Can you eat chocolate with Gastroparesis?
Gastroparesis is a clinical condition where your stomach has a delayed empty. Hence, your stomach will be full, and the pressure made food and stomach acids could produce undesirable symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting (1).
In this article, we will address the query “Can you eat chocolate with Gastroparesis?” We will cover other relevant information like alternatives to cocoa and chocolate, and what types of food should be avoided by individuals with Gastroparesis.
Can you eat chocolate with Gastroparesis?
No, unfortunately chocolate is usually high in fat and irritant components like cocoa, milk, and alkaloids like theobromine (1,3).
How does chocolate affect the symptoms of Gastroparesis?
Chocolate contains several ingredients not allowed for Gastroparesis. Therefore, chocolate can affect the symptoms of Gastroparesis in the following ways (1,2,3):
- Cocoa butter used in chocolate could produce even slower emptying, which will make your symptoms worse.
- The role of carbohydrates in gastroparesis is unclear, but carbohydrates like sugar can also delay stomach emptying, so it is better to avoid foods with high content of sugar.
- The chocolate could also increase the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach, producing more discomfort, esophageal reflux, and possible vomiting.
Can certain types of chocolate be more tolerable for individuals with Gastroparesis?
No, all chocolates contain the same components. For example, dark chocolate could be more irritating due to a higher concentration of alkaloids; milk and white chocolate contain higher content of cocoa butter and milk, so the fat could make your symptoms worse (2).
Definitely, the best option is to avoid chocolate in your diet if you have Gastroparesis.
Are there any potential benefits of consuming chocolate for Gastroparesis patients?
No, there are no potential benefits of consuming chocolate if you have Gastroparesis. Consuming chocolate will make your symptoms worse (2).
What types of food should be avoided and consumed by individuals with Gastroparesis?
Generally, foods that someone with Gastroparesis should avoid include foods that are high in fat, fiber, sugar, and spicy foods. On the other hand, the allowed foods are lean meats, low-fat milk, vegetable milks, low-fiber grains, potatoes, and peanut butter (1,3).
The following table summarizes some recommendations on what foods prefer and avoid:
|Meats||Lean pork and beef, skinless chicken and turkey, salmon, fish, boiled eggs, egg whites.||All fried meats and eggs, high fat meats from pork and beef, turkey and chicken with skin, shellfish.|
|Fruits, vegetables, and legumes||Canned fruits and vegetables, bananas, cooked vegetables without skin, fruits without pulp.||All fruit and vegetables with skin, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, orange, grapefruit, cucumber, onion, grapes. |
All legumes like lentils, chickpeas, bean, peas.
|Beverages||Plain water, fruit juices without pulp or skin (no orange juice), tea.||Coffee, orange juice, fruit juices with pulp or skin, soda, sparkling water.|
|Dairy products||Milk, non-dairy milks, cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, yogurt.||Fried cheese, high-fat cheese.|
|Grains and cereals||White rice, white bread, crackers, pasta, pancakes, and waffles with small amounts of butter, pretzels, potatoes, sweet potatoes.||Whole grains, seeds and nuts, brown rice, corn, quinoa.|
|Desserts||Jello, Yogurt||Ice-cream, custard, chocolates, and acid candies.|
Adapted from Limtketkai et al. (1), and Wytiaz et al. (3).
Of course, fast food like pizza, hamburgers, hot-dogs, sausages, and peppers are not allowed due to the high content of fat and irritants.
In this article, we addressed the query “Can you eat chocolate with Gastroparesis?” We covered other relevant information like alternatives to cocoa and chocolate, and what types of food should be avoided by individuals with Gastroparesis.
Limketkai BN, LeBrett W, Lin L, Shah ND. Nutritional approaches for gastroparesis. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2020;5(11):1017–26.
Tack J, Tornblom H, Tan V, Carbone F. Evidence-Based and Emerging Dietary Approaches to Upper Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction. Am J Gastroenterol, 2022;117(6):965-972.
Wytiaz V, Homko C, Duffy F, Schey R, Parkman HP. Foods provoking and alleviating symptoms in gastroparesis: patient experiences. Dig Dis Sci, 2015;60(4):1052-1058