LifeCare Dietitian

1 February, 2024

Dangers of eating too much sugar on Valentine's Day and tips for enjoying sweets in a healthier way

Valentine’s Day, a celebration of love and affection, often involves indulging in sweet treats to express our feelings for those dear to us. While enjoying these delightful confections, it’s essential to be mindful of the potential health risks associated with consuming too much sugar.
Excessive sugar intake has been linked to various health issues, including weight gain, heart disease, fatty liver and especially an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For those already managing diabetes, monitoring sugar and carbohydrate consumption is crucial for maintaining stable blood glucose levels.

Here are some simple tips for you to enjoy sweet treats in moderation in this Valentine's Day:

valentine's day

Opt for treats with low glycaemic index (GI):

​Foods with a low glycaemic index release glucose into the bloodstream more slowly, preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. Choose sweet treats made with ingredients that have a lower GI, such as berries, cherries, or dark chocolate. These alternatives can help minimise blood sugar spikes while still satisfying your sweet tooth.

valentine's day

Explore fibre-rich options:

​Incorporate high fibre ingredients into your desserts, as fibre helps to slow down the absorption of sugar. Choose snacks containing whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits with skin to add texture and nutritional value to your sweet treats.

valentine's day

Choose natural sweeteners:

​Instead of soft drinks or sweetened beverages with added sugar, go for natural sweeteners such as stevia, diet or no-added-sugar drinks. You can always come out with a healthier version of refreshing drinks by adding slices of your favourite fruits such as lemons, oranges, watermelon, cucumber, mint or limes to a jug of ice-cold water for a flavourful drink. Another great option is to put chopped-up fruit in an ice cube tray, add water, and freeze, then place these colourful fruit cubes in your beverage for instant flavour and colour!

Portion control:

Always remember, moderation is key! Instead of depriving yourself entirely, focus on controlling portion sizes. Use smaller plates and bowls to help regulate the amount of treats you consume. This way, you can enjoy a smaller serving of your favourite dessert without overindulging.

Practise mindful eating:

Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Eating and chewing slowly allows your body to register when it’s satisfied, preventing overeating. Engage all your senses while savouring each bite, making the experience more enjoyable and satisfying.

Regular monitoring of blood glucose level:

Consistent monitoring of blood sugar levels is crucial for those with diabetes. Regularly check your levels to understand how different foods affect your body. This information helps you make informed choices and adjust your diet accordingly.

Incorporate physical activity:

Exercise plays a vital role in managing blood sugar levels. Regular physical activity helps the body utilise glucose more efficiently. During this season, you can explore different kinds of sports or activities with your loved ones while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

This Valentine’s Day, strike a balance between indulging in sweet treats and prioritising your health. By making thoughtful choices and savouring treats in moderation, we all can celebrate love without compromising our health. Remember, a little sweetness can go a long way when enjoyed responsibly.