With Easter just around the corner, it's a chance for family time, new beginnings and yes, you guessed it...lots of chocolate!
Diabetes and Easter
Easter can be a difficult time to have diabetes. There is huge temptation to indulge, especially
with chocolate eggs sweeping the shelves. If you have diabetes, you might just be cursing Easter.
Although it’s extremely important to eat a healthy diet low in sugar and fat, Easter does not need to be a time of fear for those with diabetes.
Chocolate and blood glucose
If you strictly manage your blood glucose levels and then decide to embark on a chocolate eating fest. there are obviously going to be implications. However, some people with diabetes can tolerate eating small amounts of chocolate without having a detrimental influence on overall blood glucose.
The trick is to eat small portions over the course of the day and see how your blood glucose levels react, - strictly only if advised that this is OK by your healthcare professional. It is also important to note, that some brands of chocolate or types of Easter eggs contain extra sweets inside and a higher sugar content, so be smart with your choices.
Are there alternatives?
Although Easter Eggs are traditional, you can look for an alternative to either spoil yourself or someone else with diabetes. These personal gifts could range from flowers, to a framed photograph or card with a voucher.
Diabetes charity Diabetes UK recommends eating Hot Cross Buns or a small piece of Simnel cake as an alternative treat, however, for some people with diabetes these may be considered as too high-carb/calories for a treat.
Do not overindulge...
As mentioned previously, small amounts of chocolate can be eaten as part of a healthy, balanced diet without detrimental effect on overall blood glucose control. Therefore, an ordinary Easter egg might be suitable for an adult who has well-controlled diabetes and knows the influence of chocolate on blood sugar levels, but experts do advise spreading it over the whole Easter holiday rather than gorging it all on Easter Sunday. Be smart!
Children with diabetes at Easter
Easter can be particularly hard for children with diabetes, especially when it comes to Easter eggs, the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts. Some diabetes experts would suggest an Easter egg hunt with very small treats that aren't going to skyrocket a child's blood sugars or even use non-chocolate treats. Small plastic Easter eggs can be filled with other treats, which could be just the thing to not take away from the "spirit" of Easter!
Children could even paint and design their own eggs for Easter. There are also sweet alternatives for Easter baskets, such as filling them with games, toys or books.
Sugar-free Easter Eggs
Just because it's 'sugar-free' does not mean it has no impact on blood glucose levels.
Sugar-free or sugarless Easter eggs tend to use sugar alcohols, such as maltitol or sorbitol, as an alternative to sugar, which can have less impact on blood glucose levels. However, be aware that sugar alcohols can have a laxative effect if eaten in larger quantities.
From all of us at InsulCheck, we hope you have a wonderful Easter!