Experts at Chellaram Diabetes Clinic, Pune answer your queries on Diabetes. Send your questions to editorial@Diabeteshealth.co.in
I am a 33 year old lady and 6 months ago I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I follow my diet and exercise instructions as given by my diabetologist. My blood sugar levels are within range and as per my test results done last week my HbA1c was 6%. However, sometimes I have sweet cravings. One of my friends suggested having a small piece of dark chocolate to satisfy my craving. Can I have dark chocolate; will it affect my sugar control?
Dark chocolate contains more of cocoa (70-80%) and less of sugar. Researchers in Nutrition say that it has many health benefits such as:
- It improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots in the heart.
- It contains phenylethylamine (PEA) – increases release of endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.
- It contains flavonoids, which help reduce insulin resistance. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index, implying that it not only prevents huge spikes in blood sugar levels but also aids in controlling blood sugar levels.
- It is rich in antioxidants and helps free your body of free radicals, which are responsible for oxidative damage to cells. Moreover, dark chocolate can protect you from cancer and slow the signs of aging.
- It contains theobromine, which is shown to harden tooth enamel.
- It is high in vitamins and minerals – The copper and potassium in it help prevent against stroke and cardiovascular ailments. The presence of iron in the chocolate protects against iron deficiency, anemia, and the magnesium helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Though it is not sweet, it is high in fat and hence calories. You can have it to satisfy your sweet tooth, but its portion will matter. One or two small cubes are allowed at any one time.
Dr Vedavati Purandare
My 38 year old wife has Type 2 Diabetes since three years. She is lean and I’m thinking of introducing her to dietary supplements. Will these be safe for her? If so, which one should we opt for?
Please remember these supplements are meant to be an addition to your healthy diet and not a substitute. Also, which supplement is best suited for you will depend on your current nutrition profile!
There are a plethora of supplements in the market, ranging from protein powders to liquids, chromium picolinate tablets, alpha lipoic acid tablets, omega 3 capsules and other botanical products like aloe vera, fenugreek, bitter melon etc for people with Diabetes. Most of these supplements have given mixed results therefore additional and long term studies are required to confirm their benefits on Diabetes. Please consult your dietician before embarking on any such regime.