How to Conquer Valentine's Day When You Have Diabetes

Top 5 tips for managing diabetes on Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that is traditionally celebrated by roses, chocolates, and other decadent desserts. This can be tempting for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but resisting the temptation to indulge will be beneficial in managing their disease.

For patients with diabetes, it is crucial to keep blood glucose levels in check, otherwise adverse health events may be experienced. Valentine’s Day presents a challenge for these patients, who may feel pressured to give in to sweet treats on this holiday.

1. Skip Sweets All TogetherAlthough it may seem like it, Valentine’s Day does not have to be all about chocolate and candies. The holiday is meant to be about love and romance, and can be celebrated with flowers and a card. This option is much healthier for patients with diabetes, and even for those without.

2. Plan an Evening That Involves ExerciseWhether it’s walking to a nearby restaurant, talking a walk around the neighborhood after dinner, or parking far away from your destination, getting in additional exercise will help control blood glucose levels. Exercise may even help some feel good about their choices, and provide motivation for not indulging.

3. Substitute Healthy Recipes Individuals with diabetes should avoid eating foods or candies with high sugar content, such as chocolates that come in a heart-shaped box. Instead, Joselin Diabetes Center suggests checking for recipes that may seem deceptively more indulgent than they are. Patients may also check with their dietician to see if there are any dessert substitutions to ensure that they have a healthier option on hand.

4. Choose Sugar-Free With diabetes becoming more common, many restaurants and grocery stores have begun selling sugar-free candies and ice creams. While patients should carefully review ingredient lists and not consume too much, sugar-free candy or ice cream may help some feel better about having diabetes on Valentine’s Day.

5. Indulge SmartIf the temptation of sweets is too much to bear, then indulge in some low-carbohydrate fruits. Whether low- or high-carbohydrate fruit is consumed, a serving size of 15 grams is suggested. Thus, a higher volume of low-carbohydrate fruits can be consumed with the same effect on blood glucose levels.

The Mayo Clinic says that one-half of a medium-sized banana, half a cup of cubed mango, 1.25 cups of cubed watermelon, and 1.25 cups of whole strawberries all account for 15 grams of carbohydrates. The good news is that they’re all low-carbohydrate fruits!