(HealthDay)—If your sweetheart has diabetes or prediabetes, get creative and celebrate Valentine's Day without chocolates or a fancy restaurant meal, an expert says.
Instead of going out for dinner, go on an outing that includes a hike, bicycle ride or vigorous walk, suggested Debora Nagata, a diabetes educator at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center in Santa Monica.
For your excursion, you can pack a picnic basket that includes items such as low-fat cheese, olives, fresh vegetables with a raita Indian yogurt dip, nuts, hummus, antipasto salad, sliced apple, smoked salmon or low-sodium, low-fat sliced turkey and a bottle of sparkling water.
"You could even include a small glass of red wine," Nagata said in a medical center news release. "Be sure to have food with your wine as alcohol can initially increase your blood sugar, but then it can cause a drop, or hypoglycemia."
It's also OK to share a special cookie or some sugar-free or dark chocolates.
"Everyone needs an occasional treat or they feel deprived, but think quality, not quantity," Nagata said.
She added that roses and jewelry pose no risk to people with diabetes.
More than 29 million Americans have diabetes and 86 million have prediabes, according to the American Diabetic Association.
More information: For more Valentine's Day health tips, go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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