How Can I Eat Healthily To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?
Find out how eat healthily can help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes
If you love Easter eggs, you’re not alone. Eighty million of these chocolate treats are sold each year in the United Kingdom alone.
With nearly 5 million people suffering from diabetes in Britain, if you’re one of them, you might not be able to enjoy them in the same way you have in the past.
Does that mean you can’t eat them at all if you’ve had a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes? Read on to find out more.
You work so hard to maintain your blood glucose level with medications and healthy eating. Polishing off an egg this Easter Sunday could destroy the balance you’ve worked so hard to build.
Still, people living with Type 2 diabetes can make chocolate a part of their diet, although they shouldn’t consume an entire Easter egg in one sitting. Small bites of your egg taken over the holiday season could work for you. The trick is to eat just a little, an amount that won’t affect your glucose levels.
No one knows you better than yourself. Perhaps you feel that you can’t eat just one bite of an Easter egg—and that’s understandable. In that case, you might want to seek out a diabetes-friendly alternative to your traditional Easter treat.
Dark chocolate is a great alternative for people living with Type 2 diabetes. In fact, experts say that eating dark chocolate in moderation can actually help lower blood sugar levels.
Specifically, dark chocolate contains antioxidants that help the body to use insulin more efficiently. As such, eating this treat in small amounts can actually improve your Type 2 condition, as it decreases the body’s built-up resistance to insulin.
You can’t just grab any dark chocolate off of the shelf to reap these benefits, though. Make sure the bar you buy has at least 70 per cent cocoa. Some brands claim to be dark chocolate while having a low content of cocoa—and a high amount of sugar.
On that note, check the label to see how much sugar is in the dark chocolate you buy. High-cocoa-content bars tend to be lower in sugar. You can even find sugar-free, pure-cocoa bars, but these can be a bit bitter—it’s an acquired taste but you may grow to enjoy it as a treat, too.
If you keep your eyes peeled, you can also find dark chocolate Easter eggs that fit the bill. That means you’ll be able to indulge a little in your favourite Easter treat without having too much effect on your blood glucose levels.
Another alternative is to select a sugar-free option as opposed to a traditional Easter egg. Most use sugar alcohols to sweeten the chocolate, as opposed to natural sugar. These sweeteners, such as sorbitol or maltitol, do not affect blood glucose quite as much as regular sugar.
You can opt for a sugar-free egg, but you still might want to exercise some self-control in eating it. Some sugar alcohols can have a laxative effect if eaten in too high of a quantity, so keep that in mind as you treat yourself this Easter.
Avoid Diabetic Chocolate
Don’t confuse these sugar-free options with diabetic chocolate, though. You might find confectionary marketed to people with your condition and think it’s a helpful alternative option to eat, however, most experts advise against eating it and other foods marketed as “diabetic-friendly.” It tends to only have slightly less sugar than a regular egg, so it does little to protect your blood glucose levels.
There are so many recipes out there that have been taste-tested and, more importantly, created without sugar or sweeteners that might spike your blood sugar to a high levels.
Just be sure to double-check the ingredients list to ensure that sugar in any form isn’t included.
You can prepare for Easter in more ways than one. For starters, we recommend eating a filling breakfast before the day’s festivities begin. Eggs will sustain your energy levels.
Healthy fats, such as cottage cheese and ricotta, as well as hearty proteins, can help you say no to sweet temptations.
Don’t forget to skip other Easter classics—it’s not just the chocolate eggs that can increase your blood glucose levels. Favourites including hot cross buns are likely to have lots of added sugar. If opting for a fruit salad as an alternative, keep in mind this can be quite sugary – you don’t want your blood sugar levels rising too high.
Don’t worry that your celebration won’t be the same without Easter eggs. As you can now see, there are several ways to enjoy your Easter food without it affecting the blood sugar levels you have worked so hard to balance.
If you’ve recently received a diabetes diagnosis, it may be harder for you to adjust this Easter. Click here to learn more about what this condition means for you, whether it’s a holiday or not.