Valentine’s Day…the “Hallmark holiday” of romantic love. People everywhere use this holiday as a day to express their love to others by sending greeting cards, flowers, valentines, and lots and lots of chocolate. But there are still many ways for people to celebrate and enjoy Valentine’s Day while keeping their diabetes under control.
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.
If you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you’re probably aware of how different foods influence your blood glucose. But what about alcohol? How does it influence glucose readings, and can people with diabetes really consume alcohol safely?
The use of alcohol should be discussed with your physician and healthcare team. As a general guideline, for persons using insulin, two alcoholic beverages may be used in addition to their regular meal plan. No food should be omitted in exchange for an alcoholic drink. For persons who are not on insulin and are watching their weight, alcohol is best substituted for fat choices and in some cases extra bread/starch choices.
Some alcoholic beverages contain higher amounts of sugar and carbohydrate — these include sweet wines, sweet vermouth and wine coolers. Use these sparingly as they may increase your blood glucose levels too much. Additional guidelines for the use of alcohol are printed below.