Diabetics and dessert. Now those two words don’t just fit together do they? But who said that diabetics cannot enjoy dessert? Of course we can.
Here’s the funny thing. Before I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, I wasn’t fond of sweets. I didn’t add sugar to my coffee. Life was sweet enough without needing to add sweetness to my diet.
But living with diabetes is a different story. I am shocked to find that I occasionally want to enjoy a sweet treat. How ironic! I even felt a little let down by myself when I realized this. Ah well!
I know I am not alone here. Truth is, sugar is best avoided. But with some planning, there is no reason to completely avoid dessert and deprive your sweet tooth if you are a diabetic – all while ensuring your blood sugar is under control.
How? Here are some tips that work for me:
Low carb diets are ideal to keep weight and blood sugar under control. A diabetic must focus as much on the carbs in her diet as the sugar she eats. So if you want to occasionally enjoy a sweet for dessert, remove carbs like starchy vegetables from your plate. Just remember that desserts and sweets are not nutritious and usually add calories, so do this only on a special occasion and not as a regular practice.
Yes, you have to limit dessert and also practice portion control. Gosh, what a challenge. The problem is, sugar triggers cravings that are hard to resist. So just store single servings of your favorite desserts – such as a small square of dark chocolate. Go in for miniature size dessert when you eat out. And remember, don’t buy anything that doesn’t let you rest until you finish it in one go.
Make it yourself
Reading labels is part of eating healthy, diabetic or not. But often, not all menus or labels tell you exactly what’s in there. The solution? Make it yourself. Then you know what you are putting into it. And don’t be too sincere about following recipes. Use healthier substitutes. Also, just because it is homemade, doesn’t mean you can ignore how much you eat. Help yourself by packing single serves and using small dishes with tiny spoons. Prolong the joy.
Focus on fruits
This is one hack I really like because I love fruits. Adding fruit to your dessert menu is perhaps the best idea as it is both healthy and sweet. It can be part of your dessert or your whole dessert. Even though it is high in carb, it redeems itself by being full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. So if you are desperate for a sweet treat, put together a fruit salad and enjoy!
Knowledge is power
Make sure you know your carbs. Here are some guidelines on sugar and desserts
Some treats to try
- One of my all-time favorites sweet treats is apple slices sandwiched with natural peanut butter. Fiber rich fruit with a protein twist.
- granola (with no sugar added) and fresh fruit
- sugar-free hot chocolate sprinkled with cinnamon
- sugar-free fudge popsicle
- sugar-free gelatin made with fresh fruit with sugar-free whipped topping
- sugar-free pudding with sugar-free whipped topping
Have any diabetes dessert hacks to share?
More about the diabetes diet