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Three large chocolate Easter eggs surrounded by smaller Easter eggs

Hop into a healthy Easter with diabetes & heart-health-friendly takes on 3 festive faves

Easter is just around the corner and you know what that means; chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate! In addition, we can expect an influx of traditional faves like hot cross buns and fish and chips on Good Friday. Unfortunately, these ‘staples’ can have nasty implications for people with diabetes, poor heart health, and other health conditions, where overindulging in unrefined sugar, carbohydrates, and saturated fats is a no-no.

But fear not – it is possible to indulge in the joys of the season without ditching your healthy habits. Say hello to the following delicious alternatives to three Easter classics.

Chocolate Easter eggs

Brightly coloured chocolate Easter eggs

You know the saying ‘don’t stop it, swap it’? Well, that rings true when it comes to the type of chocolate (in moderation of course).

Instead of the trusty milk or white choccy bunny, swap to a dark chocolate alternative with 70% content or more. Dark chocolate is the unsung hero of sweet treats and is chocka-block full of antioxidants. Studies show that indulging in this delicious dark delight (again, in sensible amounts) can actually boost heart health and enhance circulation.

Dark chocolate with high cocoa content is also a good source of soluble fibre, vitamins, and minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium, plus many dark chocolate options are lower in sugar.

Also consider raw chocolate bark, or even protein balls if you’re joining the grandies in an easter egg hunt!

Hot cross buns

Freshly baked hot cross buns

Hot cross buns, with their soft, spiced dough and sweet, fruity centres, are a tempting treat enjoyed by many during the Easter season. However, for people with diabetes and other health conditions, they are often off the menu.

Hot cross buns are typically high in refined carbohydrates and sugars, which can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. The combination of flour, sugar, and dried fruit can lead to a significant increase in glucose levels, potentially causing difficulties in managing blood sugar levels.

Thankfully, there are special recipes tailored to those monitoring their glucose and sugars, like the mini hot cross bun variation from Diabetics Australia.

To lower the sugar content even further, consider substituting the sugar for monk fruit sweetener, a natural and safe alternative. Just make sure you check product labels first as monk fruit extract is often mixed with other sweeteners.

Fish and chips

Fish and chips

On Good Friday, many of us choose to forgo meat for a hearty serve of fish and chips. Unfortunately, battered fish is typically coated in flour and deep-fried, which can lead to a higher calorie and carbohydrate content. The deep-frying process also adds extra fat, which may not be beneficial for those with diabetes, as it can contribute to weight gain and affect insulin sensitivity.

Grilled fish, on the other hand, is a healthier choice, prepared without the added flour coating and cooked without the need for excessive amounts of oil. Grilling helps to retain the fish’s natural flavors and nutrients, making it a leaner and lower-calorie option that is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.

Salmon stands out as a top choice among healthcare professionals for people with diabetes or poor heart health. If salmon isn’t your cup of tea, cod, trout, and most white fish varieties are also good substitutes.

Or, why not put a modern take on a traditional fave and make fish tacos! This scrumptious diabetes-friendly recipe from Diabetes Food Hub is a winner-winner fish dinner.

As for the hot chips, a healthier alternative is fibre-rich boiled sweet potatoes, especially with the skin on as this can help keep blood sugar spikes under control.

Closing comments

On a final note, if you’d like to enjoy some Easter treats, the key is small portions spread out over the Easter period, and strictly only if advised by your healthcare professional.

Health and hoppiness to you all!

To find out how our Diabetes Advisory Services can help you live your best bold life, click here.

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