Which dark chocolate has no sugar?

Dark chocolate has become increasingly popular in recent years, largely thanks to its reputation as a healthier alternative to milk chocolate. While dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk chocolate, most varieties do still contain some amount of sugar. However, there are options available for those looking for sugar-free dark chocolate. This article will explore the different brands and options for sugar-free dark chocolate, looking at the pros and cons of going sugar-free and providing recommendations on the best sugar-free dark chocolate products.

What is dark chocolate?

Dark chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter than milk chocolate, and little to no milk solids. While the exact parameters vary, dark chocolate typically contains at least 60% cocoa solids. The higher cocoa content gives dark chocolate a more intense chocolate flavor and bitterness compared to milk chocolate.

Dark chocolate also contains less sugar than milk chocolate. Milk chocolate generally contains over 50% added sugars, whereas a typical dark chocolate may contain around 30-40% added sugars. However, the exact sugar content can vary greatly depending on the brand and cacao percentage.

The higher cocoa content of dark chocolate means it contains more antioxidants and fiber compared to milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has been associated with health benefits including improved heart health, lower blood pressure, and better cognitive function when consumed in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Why go sugar-free?

Sugar-free dark chocolate eliminates the added sugars normally found in chocolate. This appeals to several markets:


Diabetics need to closely monitor carbohydrate and sugar intake. The American Diabetes Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to no more than 25 grams per day for women and 36 grams per day for men. Sugar-free dark chocolate gives diabetics another sweet option that won’t impact blood sugar levels.

Low carb/keto diets

Low carb and ketogenic diets aim to limit overall carb consumption, typically to less than 50g net carbs per day. Sugar is a type of carbohydrate, so eliminating sugar helps meet the low carb goals of these diets. Sugar-free chocolate means one less food to worry about when counting carbs.

Weight loss

Added sugar contains calories but little nutritional value. Limiting added sugars can help reduce overall calorie intake for weight loss. The average American consumes over 60 pounds of added sugar per year, so cutting out sources like chocolate can make a significant dent. Those with a sweet tooth can still enjoy the chocolate flavor without the added sugar bringing extra calories.

Dental health

Sugar is notorious for contributing to cavities and dental decay. Sugar-free chocolate eliminates the sugar that would otherwise linger on teeth and provides a safer treat option for those concerned about tooth decay and dental health.

Downsides of sugar-free chocolate

While sugar-free chocolate may seem like the perfect solution for health-conscious chocolate lovers, there are some potential downsides:

Artificial sweeteners

Most sugar-free chocolate contains artificial zero-calorie sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, or stevia extracts to provide sweetness without the calories and carbs. While generally considered safe in moderation, some conflicting research has linked large amounts of artificial sweeteners to health issues like metabolic disorders. Those concerned about artificial sweeteners may want to limit intake of sugar-free chocolate.

Higher cacao content

With the sugar removed, sugar-free chocolate tends to contain higher percentages of cacao to help compensate for the lack of sweetness. While this does increase antioxidant content, the bitterness and cocoa flavor may be very intense for some as there is no sugar to balance it out. Those who prefer milk chocolate or milder dark chocolate may find sugar-free versions too harsh.

Gastrointestinal issues

Some sugar alcohols like maltitol, used to sweeten sugar-free chocolate, can cause digestive upset in sensitive individuals if consumed in large amounts. Problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea may occur. This mainly applies to those who eat substantial amounts of sugar-free foods.


Sugar-free and low carb specialty foods often come with a higher price tag. Sugar-free chocolate may be pricier than traditional chocolate. However, as it increases in popularity, more competitive products are entering the market.

What to look for in sugar-free dark chocolate

When evaluating sugar-free dark chocolate options, here are some things to look for:

Low net carbs

Check the nutrition label and look at the net carb count. Net carbs refer to the total carbohydrates minus fiber and sugar alcohols. Quality sugar-free chocolate should have less than 5g net carbs per serving, coming almost entirely from the cocoa itself.

High cacao percentage

A cacao percentage of at least 70% indicates a higher amount of chocolate liquor and more intense dark chocolate flavor. Combined with no added sugar, this helps offset the bitterness.

Alternative natural sweeteners

Some brands use alternative sweeteners like monk fruit or stevia extracts rather than artificial sweeteners. This appeals to consumers trying to avoid artificial additives.

Positive reviews

It’s always helpful to check reviews and see what actual customers have to say. Look for brands with consistently positive feedback on the taste, texture, and sweetness.

Organic and fair trade

Opt for third-party certified fair trade and organic chocolate when possible. This ensures responsible farming practices protecting both the environment and workers.

Top sugar-free dark chocolate brands

Based on their stellar ingredients, taste, and nutrition stats, here are my top picks for sugar-free dark chocolate:

Lily’s Dark Chocolate Style Baking Chips

Lily’s is the gold standard when it comes to sugar-free chocolate. Their dark chocolate chips are sweetened with stevia and check all the boxes: 60% cacao, only 1g net carbs, and rave reviews on the taste. Try adding these chips to cookie dough or melted into rich chocolate bark.

Chocoperfection Dark Chocolate Patés

These indulgent chocolate patés from Chocoperfection contain a smooth chocolate ganache sweetened with inulin, a prebiotic soluble fiber. With 72% cacao, 2g net carbs, and interesting flavors like Lavender and Vanilla, they offer a sophisticated sugar-free dark chocolate experience.

Endangered Species 72% Dark Chocolate

For an ethical everyday sugar-free chocolate bar, Endangered Species 72% Cacao hits the spot. Sweetened with fair trade cocoa nibs for a 1g net carb bar, it’s USDA Organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified, non-GMO, and supports wildlife conservation.

ChocZero Dark Chocolate Squares

ChocZero offers keto-friendly chocolate with monkfruit as the sweetener. Their 85% dark chocolate squares contain only 1g net carbs per square alongside organic fair trade cocoa beans. The intense flavor profile satisfies serious dark chocolate cravings.

Best sugar-free dark chocolate recipes

The options expand beyond just pre-made bars with these decadent homemade sugar-free chocolate recipes:

Sugar-Free Chocolate Mousse

This light and airy mousse gets its richness from heavy whipping cream and dark chocolate. Sweetened with stevia drops, it’s surprisingly low carb and low calorie for such a decadent dessert. Top with freshly whipped cream and raspberries for a fancy presentation.

Easy Sugar-Free Fudge

Just four simple ingredients come together to make these easy keto chocolate peanut butter fudge bites. Melted unsweetened chocolate and powdered monkfruit sweetener add chocolate decadence without the sugar.

Gluten-Free Brownies

These chewy gluten-free brownies use almond flour and dark chocolate chunks for a keto, low carb spin. With under 5g net carbs per brownie, you can enjoy a rich chocolate treat without the sugar crash.

Tips for using sugar-free dark chocolate

Here are some helpful tips for incorporating sugar-free dark chocolate into your diet:

Start with small amounts

The high cacao content can make sugar-free chocolate intense if you’re used to milk chocolate. Start with individual squares or chips until your tastebuds adjust.

Combine with nuts or fruit

The natural sweetness and fat in nuts like almonds, pecans, or peanut butter can help mellow out the bitterness. Pairing a few berries with your chocolate also balances the flavors.

Use it for cooking and baking

Sugar-free chocolate works great for making chocolate sauces, fat bombs, baked goods, and other treats. The sugar-free chocolate maintains texture and provides indulgence without spiking blood sugar.

Look for chocolate “chips”

The chocolate chip or bar format tends to have lower net carbs compared to molded chocolate bark products. Chips also melt and cook more evenly.

Watch portion sizes

While sugar-free, chocolate is still high in calories and fat. Be mindful of reasonable portion sizes even with this “healthier” option.

Potential health benefits

Here are some of the potential benefits associated with dark chocolate when consumed in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle:

Heart health

The flavonoids in cacao may help reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart and brain. One analysis linked chocolate consumption with a lower risk of cardiovascular events.

Blood sugar regulation

Despite the sweet flavor, studies indicate the polyphenols in cocoa can help regulate insulin secretion and improve insulin sensitivity.

Brain function

Epicatechin, one of the flavonoids found in cacao, may stimulate neuron growth and blood flow in regions of the brain involved in memory and cognition.


Theobromine in cocoa seems to raise HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, potentially reducing risk for atherosclerosis.

Mood improvement

Chocolate contains neurotransmitters like serotonin and anandamide which may produce feelings of euphoria and contentment.

However more research is still needed to confirm some of these proposed benefits. Talk to your doctor before using chocolate to treat any medical conditions.


While most dark chocolate contains sugar, going sugar-free doesn’t mean sacrificing that rich chocolate flavor. Brands like Lily’s, Chocoperfection, Endangered Species, and ChocZero offer low carb, low sugar options made with natural sweeteners. Be mindful of portion sizes even with sugar-free chocolate. But when cravings strike, choosing options without the added sugar can be a smart way to indulge while still being health conscious. The cacao content provides antioxidants and potential benefits ranging from better heart health to improved cognitive function. With so many great sugar-free products available, you can enjoy delicious dark chocolate as part of a balanced diet.

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