While sugary foods do not cause diabetes, individuals who have diabetes need to carefully monitor their carbohydrate intake. Sugars are one type of carbohydrate, and carbohydrates raise blood glucose levels in the body. Along with white granulated sugar, glucose, dextrose, maltodextrin, sucrose, and fructose are all common forms of sugar diabetes patients need to consume in moderation. Currently, guidelines recommend that patients with diabetes consume between forty-five to sixty grams of carbohydrates at each meal (between 135 to 180 grams per day). This equates to twelve to fifteen carbohydrate exchanges. Since appropriate carbohydrate intakes can vary from person to person, individuals with diabetes should ask their endocrinologist or a nutritionist for a personalized daily carbohydrate recommendation. To keep carbohydrate intake within daily guidelines, specialists recommend making healthy desserts at home where possible. Doing so will help patients be aware of all of the ingredients in their desserts and avoid hidden preservatives or additives.
The sugar-free dessert options described below are all appropriate for diabetes patients.
Frozen grapes are very simple to make, and they are especially satisfying on hot summer days. Many individuals compare the sweetness of frozen grapes to that of candy. To make frozen grapes, start by rinsing the grapes in cool water. Either red or white grapes will work, and some individuals like to use a mixture of both. After rinsing, shake the grapes gently so some of the water falls off. Then, place the grapes in a freezer bag and allow them to freeze in the freezer overnight. While the grapes taste sweet on their own, it can sometimes be nice to use a bit of a sugar substitute, such as stevia, in this recipe. Generally, one tablespoon of sugar substitute is needed for every half cup of grapes. When using the sugar substitute, add it to the freezer bag after placing the grapes inside. Close the bag, and roll it around to coat all of the grapes. Then place the bag in the freezer as usual.
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Grilled fruit can be prepared on an outdoor grill or with an indoor grill pan, and it is an ideal dessert for every season. Peaches, pears, bananas, watermelon, pineapple, mango, and plums are all delicious when grilled. Choosing fruit that is in season and ripe can help keep this dessert affordable and naturally sweet. When preparing fruit for the grill, cutting it into large chunks helps it hold its structure, and the large chunks are less likely to fall through the grill slats. Bananas should be placed on the grill in their peels, as this will preserve their softness. Each piece of fruit should be brushed with a thin coating of oil, such as avocado or coconut, that can withstand high heat. After brushing the fruit with oil, place it on the grill for three minutes. Then, flip it to the other side for three more minutes of grilling time. If desired, fruit can be grilled on skewers for easier pickup.
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Tropical Fruit Parfait With Plain Yogurt
A tropical fruit parfait with plain yogurt is a light, simple dessert option that emphasizes the natural sweetness of tropical fruit. This dessert can be made with any available tropical fruit, making it a versatile and affordable treat. To make the parfait, start by slicing several types of fruit, such as one cup of mango, one cup of kiwi, and one cup of pineapple. Two sliced bananas could be included if desired. Three cups of plain Greek yogurt or unsweetened coconut yogurt are also needed for the recipe. After slicing the fruit, layer it in four glasses, alternating between one layer of fruit and one layer of yogurt. The parfait can be topped off with some toasted coconut or with a drizzle of an appropriate sugar substitute. This dessert should be served immediately. For a variation, consider making a parfait with other fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, or watermelon.
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Whole Wheat Fruit Cobbler
Whole wheat fruit cobbler provides a healthy dose of fiber, a type of carbohydrate that improves blood glucose levels. Making a cobbler with low-fructose fruits such as peaches, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries can keep the total sugar content of this recipe as low as possible. To make a whole wheat fruit cobbler, combine a quarter cup of whole wheat flour with one and a quarter cups of stevia or xylitol and a teaspoon of lemon juice. After stirring these together, add eight cups of thawed frozen berries, and stir everything until it is combined. Using a mixture of half raspberries and half blackberries is a popular choice, and some individuals also like to use a mixture of strawberries and raspberries. Place all of the above ingredients in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish, and let it stand for ten minutes. In a separate bowl, combine half a cup of all-purpose flour with half a cup of whole-wheat flour. Then, add a quarter of a cup of a sugar substitute to the bowl along with one teaspoon of baking powder, a quarter teaspoon of baking soda, and a quarter teaspoon of salt. After stirring all of these together, slowly add six tablespoons of chilled butter (or a non-dairy alternative) until the mixture becomes coarse. Next, add two-thirds of a cup of low-fat buttermilk (or light coconut milk) and a half teaspoon of orange or lemon zest. Stir everything together until the mixture becomes moist. Drop the mixture over the fruit in the baking dish so it forms around twelve mounds. If desired, sprinkle the top with two teaspoons of coconut sugar. Finally, bake the cobbler at four hundred degrees Fahrenheit until it bubbles (around thirty-five minutes).
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Diabetes-Friendly Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are a classic dessert that might sometimes be too high in carbohydrates for diabetes patients to safely enjoy. However, making diabetes-friendly chocolate chip cookies is possible by cooking with stevia, and this sugar substitute also cuts down on calories. To make chocolate chip cookies with stevia, start by sifting two cups of all-purpose flour together with three-quarters of a teaspoon of sea salt and three-quarters of a teaspoon of baking powder. In a separate bowl, stir together one egg, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and half a teaspoon of white powdered stevia. Then, add one cup of softened salted butter (or non-dairy alternative), and beat with an electric mixer. Add the mixture of dry ingredients to the mixture of wet ingredients (a little of each at a time), and fold in one and a quarter cups of chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a greased baking sheet so that each spoonful is a few inches from the next. Finally, bake the cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until they are golden brown (approximately twenty to twenty-five minutes).
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Fruit smoothies do contain the natural sugars that come from the fruit used, but can be entirely free of refined sugar. Fruits and vegetables are great ways for individuals to regulate their intestinal health and make sure they get the nutrients they need. For individuals with a sweet tooth, fruit has the sugary taste of higher calorie desserts, but it's less likely to cause a dangerous problem with their blood sugar. One great smoothie option is to combine low-calorie yogurt with superfoods like blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Some fruit smoothie recipes also include fruits and vegetables like avocados and leafy greens. There are several different fruit smoothies designed specifically for diabetes patients, so they have a lower amount of carbohydrates than some other smoothie options might. Individuals can use Greek yogurt or soy milk in their recipes instead of regular milk or sweetened yogurt.
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One of the options diabetes patients can enjoy is sugar-free pudding, which can even be topped with sugar-free whipped cream. There are several sugar-free pudding options individuals can purchase in a variety of flavors. Some pudding cups can be purchased in pistachio or dark chocolate, which are flavors the average diabetes patient might otherwise struggle to incorporate into a healthy diet. Pudding has a pleasant and savory texture that makes it more satisfying for some individuals to eat than gelatin. If individuals are going with a sugar-free option, one serving of the dessert tends to have less than a hundred calories. Sugar-free pudding mix can also be purchased, and individuals can make a big batch to store in their fridge instead of needing to buy individual cups. The dessert uses artificial sweeteners that can mimic the taste of sugar without actually raising an individual's blood sugar. Different brands will use different sweeteners, with some of the most common being aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, or neotame.
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One of the biggest appeals of this dessert is poached fruit can be created from almost any fruit, including dried fruits. It's also possible to use dozens of different liquids as the poaching base, which means individuals can choose a sugar-free or low-sugar liquid to help manage their blood sugar. Poaching fruit takes about an hour, but individuals can do a lot of fruit at once if they want desserts that will last for several days. First, individuals will need to pick up some fruit at the grocery store. The best fruits to use are ones that are ripe and firm rather than squishy. Pretty much any fruit that's in season will work. Some of the most common choices are mango, pineapple, berries, grapefruit, oranges, apples, pears, prunes, figs, and dried apricots. Any fresh fruit purchased should be peeled and cut into slices before the poaching. If individuals use dried fruit, though, they don't have to prep it at all. The fruit should be placed in a pot with the poaching liquid and covered. The fruit should be simmered until cooked through. The length of time this takes will vary depending on the fruit used as well as the quantity being poached at the same time.
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Sugar-free popsicles have significantly fewer calories and carbohydrates than the ones with sugar, with some servings having just fifteen calories per popsicle. This is less than the average serving of ice cream or frozen yogurt, even when the frozen yogurt and ice cream comes with other sweeteners. Individuals might also be able to make sugar free or low sugar popsicles at home rather than buying them at the grocery store. Homemade popsicles can incorporate any flavor desired, and are popular because individuals can make them by pouring liquid into ice trays and leaving it in the freezer. There's no complicated or overwrought process about it. Some sugar-free popsicles made at home are also dairy-free or vegan, which is great if individuals have other dietary restrictions in addition to diabetes. For parents with kids who have diabetes, making sugar-free popsicles at home can be a fun bonding activity that makes food fun.
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Fruit salad is a common dessert staple for individuals on healthy diets, and it's an especially good choice for diabetes patients Instead of added sugars, the sweetness comes from the natural sugars inside the fruit. Dozens of different fruit salad recipes have been optimized for diabetes patients. Many of them can be easily prepared at home using ingredients found at the grocery store. Common examples include honey-balsamic salads, lime ambrosia fruit cups, watermelon salads, citrus salads, and more traditionally balanced fruit salads. However, individuals don't always need to work off a recipe. Sometimes all they need to do is pick up some of their favorite fruits, peel them, cut them into chunks, and toss them into a bowl together. If individuals use fruit salad as a dessert, they should lean into flavors they like and avoid adding unnecessary sugars.