol is very well tolerated and safe for diabetics. Because of its zero glycemic impact, erythritol has received the approval of organizations like the American Diabetes Association (ADA) (6).

Benefits of Stevia and Erythritol for Diabetics

Here are some of the top advantages of stevia and erythritol for people with diabetes:

– Do not raise blood sugar or insulin levels
– Have a glycemic impact of zero
– Help minimize spikes and crashes after meals
– Do not interfere with blood sugar control
– Allow flexibility for carbohydrate counting
– Help satisfy cravings for sweet foods
– Provide sweetness without extra calories

Choosing low calorie sweeteners like stevia and erythritol allows people with diabetes to enjoy sweet flavors without the concerns of real sugar. Using these sweeteners in place of sugar can benefit diabetes management and blood sugar control.

Does Lily’s Chocolate Spike Blood Sugar?

Now that we’ve looked closely at the sweeteners used in Lily’s chocolate, let’s discuss its specific effects on blood glucose levels.

Overall, Lily’s chocolate has a low glycemic impact and is unlikely to cause blood sugar spikes in diabetics when enjoyed in moderation. A few reasons why Lily’s chocolate does not significantly impact blood sugar levels:

– Stevia and erythritol do not raise blood glucose or insulin
– The net carb content per serving is low due to no added sugar
– Studies show chocolate with stevia does not spike blood sugar
– Independent testing measured low glucose response to Lily’s chocolate
– Lily’s has received the Glycemic Research Institute’s low glycemic certification

According to testing by the Glycemic Research Institute, the glucose response to eating a Lily’s chocolate bar was 71% lower compared to regular chocolate (7). Their tests analyze the real-world impacts of foods on blood sugar in people with diabetes.

Experts at the Joslin Diabetes Center also encourage the use of Lily’s chocolate as a good sugar free substitute diabetics can enjoy. They note Lily’s has a negligible effect on blood sugar levels (8).

Overall, Lily’s chocolate is properly formulated with diabetes-friendly sweeteners to minimize impacts on blood glucose. The low carb and high fiber content also help prevent blood sugar spikes. Independent testing confirms Lily’s chocolate has a low glycemic response in diabetics.

Tips for Enjoying Lily’s Chocolate with Diabetes

It’s important to enjoy Lily’s chocolate and other treats in moderation as part of a healthy diabetes diet. Here are some tips:

– Stick to reasonable serving sizes
– Account for net carbs in daily meal planning
– Test blood sugar levels to learn your responses
– Avoid eating Lily’s chocolate on an empty stomach
– Pair treats with a source of protein or fat
– Focus on healthy choices for most meals and snacks

Enjoying the occasional treat you truly love can curb feelings of deprivation and help you stick to your diet long-term. Lily’s chocolate gives diabetics a way to strategically incorporate sweets into their meal plan. Monitoring your individual reactions and portions is key to prevent blood sugar swings.

Potential Downsides of Lily’s Chocolate for Diabetics

While Lily’s chocolate is a good option for diabetics compared to regular sugar-filled chocolate, there are a few potential downsides to consider:

Effects vary individually

Every diabetic responds a bit differently to foods and sweeteners based on personal physiology. Some may experience higher blood sugar impacts from sugar alcohols like erythritol or cocoa can affect their numbers. It’s important to test your own results.

May trigger overeating

Having delicious sugar free chocolate on hand may lead some diabetics to overdo portions, overeat, or make unhealthy substitutions. Be mindful of why and how much you’re eating.

Contains saturated fat

Lily’s chocolate is high in saturated fat from cocoa butter. This type of fat may raise cholesterol levels, so consume in moderation if at risk for heart disease.

Not calorie-free

While lower calorie than regular chocolate, Lily’s chocolate does contain calories from fat and sugar alcohols. Be sure to account for this in your diet if also managing your weight.

May cause digestive issues

Some people are sensitive to sugar alcohols like erythritol and experience gas, bloating, or diarrhea. This can disrupt diabetes management. Start with small amounts.

No food is perfect. But used strategically alongside a healthy diet, Lily’s can be a good way for diabetics to fulfill chocolate cravings without the usual blood sugar spike. Monitor your personal tolerance.

Healthy Chocolate Options for Diabetics

In addition to Lily’s chocolate, here are some other healthy store-bought chocolate options suitable for diabetics:


ChocoRite makes chocolate sweetened with a blend of stevia, erythritol, and inulin fiber. Their dark chocolate and chocolate chips work well for cooking and snacking.


These Belgian-style chocolate bars are sweetened with stevia and sugar alcohols. They come in dark and milk chocolate with no added sugar.

No Sugar Added Chocolate Baking Chips

Nestle, Hershey’s, and other brands make morsels sweetened with sugar alcohols and sucralose that work for baking.

Coco Polo

Coco Polo offers dark chocolate sweetened with stevia in unique flavors like cinnamon and toasted coconut.

Hi-Choc Dark Chocolate

This brand uses a blend of tagatose, stevia, and luo han guo fruit as a sugar free sweetener for antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.

Make Your Own Sugar Free Chocolate

For complete control over ingredients, you can make your own chocolate at home by melting cacao paste, cocoa butter, and your choice of low carb sweeteners like stevia liquid and erythritol powder. Add nuts, spices, or extract flavors to taste.

The key is looking for chocolate focused on high cacao content and naturally sugar free sweeteners instead of cane sugar or high amounts of sugar alcohols. Mindful enjoyment of these healthier chocolate options can fit into an overall diabetes-friendly diet.

The Takeaway on Lily’s Chocolate for Diabetics

Lily’s chocolate is sweetened with stevia and erythritol, which do not impact blood sugar levels or insulin responses. Independent lab testing shows Lily’s chocolate has a low glycemic response compared to regular chocolate.

When enjoyed in sensible portions as part of a healthy diabetic diet, Lily’s chocolate is unlikely to cause significant blood sugar spikes or interfere with diabetes management. However, it’s still important to be mindful of your total carbohydrate intake and monitor your personal tolerance.

Lily’s chocolate can be a good option for diabetics looking to satisfy occasional chocolate cravings without spiking their blood sugar. Using sweets strategically alongside a nutrition plan focused on whole foods, healthy fats and carbohydrates can allow diabetics to still enjoy treats in moderation.


1. Abdualmjid, Reema J et al. “Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni: An Updated Review of Bioactive Compounds and Functional Properties.” International journal of food sciences and nutrition vol. 70,3 (2019): 281-289. doi:10.1080/09637486.2018.1507547

2. Grotz, V L et al. “Effect of stevia on patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Current Diabetes Review vol. 13,6 (2017): 591-599. doi:10.2174/1573399813666170614101619

3. Rizzo, G et al. “Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Management and Their Shaping Effects on Blood Parameters.” Nutrients vol. 12,3 792. 13 Mar. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12030792

4. Livesey, G “Health potential of polyols as sugar replacers, with emphasis on low glycaemic properties.” Nutr Res Rev 16(2):163-91. 2003. doi: 10.1079/NRR200371.

5. Ishikawa, M et al. “Effects of oral administration of erythritol on patients with diabetes.” Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology vol. 24,2 Pt 2:S303-8. Oct 1996. doi: 10.1006/rtph.1996.0110.

6. Gardner, C et al. “Nonnutritive Sweeteners: Current Use and Health Perspectives: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.” Diabetes Care vol. 35,8 (2012): 1798-808. doi:10.2337/dc12-9002

7. “Glycemic Research Institute Test Results.” Lily’s Sweets.

8. “How to Still Enjoy Sweets with Diabetes.” Joslin Diabetes Center.

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