Vegan, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, diabetic, vegetarian, sports performance fanatic – 1 in 3 British households now
have a specific dietary requirement.
We're making sure top-quality cocoa and chocolate can stay part
of your lifestyle, offering the right products for you,
whatever your choices and needs.
Dalia Maori - Dietician & Nutritionist
"Hello, I am a nutritionist and chocolate lover. Not just any chocolate though, it has to be authentic: lots of antioxidant-rich cocoa combined with carefully selected, quality ingredients. I enjoy working with Hotel Chocolat because they are responsible, ethical and progressive whilst able to conjure up the most delicious creations. Choosing the right chocolates for you should be relaxing and informative, so here goes!"
Dalia Maori is a registered dietician based in Cambridge. She treats a full spectrum of health challenges, ranging from diabetes to digestive disorders.
With a strong belief in the pleasure of real food, Dalia helps her clients reconnect with their inherent ability to make healthy eating choices.
Dalia actively encourages people to turn away from eating patterns driven by guilt, deprivation and dietary misconceptions, directing movement onto a path of enjoying natural foods.
Dietary & Lifestyle Requirements
Did you know one in three British Households now have a specific dietary requirement?
Dairy Free & Vegan
Gluten Restricted Diets / Coeliacs
If you are looking for a box of chocolates with 'diabetic chocolates' written on the lid, you won't find it here! What you will find is sound advice and a way to balance diabetes with the healthy pleasure of real chocolate. Diabetics can enjoy a normal, healthy diet. It is best for everyone, including diabetics, to choose low glycaemic (slow release carbohydrate) foods wherever possible.
DALIA’S TIPS FOR DIABETICS
- Eat chocolate after a meal rather than between meals (and include it in your total meal carb count)
- 30g is a sensible portion size
- Don’t choose chocolate to eat if your blood glucose levels are above recommended levels at that time
- Choose top-quality chocolate, with more cocoa and less sugar
- Solid chocolate and nut-rich praline filled chocolates are best (less sugar and dairy fats)
- High-cocoa dark or Supermilk recipes are best for your health and blood sugar control
- Nuts balance blood sugar, so combine nuts and high-cocoa dark and milk chocolates
Find out more on our desktop site here.
Questions and Answers
IS CHOCOLATE BAD FOR YOU?
No, we believe that chocolate is not bad for you. In fact we believe that good quality chocolate can have a positive effect on your health and emotional wellbeing.
We believe that chocolate can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, and that to remove sugar binging and enjoy cocoa's health benefits you should buy more cocoa, less sugar chocolates which will satisfy your cocoa craving with less empty carbohydrates.
IS DARK CHOCOLATE AS GOOD FOR YOU AS A GLASS OF RED WINE?
Well it's difficult to choose one over the other! Both are high in antioxidants, both dilate blood vessels stimulating circulation, both can have a positive effect on your health and emotional wellbeing, both should be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet and not in excess.
DO HIGH COCOA PERCENTAGES MEAN A HEALTHIER CHOCOLATE?
Simply yes. More cocoa means less sugar, this also means more antioxidants and higher satiety (satisfied by eating less). Higher satiety also helps to decrease the risk of binging/overeating and consuming excess calories.
I AM DIABETIC. DO I HAVE TO STICK TO DIABETIC CHOCOLATE ONLY?
No, you can eat any quality chocolate as part of a balanced diabetic diet and so we do not sell diabetic chocolate. We advise you to try high cocoa milk and dark chocolate and chocolates with nuts. These all have less empty carbs, higher satiety and the nut chocolates have the benefit of a higher protein content. The net effect is lower blood sugar spikes.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK OUT FOR IF I NEED NON-GLUTEN PRODUCTS?
Most of our chocolates do not have gluten in the recipe, however avoid chocolates with biscuits and feuilletine (a crispy pancake). Chocolates containing gluten are clearly labelled both on packaging and on our website.
I HAVE HEARD COCOA IS GOOD FOR YOU BEFORE A WORKOUT OR SPORTS ACTIVITY. IS THIS TRUE?
Yes, Pre Exercise - Cocoa rich chocolate could very well be a best friend in optimising sport performance. Dark chocolate delivers a double punch of faster and slower acting sugars giving you the pre exercise boost you need, while not abandoning you into a sugar slump mid workout.
Post Exercise - In the hour following exercise, your muscles are eager for a quick delivery of protein and carbohydrate. Chocolate milk is an excellent choice for post workout replenishment and recovery. It is cheaper and more nutritious than an energy drink. Chocolate milk’s protein:carb ratio will help to ensure your efforts lead to greater performance by enhancing muscle recovery.
ARE ALL YOUR PRODUCTS SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS?
No, watch out for products with marshmallows, these still contain gelatine. You’re okay with everything else and we clearly label vegetarian suitability on our packs and on our website.
I NEED TO WATCH MY DAIRY INTAKE BUT DISLIKE DARK CHOCOLATE. ARE THERE ANY OPTIONS?
Yes - We have just developed a Milk Free Milk chocolate, this will be out at Easter and contains cocoa, almonds and sugar. If you are looking for an immediate dairy free fix try dark pralines and nuts coated with dark chocolate, the nuts dilute the bitterness of the chocolate and add sweeter creamier flavours.
HOW DO I KNOW BY LOOKING AT A PRODUCT LISTING ON YOUR WEBSITE WHETHER IT’S SUITABLE FOR ME?
We detail the allergens for each chocolate and box on the product page, if you’re not sure give us a call, we’re happy to help.
I’M FOLLOWING THE PALEO DIET. DO I NEED TO GIVE UP CHOCOLATE?
This is certainly a confusing area. Ultimately it depends on your style of Paleo and how much you need chocolate. Our view is, go for: 100% chocolate also known as cocoa mass, this has no added sugar, if too strong drop down to 80-90%, also chocolate coated nuts and cocoa beans are a worthy consideration.
I FIND IT HARD TO FIND GIFTS FOR MY VEGAN FRIENDS. CAN I BUY A GIFTING HAMPER?
Yes these have just been made available (January 2015) and not just for Vegans. We have made gift selections for all major dietary groups, available online and in our stores, but if yours is missing, let us know.
I WOULD LOVE TO TRY YOUR DRINKING CHOCOLATE BUT CAN’T HAVE DAIRY. WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST?
Start with either our Classic or Chilli Liquid Chocolat for drinking, you can follow the recipe substituting either a milk free substitute such as almond, soya, rice or oat milk or even water which works amazingly well.
IS ALL CHOCOLATE FULL OF CARBS?
The main source of carbohydrate in chocolate is sugar, so the sweeter the chocolate the more carbohydrate. To minimise carbs and maximise flavour go for the high cocoa solid dark. If you are a milk lover remember milk has a small amount of carbohydrate so try our high cocoa 50% milks and super milks 65% to reduce carbs while maximising your chocolate pleasure.
I HAVE HEARD COCOA ANTIOXIDANTS ARE GOOD FOR YOU. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Cocoa is full of antioxidants, and antioxidants help to mop up free-radicals which are known to damage the body’s cells. Maximise your antioxidant cocoa boost by eating high cocoa chocolate, 100% cocoa nibs and cocoa beans are the best for this.
HOW DO YOU COUNT YOUR CARBS?
Basically we take our total carbohydrate and deduct the amount that is fibre, this is then adjusted to give our carbs per portion size, normally 30g, or two chocolates or a 1/3 of a 100g bar.