Hold The Sugar, But Bring On the Love: Physicians Association Offers Tips for How to Make Valentine’s Day Special for A Loved One With Diabetes
02-12-2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – (February 12, 2014) – If you’re looking to show the man or lady of your dreams some loving with a sweet treat this Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone: the National Confectioners Association reports that 69 percent of Americans prefer gifts of confections over flowers on Valentine’s Day, with an estimated $1.6 billion spent on candy for the occasion.

The temptation to shower your sweetheart with edible delicacies on February 14 can present a special challenge when that special someone has diabetes—and there are 25.8 million adults in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with the disease.

But there’s no need to feel stymied just because your sweetheart has diabetes, says the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). A little bit of knowledge and planning can help show how much you care. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

SPLURGE WISELY

Many people with diabetes have their blood sugar under control can occasionally satisfy their craving for sweets without disrupting their blood glucose levels by working a small portion into their daily food plan. It’s important to first ask if this is an option; if so, you can make a big impression while you show your love while making by purchasing a small quantity of high-end candies such as handmade truffles. Chocolate can be a better choice as the fat in chocolate causes it to be metabolized slower than other candy, meaning that blood sugar won’t elevate as quickly as with other sweets.

Some confectioners offer low-carb versions of Valentine’s favorites, which may allow your loved one to savor their sweets with less of an impact on blood sugar levels. Moderation is still key, as many “sugar-free” candies – and those labelled “low-carb” – still contain calories and also affect individuals’ blood glucose differently. Which brings us to tip number 2.

BEWARE OF HIDDEN DANGERS

Sugar is not the only substance that is bad for people with diabetes. Carbohydrates, particularly those that are refined carbs such as potatoes, white rice and substances containing white flour, such as bread and pasta, cause the blood glucose level to rise rapidly. So gifting your loved one with baked goods made with a sugar substitute, but also containing white flour is a no-no.

Also, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup and agave nectar/syrup are high in sugar, even if they aren’t called “sugar.” And dried fruit can also be a pretty concentrated source of sugar, plus some commercial dried fruits have been sweetened with additional sugar.

THINK OUTSIDE THE (CANDY) BOX

Perhaps there’s no better way to show someone you love them than with a well-thought-out, home-cooked meal. Skip the reservations and long restaurant lines and whip up a delicious dinner that can be tailored to your loved one’s tastes as well as carbohydrate and sugar restrictions. The American Diabetes Association offers a number of recipes for tasty and healthy dishes, even dessert substitutions: http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/recipes/feature.html

Your valentine will love you for it!

(EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are interested in speaking with an endocrinologist to add to this story, please contact Amy Johnson at AACE, 904-404-4150 or email Amy at ajohnson@aace.com)

 

About the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) represents more than 6,500 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. AACE is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. The majority of AACE members are certified in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism and concentrate on the treatment of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. For additional information, visit www.aace.com.