Easter Sunday is right around the corner, which may mean wondering what to eat when you have diabetes. To ensure you have a good time without putting yourself at risk of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, we have summarized some helpful tips. We’ll make sure that having diabetes doesn’t stop you from doing the things you enjoy, especially celebrating festivals with your loved ones.
Walk past any store’s Easter display and you’re guaranteed to see chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, and more chocolate. So what if you can´t resist your cravings and are a big fan of the mouthwatering cocoa candy?
Cocoa is the keyword. The higher percentage of cocoa the chocolate yields, the better its health advantages. Dark chocolate has high cocoa solids and a lower amount of carbs, so it won´t affect your sugar levels as much as standard milk chocolate.
Today we know that people with type 2 diabetes, consuming 20 grams dark chocolate per day, increased their sensitivity to insulin. This is important for your glucose control. The improved insulin sensitivity may also delay, or even prevent, the onset of diabetes. Besides the benefits for your sugar, cocoa has many other health benefits. Potential cancer prevention, improved heart health and a good overall cholesterol profile are just some of them.
So, you’re ready to buy up your supermarket’s inventory of dark chocolate?
Wait! Not all chocolate is created equally. It’s the polyphenol-rich dark chocolate that contains antioxidants, has a higher percentage of cocoa and therefore is better for your health. Read the nutrition facts to ensure you’re getting the most out of the snack.
Although you now know how to choose the right chocolate, every person that has diabetes and decides to eat chocolate, needs to be careful to include it in their carbohydrate counts and not to go overboard. As always, before modifying your diet or insulin intake, you should consult with your nutritionist or a medical professional and ensure to be able to control your sugar levels anytime.
Make your own
Help out the Easter bunny this year and fill Easter baskets with homemade sweets and candy. Either if you´re talented in cooking and baking or your kitchen skills are very basic to basic; the internet is full of easy, and most of all, tasty recipes. Making your easter candies on your own not only allows you to control the ingredients better, you´ll also receive a lot of admiration, not only by the easter bunny. If you have children with diabetes, take this opportunity to involve them, baking can be a great activity during the holidays.
What about Kids with Diabetes on Easter?
The person at the table with diabetes on Easter may be a child. There are still ways to celebrate Easter without sugar spikes. Focus on an active Easter egg hunt to get the kids moving rather than snacking. Fill the plastic eggs with money, sugar-free candy, gift cards and small gifts rather than chocolates. But be careful, even sugar-free candies may contain a high level of carbohydrates and calories so watch portion size. Add a special dark chocolate bunny with a cocoa count of 70% or higher as another treat. Try to fill the basket with self-made sweets or the favorite foods of the child. If there are more children, keep the candy amount the same in all the Easter baskets so nobody feels left out. The kids are sure to enjoy receiving toys and holiday-inspired items too!
Listed at the end of this article but therefore not less of importance – physical activity. It´s important to activate metabolism and blood circulation regularly when you have diabetes. Choose activities that fit your lifestyle or your plans during the holidays; activities where the whole family can be involved. Going for a daily walk is simple, but you definitely enjoy it more in company. Try to avoid sitting all day and don´t use the holidays as an excuse for your regular work out routine. If you have a child with diabetes, the easter egg hunt can be converted into a sporty activity easily and promises to be fun!
We hope these tips have been helpful and you´ll have an amazing holiday with your family and friends.
Happy Easter from the GlucoNightWatch Team!