If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, you know how hard it is to find a satisfactory replacement for chocolate. Luckily, you don’t actually need to look for a replacement.
Chocolate can be a part of a healthy diet even when you need to keep close tabs on your blood sugar levels. But you can’t just go out and buy any chocolate you find and then binge on it.
The tasty indulgence needs to be carefully selected and portioned to fit your diabetes management routine.
Here are some tips on how to do it:
People with type 2 diabetes should be extra careful about the quality of food they consume, and this goes double for chocolate.
Skip the options that are rich in sugar, cocoa butter, hydrogenated oils, or lecithin. It would be best to eat dark chocolate because it has more antioxidants and lower amount of sugar. If you don’t like dark chocolate, there are also some good milk-based options.
You should also be careful about the portions. Milk chocolate has a higher amount of saturated fat and sugar, which might derail your diet if you eat too much.
Proper timing is a crucial element for a good type 2 diabetes diet, be it chocolate or any other food. As a rule, it’s best to eat chocolate with other snacks or after a meal, to prevent it from causing sudden spikes in your blood sugar levels.
You should also refrain from chocolate early in the morning and before you go to sleep. The caffeine in chocolate might disrupt your sleep schedule.
But if you need something for a morning energy boost, try cocoa smoothies. Take some fiber-rich berries and cherries, add raw unsweetened cocoa, and mix it all with some plain yogurt.
Like a fine wine, chocolate pairs well with certain nutrient-rich foods. Cheese, raw nuts, and fresh fruit are perfect companions for dark chocolate. In fact, cheese and nuts contain protein and fat that can have a positive effect on blood sugar levels after you eat chocolate.
You get to hit two birds with one stone – you can satisfy your sweet tooth and also reap the benefits of all the nutrients contained in these foods.
Cherish the Moment
Mindless eating is a major no-no because it can cause an unexpected increase in blood sugar levels. You should take your time and enjoy every intricate flavor of chocolate.
This approach also helps you determine when you’ve had enough. It doesn’t hurt to ask yourself if the chocolate still tastes really good after a few pieces. Chances are that it doesn’t, so it’s time to stop.
Many type 2 diabetes patients make the mistake of completely depriving themselves of their favorite treat. And it’s not uncommon for them to overeat as soon as the willpower goes away. Instead, you should plan when to have a piece of chocolate, and then stick to your schedule.
Save the Best for Last
A few pieces of dark chocolate after lunch are a real treat. And it’s perfectly safe to savor every moment even if you suffer from type 2 diabetes. But remember to focus on the quality of this dessert and moderate your portions.