If you’re diabetic and love chocolate cake, there’s a best time for this.
There are a few studies showing that the best time to eat chocolate cake is soon after you awaken in the morning.
The body at this time is ready to burn energy (carbohydrates) because it fasted overnight.
The studies focus on weight loss, however, rather than glucose metabolism.
“I’m familiar with the studies as well, but in all honesty the way that individuals eat is not like nutrition lab studies,” says Alison Massey, MS, RD, LDN, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with over 10 years of experience in various community and clinical settings.
“Although there are likely better times to incorporate sweets, starting the day with dessert is not the best fuel choice even if you are going to incorporate a great workout mid-morning.
“I also think incorporating a good morning routine sets the day up for success, and for many people dessert may set the tone for other not-so-great food habits/choices.”
It’s vital to point out that, as a former certified personal trainer, I would never endorse the idea of eating chocolate cake or any full meal prior to a hard workout.
A diabetic should eat a carb-rich snack right before a workout, but a whole meal (e.g., scrambled eggs, toast, juice and yogurt) is not necessary.
If you must have chocolate cake, then what IS the best time—or shall I put it this way: When is the least detrimental time for a diabetic?
Massey explains, “I would say, incorporating small portions of dessert after a light meal or before taking an evening walk might be a good time for individuals with diabetes to incorporate dessert.
“Physical activity can be utilized to help lower blood glucose, so walking before or after eating that dessert can help better manage blood glucose levels.”
If you’re into strenuous workouts at the gym, or hard interval training in an empty parking lot, save the chocolate cake for right after your workout, when your body will be in a glucose-starved state.
The carbs from the cake will be put to good use for muscle recovery.