If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you must learn to manage your diet in order to control your blood sugar. But if you’re concerned that this means you’ll never eat dessert again, cheer up: Most people with diabetes can enjoy certain desserts, under the right conditions.
The problem with desserts is that they do tend to be high in sugar, and low in most other nutrients. So, this sugar is dumped into your bloodstream quite quickly, which your pancreas (and insulin production) can’t handle. Excess sugar in the bloodstream can indeed be dangerous for those with diabetes.
But if you structure your meals and desserts carefully, you can probably still indulge just a bit. After getting approval from your doctor, seek out desserts that are lower in sugar and include some other nutrients such as fiber, whole grains, protein, or healthy fats. The addition of these nutrients helps to slow the digestion of the sugars, so that you don’t experience a sharp spike in your blood sugar level.
Timing also matters. If you enjoy dessert right after a meal, the nutrients from your meal will slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream. If you want to be extra cautious, you could skip the carbs from your meal and have dessert instead.
And of course, portion size is everything. Aim for a small serving of dessert, with less than 200 calories and 15 to 30 grams of carbs.
As for the dessert itself, try options such as:
- Greek yogurt parfait with fresh fruit, coconut flakes, granola, or nuts
- Chocolate-covered banana slices
- Chia seed pudding with nut milk and maple syrup or honey
- Mug cakes
- Cannoli filling (whole milk ricotta cheese mixed with miniature dark chocolate chips)
- Or any of the single-serving, low-sugar desserts on the market
Again, do be sure to discuss these plans with your doctor before diving into your favorite treat. A few people with diabetes need to be extra careful with sugar, so you want to ensure that your dietary plans are safe for your medical needs. But in most cases, the above tips will help you to enjoy the occasional dessert, without bothersome or dangerous symptoms.