Can You Still Eat Chocolate When You Have Diabetes?
There are very few health conditions that people feel they can comment on, but when it comes to diabetes it seems everyone has an opinion and they are more than happy to share that opinion. Particularly when it comes to what you should, or should not, be eating.
Diabetes has an image problem, often fuelled by incorrect media reporting and imagery, and this can show itself in the way people feel they can freely comment on or criticise your food choices or portion sizes. The type of diabetes you have and the way you manage it is often not even considered.
During holiday seasons such as Easter and Christmas, unsolicited advice appears to ramp up. It can be useful to remember that most people are just trying to be helpful, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. Living with diabetes is challenging enough and comments on what you are eating can make you feel frustrated, judged and belittled. Managing these conversations is difficult but, if you feel up to it, it is best to have a direct conversation. Don’t let resentment build slowly until you explode.
If you do find yourself having to explain your eating choices you might like to try this response:
“Thanks you for your concern, I can eat all the same foods as you – just less of some. Living with diabetes still means eating a well-balanced diet and my diabetes team and I have it covered.”
You manage your own diabetes the rest of the year so while Easter can throw up some extra challenges, don’t let it derail your good work.
To help you navigate this period try these three eggcellent tips:
1 Focus on quality rather than quantity
It’s ok to enjoy your favourite Easter chocolate, although try to remember that it is one day so only purchase the amount of chocolate that is appropriate for the family on that day rather than overdoing it. Focus on a small amount of your very favourite chocolate, and preferably one with a higher cocao content. While chocolate shouldn’t be a main contributor to your antioxidant intake, chocolate with a higher cacao content contains more antioxidants and, depending on the brand, sometimes less sugar. We also tend to feel satisfied with a smaller amount.
2 Individually wrapped portions
Choose chocolates that are individually wrapped. It’s much like eating nuts. When you have to take the shell off a nut, you eat less than you would if they’re already shelled. The same goes for sweets, it is much easier for you to control your portions and be aware of the amount you’re eating.
3 Hunt for something other than chocolate
An Easter egg hunt is a tradition for many families. But have you ever considered hunting for something other than chocolate? Why not hide healthier treats, small toys or create a scavenger hunt using a series of clues.
Whatever Easter means to you, we wish you a happy, safe and healthy holiday.