In the ever-expanding universe of chocolate, it is not surprising to come across new varieties all the time. Paleo chocolate, at first glance, sounds like a gourmet specialty chocolate, only available in European chocolate stores. But in reality, it’s something much simpler. To understand what paleo chocolate is, we need to understand the paleo diet.
What is a Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet is named after the Paleolithic era that ended just before the advent of modern farming practices about 10,000 years ago.
Back then, humans lived in small hunter-gatherer societies that frequently migrated in search of food. It was only possible to eat from what was offered by nature. The diet of Paleolithic people would have mainly consisted of fruits, seeds, nuts, vegetables and lean meat from hunted game.
Many of the things we eat today are similar to those of our Paleolithic ancestors, however things like rice, dairy, legumes and grain would not have been around then. By going on a paleo diet, you are limiting yourself to the same food options your ancestors had.
Other names for this diet include the Stone-Age diet, hunter-gatherer diet and caveman diet.
Why Go on a Paleo Diet?
So why do people do it? With all the options available today it doesn’t quite add up. However, there is a theory that suggests our bodies are not suited for the diet that has emerged out of modern farming practices.
Ever since we began farming and breeding livestock, our diet has undergone a drastic change, and the body hasn’t been able to adapt to this. It is believed that this is the main reason for conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more.
How is Paleo Chocolate Possible?
Chocolate recipes frequently include dairy, eggs and processed sugar. All foods that are restricted in the paleo diet. So how is paleo chocolate even possible?
The internet is teeming with all kinds of paleo recipes that try to create alternative options for the foods we love. Food products that don’t necessarily conform to the paleo dietary regimen are made using paleo-friendly substitutions, including the ever-popular chocolate.
Turns out, chocolate can be paleo and can actually be found in many chocolate stores. What you want to do is look for chocolate that’s a least 70% dark that contains no sugar, dairy or other restricted ingredients. Bitter, unsweetened chocolate is turning into quite the fad, and companies haven’t held back in coming up with new and more exciting options by the day. There are many companies offering raw chocolates, cacao nibs or chocolate products sweetened with paleo-approved sweeteners such as honey, monk fruit or maple syrup.
While our Paleolithic ancestors likely weren’t eating anything close to these innovative chocolate confections, they can make it easier to try out or stick to the paleo diet. The next time you’re looking for a chocolate that fits into your paleo diet, read the label and make sure it doesn’t contain any of the restricted ingredients.