A few days ago was November 11, which is universally known as Pepero (빼빼로) Day in Korea. It’s a “holiday” in the same way that Valentine’s Day is a holiday, meaning that you still have to go to work, but you get the added fun of proving your love to your significant other.
The story behind Pepero Day is that the maker of these chocolate-covered pretzel sticks invented this pseudo-holiday as a way to sell more product. Spoiler alert: IT WORKED!
See, if you take a few sticks out of the box and arrange them just so, they very conveniently spell out the date “11/11,” like so:
Korea is obsessed with “Couple” shit (e.g., matching couples’ outfits), so naturally Pepero Day is mostly seen as a time when couples give each other Pepero. But it’s also common for friends to give Pepero to each other. And in my case, I got some Pepero from my boss.
Ok! So I guess that’s enough of The History of Goddam Pepero.
These Pepero sticks are obviously not something a diabetic should be eating in great quantities. They’re sticks of carbs covered in sugar!
But I’ve been a Type 2 diabetic for going on 18 months now, and I maintain that moderation makes it possible to eat basically anything.
I moderated my Pepero intake by limiting myself to three sticks on three different occasions. Each “test” took place at work. The first two tests were fairly similar, and the last test was one of those outliers that we can ignore.
Here are the results:
Pepero Test #1
Blood sugar reading before & after: 119 → 144
Pepero Test #2
Blood sugar reading before & after: 126 → 150
Pepero Test #3
Blood sugar reading before & after: 123 → 115
Test #1 was in the morning during the first hour of work, and I got an increase of 119 → 144, or +26 mg/dL.
Test #2 was during the last hour of work before going home, and that gave me an increase of 126 → 150, or +24 mg/dL.
Test #3 … -8 mg/dL? Uhhh. That one was from about 11 am to 12 noon, so I guess my blood sugar was on the way down from breakfast?
My usual breakfast is something like cucumber spears and cherry tomatoes which I munch on at my desk from about 9 am to 10 am, so let’s just say that’s what was going on. I dunno!
As is always the case, I made a point of NOT taking my daily dose of Diabex/Metformin anywhere near the start of each test.
Taking into account the first two tests only, eating three Pepero sticks raised my blood sugar by about 25 mg/dL. I can live with that!
But what would happen if I were to eat the whole box of about 10-12 sticks? Nothing good, that’s for sure. And that’s where moderation comes in. Moderation is your friend!
Oh, and in case you’re wondering whether other stick-shaped foods also see increased popularity on 11/11 … well, they try.