Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which a person has too much sugar in their blood. The condition can be dangerous, as if the level of sugar is not reduced, it can lead to problems with the heart, eyes, nerves, kidneys and feet. In order to control type 2 diabetes and keep blood sugar levels down, people with the condition are advised to limit their intake of sugar and calories. As well as cutting down on sugar, it’s important not to consume too many calories as being overweight increases the risk of complications.
Contrary to what many people believe, people with diabetes don’t necessarily have to completely remove sugar from their diets, but should still cut down.
For people with a sweet tooth this can be difficult, but it can be achieved by choosing certain sweet treats over others and eating them in moderation.
If you love chocolate, there are three types which are more suitable for people with type 2 diabetes, when eaten in moderation:
Good-quality dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk or white chocolate, so opt for a darker variety – the darker the better.
Dark chocolate also has a stronger taste than milk chocolate, so you won’t need to eat as much to satisfy your craving.
If you aren’t keen on dark chocolate, try weaning yourself onto it slowly so you get used to the taste.
If you like a chocolate bar with a filling, opt for a filling of fruit rather than nuts, as fruit is lower in both calories and fat than nuts.
Check the fruit has not been coated in sugar, as this would counteract the benefits.
Another alternative to solid chocolate is chocolate-coated rice cakes. These are lower in fat and calories and contain less chocolate.
Many chocolate treats offer lower-fat alternatives, such as lower-fat chocolate yoghurts or mousses.
You can also find lower-fat instant hot chocolate drinks and other types of chocolate desserts.
Remember to always eat chocolate and sweet treats in moderation, no matter what type you opt for, even if they are lower in fat, as any type of chocolate can still make blood sugar rise.
“It’s a myth that you can’t eat chocolate if you have diabetes, just eat it in moderation, rather than using it to satisfy hunger, and don’t eat a lot in one go as it affects your blood sugar levels,” said Diabetes UK.