Sweets for your sweetie. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, that heart-shaped box of fancy chocolates might seem a perfect gift.
But what if your sweetie happens to be fighting diabetes or weight or just wants to limit sugar intake? Must you forgo the holiday tradition?
Not necessarily. Parkview Health diabetes educator Susan King says even regular chocolates can be an occasional treat in a diabetic diet if the carbohydrates, sugar and fat are planned for in advance.
Sugar-free candy will further cut carbs and calories, she says. But, like many things in life, even that indulgence comes with caveats.
Both kinds of chocolates have fat and carbohydrates that the dietary conscious should account for, King says.
And, sugar-free chocolates typically replace sugar with chemicals called sugar alcohols; opinion is divided on whether they’re a good idea for diabetics or not, she adds.
Whether you are diabetic or not, you shouldn’t splurge, and you need to eat one portion of whatever you eat, King says.
Still, if you’re determined to procure a chocolate fix for your heart’s desire, here are some area purveyors of sugar-free or lower-sugar chocolates.
The Chocolate Thimble
2384 W. Shoaff Road, Huntertown; ChocolateThimble.com
Co-owner Susie Hoot says this out-of-the-way shop is sensitive to the needs of chocolate-loving diabetic patients because her mother, Virginia Clark, is one.
Sugar-free inventory includes turtles, cashew cups, white-chocolate-covered pretzels, peanut clusters, chocolate-covered caramels and Sophies, which contain caramel covered in chocolate and peanuts.
The shop stocks Valentine’s Day boxes and sells by weight, allowing customers to pick what they like, Hoot says. Items are priced at $7.50 a half-pound.
Weckmuller Fine Chocolates
118 N. First St., Pierceton; Weckmuller.comThis place makes sugar-free and no-sugar-added chocolates. No sugar-added items include chocolates with jellied or fruit fillings, such as cherry cordials, owner Diana Heckman says.
Look for sugar-free almond clusters, butter toffee with almonds, cashew and pecan delightfuls, caramels, haystacks and Valentine’s Day assortments for about $14 a half-pound.
DeBrand Fine Chocolates
10105 Auburn Park Drive, 4110 W. Jefferson Blvd. and 5608 Coldwater Road; DeBrand.comThis most well-known of area chocolatiers carries a few varieties of sugar-free chocolates as a service to customers but does not make them, spokeswoman Michelle Domenick says.
A non-heart boxed assortment of about 36 pieces with fruit, crèmes, caramels and nut fillings sells for $16.95 at stores and online.