Diabetes is a growing problem in the U.S. About 25.8 million people are currently suffering from diabetes in The United States today. Out of them, about 90% to 95% have type 2 diabetes. Being overweight is the number one risk factor. While there is no cure, the condition can be prevented or managed with lifestyle changes.
What are they? A diabetic diet, medically known as medical nutrition therapy (MNT) for diabetes, has proven to have a positive impact on those with diabetes. Portioned, healthy meals can go a long way in keeping blood sugar levels stable. With all the healthy food, one might come to wonder, though: are there safe and healthy diabetic desserts?
Eating healthier does not mean one cannot enjoy what one eats. Diabetic desserts can allow a person the same happy indulgences that accompany junk foods without any bad health effects or guilt! Diabetic desserts are not as limited as one might think either. All American Strawberry clouds, almond stuffed pears, Almost Shortbread Cookies, the recipes are endless. Many use Canola oil instead of butter, less sugar and fruit to provide the flavor.
What are their benefits?
A properly-made diabetic dessert can prevent hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) and other threats to a diabetic’s health. It will likely use a vegetable oil vs. butter, lard or another animal fat, so it is not only better for diabetes, but also for heart health. It will also use less sugar than a regular desert and may use fruit or vanilla flavoring to add natural sweetness. It may add nuts to give extra fiber.
Low glycemic fruits are recommended for diabetics as these are converted more slowly to glucose in the bloodstream. Cinnamon is sometimes used to provide flavor and it can also help lower the blood pressure.
Who should eat them?
The beauty behind diabetic desserts is that they are safe for the whole family to enjoy. In fact, if you choose a diabetic dessert, you may end up improving the diets of everyone in the family. Furthermore, even if you don’t have diabetes, you may be susceptible: the amount of people with “pre-diabetes” out numbers those diagnosed with diabetes more than three times over. It is important to know if you have prediabetes, because research has shown that some long-term complications associated with diabetes – such as heart disease and nerve damage – may begin during prediabetes.
Here is where things get fun. We leave the realm of theory and venture into the world of endless and delicious enjoyment. So, what exactly are some of the options when it comes to diabetic desserts?
- Apple Dumplings
- Banana Custard
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cherry Pie
- Crunchy Pumpkin Pie
- Blueberry Muffins
- Almond Macaroons
- Fruit Cakes
- Carrot Cake
The list goes on and on. In fact many diabetic deserts contain things like granulated and powdered sugar and white flour. The trick is the portions – by giving you a list of how much sugar and carbohydrate is in each, and how much of the desert you can have; these recipes provide excellent dietary guidelines.
Word of caution
While there are some products that are specifically marketed as diabetic deserts, it’s worth checking out their levels of fat, trans and saturated fats, and sugars before buying them. Diabetes UK has warned that these products.
- May be expensive
- May contain high levels of fat
- May confer no special benefits to people who suffer from diabetes
If you want to be sure that your diabetic desert is safe to eat, either make it yourself or check the nutritional label.
Also, not all diabetic deserts are created equal. Some have sugar – granulated and powdered – and white flour. While diabetics can have a little of these, make sure that you aren’t deviating from your medically approved diet.
Being diagnosed with diabetes is a life altering condition. Thankfully, the sheer numbers who suffer from the disease mean that there is much support out there. There are numerous web forums on diabetic deserts, on-line recipes, and on-line magazines devoted to all things diabetic. Diabetic desserts have been specially formulated so that they are tasty but meet your diabetic dietary needs. They are a great way to indulge healthily and enjoy a culinary pleasure without feeling any guilt.