Easter is a time for family, friends, new beginnings, and you guessed it ... chocolate.
When you have diabetes it’s important to make healthier food choices and be smart with the snacks you choose, swapping things like crisps, biscuits and chocolate for yoghurts, unsalted nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. This will help to manage your diabetes and reduce your risk of long term complications.
That said, Easter only comes once a year, so don’t worry about the odd one or two indulgences as these will not affect your long-term diabetes management.
But what if you have diabetes?
It’s a myth that you can’t eat chocolate if you have diabetes, just eat it in moderation, and try not to eat a lot in one go as it affects your blood sugar levels.
Of course some adults with diabetes may actually prefer an alternative Easter present such as flowers, fruit or a book so it’s worth checking.
Should I buy ‘diabetic’ chocolate?
We do not recommend 'diabetic' Easter eggs. Diabetic chocolate is just as high in fat and calories as ordinary chocolate, it can still raise blood glucose levels and is often more expensive than regular chocolate. To say food is a diabetic food is now against the law. This is because there isn’t any evidence that these foods offer you a special benefit over eating healthy. These foods can also sometimes have a laxative effect.
Top Easter tips
- Try choosing good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa is best). It has a stronger taste than milk chocolate, so you are likely to eat a bit less.
- Decide how much you are going to eat and put the rest of the chocolate away, out of reach. This should help prevent you from having 'just one more piece' and eating more than you planned too.
- Read the labels for carb content to help adjust your insulin levels.
- Although Easter usually means chocolate, relatives and friends may want to think about other non-food gifts for children that they can enjoy just as much.
Your top tips
We asked our Facebook followers for advice about enjoying Easter. Here are some of their top tips.
Rachel: "Eating half a ton of chocolate in one go isn't good for anyone, diabetic or not so probably best to not eat all of your Easter eggs all at once anyway!"
Don’t be hard on yourself:
Teapot Diabetic: "Don't be discouraged when your blood glucose levels go haywire. Diabetes is a marathon not a race."
Gemma: "If you miscount and end up a bit higher than you want, don't beat yourself up, no one is perfect all the time!"
Avoid ‘diabetic’ Easter eggs:
Catherine: "Don't buy 'diabetic' Easter eggs. They have a nasty effect on the guts. Have some normal choc and enjoy."
Amber: "Dont get carried away with the diabetic chocolate it might seem like a good idea but it doesn’t taste too great and too much of it acts as a laxative."
Simon: "If you get the sugar free chocolate and you want to eat it, remember to read the warnings about excessive consumption."
Adjust insulin for Easter eggs:
Adam: "You can still eat chocolate, as I still do, but just adjust your insulin dose for Type 1."
Paula: "Have chocolate if you want it! Just remember to take extra insulin. It is hard and tears will fall but always remember 'you control diabetes it doesn't control you!! Amber: if you want proper choc have some but take your insulin and if you’re not sure about how much to take, give what you think but just check your sugars a couple hours later."