If you have received a diagnosis of diabetes, your primary concern is likely your health. But then, a secondary worry occurs to you: Does this mean you can’t ever enjoy dessert or sweets again? While it might seem trivial by comparison to a serious diagnosis, it is normal to feel dismayed at the idea of avoiding sweet treats forever.
Luckily, many people with diabetes can enjoy an occasional dessert while carefully managing their blood sugar. Of course, your exact situation is unique, and you should first discuss this concern with your doctor. They can offer you more specific guidance on what you can and cannot eat.
Having said that, many people with diabetes find that they can indulge their sweet tooth just a bit, by following these dessert guidelines.
Choose your timing. If you’ve just eaten a meal that is a bit too heavy in carbohydrates already, dessert probably is not the best idea. But if you plan ahead of time, and know that you want to partake in dessert, avoid eating lots of carbs with your main meal.
Pair your dessert with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These nutrients can slow the breakdown of carbohydrates, and their release into your bloodstream, when paired together. That’s why a piece of fruit, which contains fiber, is considered better for diabetics than a soda or bag of candy that contains the same amount of sugar.
Choose desserts that contain a bit of protein, fiber, or healthy fats. Or, base your dinner around those nutrients and save most of the carbohydrates for dessert.
Opt for smaller portions. Many dessert items are available in “fun sizes”, such as miniature ice cream bars. Or simply cut yourself a small slice of pie or cake or choose only one cookie. Another common trick is to enjoy a serving of cake without frosting.
Aim for a dessert that contains around 200 calories, and no more than 15-30 grams of sugar.
Again, you should always discuss your diabetes management with your doctor before deciding upon an eating plan. Share your concerns and talk about the above strategies in order to receive advice designed for your exact situation.