Let’s stop pretending that diabetics don’t eat chocolate. Come on, it’s right there on the Hierarchy of Human Needs, somewhere between Safety and Love. But it’s a complex mix of fat and sugar, so dosing for it takes some training.
Here we stand right before the Easter weekend, with that bunny packing baskets full of forbidden treats, so this is a good time to share strategies, I’d say. I usually inject 20-30 minutes AFTER eating chocolate, since it absorbs slowly. This works pretty well, especially if I read the carb count on the label carefully –- in relation to the actual amount of chocolate I am gobbling up. My CDE says: “Everyone is different, but the high fat content of chocolate slows the absorption of the carbs, so the shot after makes sense. If what you are doing works, keep it up.” Hooray!
Lest you begin to cringe with guilt at the very thought, be aware that chocolate is not all bad for you. Chocolate contains flavonoids, or plant-based compounds, that are medically proven to promote heart health. Yes, Science Daily documents at least 66 studies confirming it!
Notably for us diabetics, one study found that a chocolate bar had no greater effect on blood sugar than another “more traditionally recommended snack,” if calories were equal. Researchers attribute this to the slow absorption of sugar when eaten with fat (which we knew, thanks!).
And a one-ounce chocolate bar has been found to contain about the same amount of phenolic acid (a phytochemical) as a five-ounce glass of red wine. Laboratory evidence now suggests that these phenolic substances can act as antioxidants, which may offer some protection from both heart disease and cancer. Cheers!
For my part, I took my kids to the ice cream/frozen yogurt shop a few days ago, and did something I haven’t done in at least two years, since my diagnosis: I ordered my very own (small) portion. I diligently dosed for 25 grams of carbs, and then hopped up to the counter for the requisite extra napkins, only to spot a sign stating: “CARBOLITE – only 3g carbs per serving.” Aaack! I stood as frozen as the ice cream, until the salesgirl asked if I was OK? Sure, but I’ll need a LARGE SPOON, please, to assault my kids’ ice cream before I pass out here!