Barely a day goes by without my social media feed buzzing over the miraculous powers of some type of chocolate. Most recently, I’ve been bombarded by the news of the new KitKats coated in the pink-tinged, berry-like chocolate (Ruby Chocolate) offered in Japan. This pink Kit Kat is made from ruby cocoa beans without the addition of any coloring or flavoring and is being hailed as the first new type of natural chocolate to appear in over 80 years.
What’s the deal? Is this legitimate claim or just another example of the manufacturers enticing us to buy their food products without regard for our diabetes health?
I reached out to Virginia-based Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, author of ‘The Overworked Person’s Guide to Better Nutrition’ to help make sense of this new Kit Kat’s health claims regarding Ruby Chocolate. Here’s our interview:
Q: Is this ruby chocolate healthier than dark chocolate? Why or why not?
JW: There’s not much information available about the nutritional composition or the flavanols in ruby chocolate. Because the processing is different and the beans may also be different, I would have to assume that there are differences among ruby chocolate and a flavanol-rich dark chocolate. I just can’t guess what they are.
Q: What advice can you offer someone living with type 2 diabetes about adding this Kit Kat as a snack to their meal plan?
JW: Treat this like any other indulgent food. Work in the calories, carbs and saturated fat. You’ll need to swap this food for another. The best way to know how any food – indulgent or not – affects your blood sugar is to measure your blood sugar before eating and again about 2 hours later.
Q: Is this Kit Kat bar or any other chocolate a good way to treat a low blood sugar?
JW: Only if that’s your only option. I’ve known some people who say they actually look forward to having low blood sugar, so they can eat chocolate bars or other desserts. This just isn’t a good idea though. The quickest way to restore blood sugar levels is to consume something like glucose tablets, table sugar or fruit juice. Another big advantage is that glucose tablets or something similar provides many, many fewer calories and no unhealthy saturated fats. Here’s a good intro to treating low blood sugar levels: http://www.joslin.org/info/how_to_treat_a_low_blood_glucose.html
The Overworked Person’s Guide to Better Nutrition offers bite-sized nutrition tips for busy people looking for solutions to their everyday food and nutrition problems. This book is filled with diet strategies for weight loss and overall better health that can help anyone, on any schedule, eat and feel better. Meant to be picked up and read piecemeal, every page is packed with interesting tips designed to improve nutrition and relieve stress and guilt. Healthier habits can fit with any schedule!
Whether she’s speaking, writing, chatting on social media, appearing on TV or working with individuals, Jill’s candid and energetic approach appeals to busy people, and her sound nutrition and fitness advice gets results. In fact, her appreciation for science and ability to translate science into actionable information earned her a place in US News & World Report’s 10 Dietitian’s You Need to Follow on Social Media.
Jill Weisenberger‘s specialties include weight control, heart health, diabetes, pre-diabetes, wellness and nutrition for people with hectic lives. She’ll make nutrition science understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.
Tune in to January’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast available on demand, at any time, using this LINK. We’re taking about ‘MINDFULNESS’ with musical inspiration from Pink. Guests include Chilbrook Kennels Breeder Author, Diabetes Alert Dog and Scent Detection Expert, Debby Kay, ‘Walking with Peety’ Author Eric O’Grey, Poet Lorraine Brooks, ‘Yoga for Diabetes’ Author, Rachel Zinman, and the Charlie’s Angels of Outreach featuring Patricia Addie-Gentle RN, CDE. Throughout the podcast we will be featuring songs from the P!nk’s ‘Beautiful Trauma’ album courtesy of SONY Music.