Forbidden Treats

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!

8 Responses

  1. Violet
    Violet March 25, 2005 at 1:08 pm | | Reply

    Mmm, chocolate…Hershey’s dark chocolate kisses (and I assume the regular ones as well, but I haven’t checked) each contain a mere 3g of carbohydrate. I’ve found that I can have a few for dessert & simply add the carbs on to the rest of the meal. Doesn’t seem to have a negative impact on the BG. It makes me very, very happy to have frequent small treats. Another one that I enjoy very much: hot tamales cinnamon candy. A mere 2 grams apiece, also great for lows because they don’t have fat.

  2. terry
    terry April 5, 2005 at 1:40 pm | | Reply

    Always try to carry some M&Ms with me for low symptons. Don’t have to worry about them melting in the summer. Good thing about being diabetic…. when you go places that don’t allow outside food or drink, you can pass off a Butterfinger as medication! Now I gotta figure out how to get a Diet Sierra Mist (or other caffiene-free drink) in to the park!

  3. Nick
    Nick April 6, 2005 at 6:40 pm | | Reply

    Chocolate is a required food group. I have juvenile diabetes. I must have chocolate every other week. Often, I must have chocolate two or three times a day. It’s unfortunate that so much of the chocolate you can buy in the grocery is packed together with sugar, but I’ve learned to get around that. I love chocolate!

  4. Jonathan
    Jonathan April 7, 2005 at 3:54 pm | | Reply

    “so much of the chocolate you can buy in the grocery is packed together with sugar, but I’ve learned to get around that”

    So, how do you get around that? I’m all ears. . .

  5. Nick
    Nick April 7, 2005 at 8:56 pm | | Reply

    Okay, here’s how to eat chocolate without eating sugar. Get these ingredients and mix them together in a bowl with a spoon:

    (T means tablespoon)

    2 T unsweetened cocoa (Hershey)
    4 T heavy whipping cream
    1 t vanilla (optional)
    3-4 T sucralose (Splenda)

    Mix into a paste with a scraper.
    Enjoy!

    As you can see from the the link below, this stuff only has 4 g net carbs (total carbs minus fiber).
    http://www.hersheys.com/products/details/cocoa.asp

  6. Nick
    Nick April 7, 2005 at 8:59 pm | | Reply

    t means teaspoon

  7. terry
    terry April 9, 2005 at 9:33 am | | Reply

    Sounds like too much work fixing it yourself. Just have a little willpower and indulge in a Butterfinger, Whatchamacallit or Crispy M&Ms. Everybody needs a little guilt now & then. It humbles us to know we’re not perfect.

  8. Kassie
    Kassie February 14, 2006 at 11:34 am | | Reply

    who’s pretending? ;)

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