Don’t Make Your Sweetheart Sick – Valentine’s Gifts for Those Sensitive to Sugar
From pastel conversation hearts to boxes of chocolates, sugar reigns on Valentine’s Day. In fact, U.S. consumers are expected to spend $20 billion this year – a record amount – on gifts for their Valentines, with candy topping the list of presents. More than half of you will buy sweets for your sweets, according to the National Retail Federation.
For individuals with Sugar Intolerance, candy is anything but sweet. Also called Sucrose Intolerance or Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID), this small intestinal disorder limits the body’s ability to digest sucrose. Those with CSID are so sensitive to sugar that just one chocolate truffle or one pink “I Love You” cookie could cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Valentine’s Day and Sugar Intolerance
Sugar Intolerance impacts both women and men. It’s caused by a lack of, or low levels of, two digestive enzymes called sucrase and isomaltase. Sucrase is needed to digest sucrose, a naturally occurring carbohydrate often found in produce, especially starchy fruits and vegetables, like yams and carrots, and legumes, like lentils, peas, and soybeans. It’s also frequently added to processed foods like chocolate, cakes, ice creams, commercial cereals, sweetened beverages, and, yes, candy.
Sweet liqueurs, another common Valentine’s Day tradition, also tend to contain a lot of sugar. Regular wine, on the other hand, is often a safe choice for Sucrose Intolerance sufferers because the sucrose is broken down during the fermentation process. Still, some manufacturers add sucrose to wine to enhance the flavor, so be sure to check the label.
Gifts for People Who are Sensitive to Sugar
This Valentine’s Day, why not think outside the chocolate box when buying gifts for your friends, family, and loved ones? There are plenty of fun, creative, non-food options out there to consider. Keep reading for a list of gift ideas for people who are sensitive to sugar.
- Balloon bouquet
- Gift cards to their favorite store
- Handmade book of coupons, including ones for a “Free hug” and a “Free breakfast in bed”
- Lip balm with a note that reads, “You’re the balm!”
- Arts and crafts, like stamps, kinetic sand, washi tape, window clings, friendship-bracelet-making kits
- A book of mazes with a note that says, “You are Ah-MAZE-ing!”
- Playdoh with a note that says, “You are A-DOH-able!”
- Superhero masks
- Love bug notes (notes with plastic bugs attached)
- A magazine subscription to remind them you love them all year long
To learn more about Sucrose Intolerance, its causes, symptoms, and treatment, visit sucroseintolerance.com. If you think you might suffer from Sucrose Intolerance, take the quiz to see if you should see your doctor.