Enjoying Desserts When You Have Diabetes – Myths and Facts
When you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is common to worry about never being able to eat sweet treats again. However, the truth is that with a little planning and moderation, diabetics can still enjoy desserts every now and then without affecting their blood sugar levels. In this article, we will bust some myths about sugar and diabetes, explain how to incorporate desserts into a diabetes-friendly meal plan, and provide some sweet and healthy recipe options for diabetics.
The Truth About Sugar and Diabetes
Contrary to popular belief, eating too much sugar is not the direct cause of diabetes, especially type 1 diabetes. However, being overweight, sedentary lifestyle, and poor eating habits are all risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. One of the reasons why sugar gets a bad reputation is that sugary drinks are directly linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. As a result, experts recommend that people with diabetes should limit their intake of sugary drinks.
That being said, any type of carbohydrates, including sugar, can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. However, the total amount of carbohydrates you consume, rather than the type of carbohydrate, has a greater impact on your blood sugar levels. This means that diabetics can substitute small amounts of sugar for other sources of carbohydrates as long as they watch their portion sizes and limit their overall carbohydrate intake for the day.
How to Incorporate Desserts into a Diabetes-Friendly Meal Plan
When you want to indulge in a small dessert, it is important to carefully plan your meals for the day. The average person should consume 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal, but if you want to include a sweet treat, then you must eliminate some of the other sources of carbohydrates from your meal plan. Foods like bread, crackers, rice, fruit, potatoes, corn, peas, juice, milk, cereal, and yogurt all contain carbohydrates that you must account for in your daily intake. If you struggle with cutting out your favorite carbohydrate source entirely, try reducing the portion size instead.
Sweet Recipes Diabetics Will Love
There are plenty of delicious sweet treats that diabetics can enjoy without throwing off their blood sugar levels. For example, you can create your own sherbet using buttermilk, blackberries, and lime. This combination of ingredients makes a diabetic-friendly dessert that is both satisfying and nutritious. If you have a sweet tooth at breakfast, you can try broiled grapefruit. It only takes a few minutes to cut a grapefruit in half, sprinkle it with brown sugar, and broil it in the oven until it caramelizes. This healthy and delicious treat is loaded with antioxidants and won’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
Living with diabetes does not have to mean giving up desserts altogether. As we have seen, sugar is not the sole culprit when it comes to diabetes, and by watching your portion sizes and limiting your carbohydrate intake, you can still enjoy an occasional sweet treat. With some creativity, you can even come up with healthy and flavorful desserts, such as sherbet or broiled grapefruit, that are diabetes-friendly. The key is to plan ahead and make smart choices in order to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.