Diabetics are traditionally told to avoid sugar and chocolate.
This is because sugar can increase your blood sugar levels. Diabetics have difficulty controlling their blood sugar because they do not produce insulin, which converts sugar into energy.
But advice for diabetics is now evolving.
Diabetes UK, the leading diabetes charity, says it is safe to eat chocolate in small quantities. Even eating an Easter egg won’t cause any long-term damage to your blood sugar.
Previously, diabetics may have eaten special diabetic foods. This one was prepared with artificial sweeteners to help control blood sugar levels in diabetics.
But research by Diabetes UK has shown that many diabetic foods contain more fat and energy than conventional chocolate. This high fat content is more likely to worsen the long-term symptoms of diabetes than to improve the disease.
The charity now says the concept of a ‘special diabetic diet’ has been replaced by healthy eating guidelines and meal plans specifically tailored to each diabetic person.
Like the rest of the population, people with diabetes are encouraged to follow a low diet.
in fat, sugar and salt with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Sally Wright, spokesperson for Diabetes UK, said: “There is no food that should be excluded from the diet of people with diabetes. Total avoidance of sugar is now considered unnecessary.
Diabetes UK is now actively campaigning to remove foods specially labeled “diabetic” from the shelves.
Sally says: “Labeling a product as ‘diabetic’ gives it a stamp of approval that many people with diabetes find difficult to ignore. They assume that content can be beneficial, even essential. Promoting a range of confectionery products as ‘diabetic’ completely undermines dietary education in diabetes care. »
The charity says that while it is important to follow a low-sugar, low-fat diet for most of the year, eating a little more chocolate at Easter will not affect overall blood sugar control .
“A regular Easter egg is fine, but spread it out over the whole Easter period rather than eating it all on Easter Sunday,” says Sally. “Special diabetic Easter eggs offer no special benefit and are expensive and unnecessary.”
If you don’t want to risk eating regular chocolate, you can try sugar-free chocolate made by exclusive London-based chocolatiers Rococo.
Their specialty bars are made with Maltiol, a natural sugar derived from malt that does not require insulin to metabolize. Visit www.rococochocolates.com for more information and for mail order.
If you have diabetes, check with your doctor to see if it is safe to eat chocolate made with Maltiol before purchasing it.