A guide to chocolate eating for those with intolerances
Allergies and food intolerances are no fun. But when it comes to chocolate – there’s usually a way.
For most allergies, it’s more obvious. For example, if you have a nut allergy, you’re probably already pretty clued-up on what chocolate you can have. But intolerances are different from allergies in that you won’t have an allergic reaction, exactly, but your body will let you know in some form or another that it doesn’t like what you’ve just given it. Perhaps you get headaches, an upset stomach or rashes on your skin.
So here’s a bit of advice how to navigate some of the most common intolerances – so you can relax and enjoy chocolate, without having to worry.
Chocolate contains caffeine, albeit in low amounts. If you’re very sensitive to caffeine, the lower the cocoa content, the better. That means go for milk chocolate, or white chocolate to avoid it all together. And, of course, you might want to give chocolate-covered coffee beans a miss.
White and milk chocolate both contain dairy, so opt for dark chocolate if you’re dairy intolerant or vegan. Usually, the cocoa content in dairy-free chocolate will be upwards of 70%. But always check the ingredients, just in case some dairy snuck in there.
Chocolate in its pure form doesn’t contain any gluten. However, some chocolate manufacturers either add ingredients that contain gluten, or their chocolate is at risk of gluten contamination due to the manufacturing process. So it depends on how strong your intolerances are – but it’s always best to check labels or pop the company an email to ask.