Happy Valentine’s Day! If you’re like most people, odds are your day will involve some (or a lot) of chocolate and sweets. However, if you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic, you have to be careful about your sugar intake today. In fact, Valentine’s Day is actually the day with the highest average blood glucose levels among people with diabetes.
The numbers were reported by the digital health tracking platform Glooko, a web and mobile application that tracks blood glucose levels among more than 1.5 million users across 23 different countries. After looking at the collective data of their users, researchers uncovered that Valentine’s Day was the worst day for users in terms of keeping their blood glucose levels in a healthy range. Here’s a look at the average blood glucose levels on some of the worst days in the calendar year:
- Valentine’s Day – 168 mg/dL (9.3 mmol/L)
- Halloween – 158 mg/dL (8.8 mmol/L)
- Christmas Day – 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L)
- New Year’s Eve – 131 mg/dL (7.3 mmol/L)
Michelle de Haaff, Glooko’s vice president of Strategy, said Valentine’s Day is so problematic for diabetics because of the regular opportunities to snack on chocolate and because many people go out to eat for dinner.
“Valentine’s is known to be a sugary holiday where chocolates are given as gifts and people go out for meals. It is likely that is what drives higher glucose,” said de Haaff.
Diabetic Care on Valentine’s Day
So if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, we want to share some tips for helping you navigate Valentine’s Day and other holidays. For starters, eat and drink in moderation. And by moderation, we don’t mean just one piece of chocolate every time you come into the break room. One or two pieces are fine with lunch or dinner, but don’t snack on these sugary sweets throughout the day. Other tips to help keep your blood glucose levels in check include:
- Fill up on healthier options so you’re not tempted to overindulge with sweets.
- Drinking plenty of water can help you feel full.
- Try to carve out 30-45 minutes to exercise.
- Limit your alcohol consumption during dinner.
- Monitor your blood glucose levels throughout the day.