A Chocolatey Valentines With Diabetes

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It’s finally here, the sweetest day of the year. Hate it or love it, Valentines day is around the corner. You wonder, can you eat Valentines chocolate while living with Diabetes? It’s not like you can escape the day itself; you walk into the local grocery store and it’s all shades of pink and red, with balloons, hearts, and rows and rows of chocolate.

  

What’s a recovering chocoholic to do with temptation on every corner? Even more crucial: What’s a recovering chocoholic living with Diabetes supposed to do? 

We Aren’t Supposed To Eat Chocolate With Diabetes…Right? 

Wrong. Or at least not necessarily right. The cocoa solids in chocolate have some useful nutrients. According to a study on chocolate published in The Lancet, chocolate contains a type of polyphenolic antioxidant known as flavonoids.

These are also found in teas, fruits and vegetables. Flavanols, the specific flavonoid found in cocoa solids have been linked to lower blood pressure and increased glucose metabolism. According to Harvard’s School of Public Health , studies show that flavanols support nitric acid production in blood vessels, which in turn helps the vessels relax and improve blood flow.  

So, You Can Eat Chocolate With Diabetes

Yes. But wait. Don’t go running off to the store to buy ten boxes of the sweet stuff. Hang on and let me finish. You can eat chocolate with Diabetes but, like with everything else, the key lies in moderation and choosing the right kind. 

What Kind Of Chocolate Can I Eat On Valentines Day?

As chocolates go, the darker the better. All those flavanols are contained in the cocoa solids in chocolates. Usually the lighter the chocolates, the less cocoa solids and therefore less flavanols it contains. But that’s not all. White chocolates tend to have the most sugar added, followed by milk chocolates, with dark chocolates having the lowest sugar content.

 As a person living with Diabetes, regulating your sugar consumption is crucial to managing your health, and so if you must eat chocolate this Valentines, dark chocolates are the healthiest choice.   

However, not all dark chocolates are made equal. Some lower quality ones may contain butter, fat, artificial flavors, or vegetable oils. Your choice should be 70% dark or higher to get the most flavanols, and you should be reading the NFT (Nutrition Facts Table) at the back of your chocolate bar to know how much carbs and sugar it has. 

Take a common chocolate like Lindt for instance. 3 squares of the Lindt Excellence extra creamy contains 15g carbs and these carbs are all from sugar.

Compare this with Lindt Excellence 85% cocoa, where 3 squares contain 11g carbs, 5g fibre and 4g sugar. Since fibre won’t raise blood sugars it’s subtracted from net carbs, meaning 3 squares of this chocolate is only 6g carbs.

For simplicity sake: 

3 squares of the Lindt Excellence extra creamy = 15g carbs = 1 Slice of bread 

3 squares of the Lindt Excellence 85% cocoa (Dark Chocolate) = 6g carbs = 1/2 slice of bread 

If you’re still not sure of how much chocolate you can eat with Diabetes, there are resources that can help you. Do some additional research online, or you can speak to a Registered Dietitian for advice on how to safely incorporate chocolate into your diet.  

So, this Valentines day, go ahead and indulge in a little bit of chocolate. But make sure you don’t eat too much; try to go dark, and always, always read the tables. 

About 360Care

360Care by Ellerca Health seeks to empower individuals to regain control of their health. We believe that with the right support and motivation, anyone can make and maintain the lifestyle changes necessary to live a happy and healthy life. 

By using 360Care through your mobile device, you’ll have access to a team of health professionals (nurses, dieticians, diabetes educators, psychologists, and coaches) and your own personalized health plan, all dedicated to helping you reach your health goals

From feeling better, relieving symptoms, and improving your quality of life, 360Care can help you to live your best life.

Learn more about 360Care today!

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