Valentine's Day is meant to be sweet for everyone—whether that means a bouquet of roses, a romantic date, or even discounted confections the day after.
But for people living with diabetes, finding a way to celebrate the culinary aspects of the holiday in a healthy way can be hard. After all, conversation hearts aren't quite diabetic-friendly, and you may try to avoid most chocolates for better blood sugar control and overall diabetes care. Don't despair, though.
First, no matter what, keep these tips in mind:
1. Portion control. One candy or chocolate is probably fine. A whole handful? Probably not.
2. Sharing is caring. Share a treat with a loved one and you'll be cutting your carbs in half, just like that.
3. Let your loved one know what you'd like ahead of time. It may not seem romantic, but letting your significant other know that, while you appreciate the sentiment of sweet treats, you'd rather have a bottle of perfume or a romantic walk around downtown can greatly increase your chances of having great blood glucose control on February 14.
If you do want a little something to satisfy your sweet tooth, check out these three fun treats:
1. Chocolate no-bakes
Chocolate no-bake cookies, with only 11 grams of carbohydrates per serving, are a good bet for a sweet and diabetes-friendly Valentine's dessert. Our recipe calls for simple ingredients, and the refrigerator does most of the work!
2. Strawberry granita
If you're looking for a pink treat, try a strawberry granita. The American Diabetes Association reports this recipe contains seven grams of carbohydrates per serving and amounts to half an exchange of carbohydrates. With only ripe strawberries, Splenda, and diet cranberry juice—as well as a blender and a freezer—you can make a fun pink confection that will impress your sweetheart and keep with the Valentine's Day theme.
3. Dark chocolate
If your heart is set on chocolate, seek out the darkest kind you can find—you'll want something with 70 percent cocoa or more. There will (of course) be some fats and sugars, but this is to be expected in a food that is an occasional indulgence rather than a staple. Just do yourself a favor and check the nutrition facts on the package.
Research suggests dark chocolate has health benefits, some specific to people living with diabetes, so this is a treat you can feel good about. If you shop around at health and specialty stores, you may even be able to find a classic box of Valentine's chocolates in diabetic-friendly dark chocolate.
With the stress of finding the right desserts out of the way, you'll be able to enjoy the holiday and the company of those you love. Which Valentine's Day treats do you indulge in?