Sweet & Savvy: Healthy Dessert Options for Diabetics

May 1, 2024 | Healthy Living

Do you find yourself craving something sweet but worry about how it will affect your blood sugar? Managing diabetes doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to desserts or miss out anymore. Finding treats that are both delicious and safe for your dietary needs can be a challenge, but it’s entirely possible and I show you how. Get ready to discover delicious and healthy desserts that will help heal you!

 

Understanding Diabetes and the Importance of Controlled Indulgences

Managing diabetes effectively requires a deep understanding of how your body processes sugar. Particularly if you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the pancreas fails to produce insulin due to the immune system attacking its own cells. Without insulin, sugar accumulates in the bloodstream instead of being converted into energy. It causes dangerously high blood sugar levels. People with Type 1 diabetes must use insulin therapy to manage these levels. Without diligent monitoring and insulin therapy, this condition can quickly become life-threatening. It leads to diabetic ketoacidosis, a critical state that requires emergency medical intervention.

Similarly, those with Type 2 diabetes face severe risks if dietary sugar is not properly managed. Although the body still produces insulin, its reduced efficacy can lead to sustained high blood sugar levels. Over time, it strains your organs. This type of diabetes is more common and develops primarily due to lifestyle choices. Continuous neglect can result in chronic health conditions such as inflammation, cardiovascular disease, severe nerve damage, and kidney failure to name a few. All of which can drastically shorten life expectancy and quality.

Excessive sugar intake is on the rise across the US, and unfortunately, it is hidden in nearly everything. Unless you are mindful of your food choices, you’re likely over consuming it and putting yourself in a severe health risk. The American Heart Association’s recommendation is to consume less than 9 tsp for men and 6 tsp for women but this can be easily overdone when you think you’ve opted for a “healthy” breakfast! This makes it even more difficult when you already have diabetes. 

I am not sharing this to scare you but to ensure you have all the information to make informed decisions about your diet and health. From there you can make mindful swaps to foods that won’t eat away at your health. That is why I want to bring you these recipes. And you’re already steps ahead and doing the right thing just by being here, and I am so proud of you! Please keep going. I’m cheering for you!

 

Best Ways to Sweeten Diabetic Desserts

When managing diabetes, choosing how to sweeten your desserts requires careful consideration. You want to avoid compromising your blood sugar levels. While some processed alternatives like stevia and erythritol are suitable for not spiking blood sugar. Stevia is derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It is a no-calorie sweetener that tastes much sweeter than sugar. It doesn’t raise blood glucose levels. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol with few calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. However, opting for unprocessed sweeteners has always been my go-to. Fruits are great for this, they provide a wholesome and delicious way to add sweetness naturally.

Bananas, apples, and berries are excellent choices for sweetening desserts. Bananas, in particular, are a favorite for their natural sweetness and creamy texture, making them perfect as a binder in baked goods like cakes, waffles, muffins and cookies. They also bring essential nutrients and fibers, which help stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugars. Apples and berries are low on the glycemic index, contributing sweetness and fiber without dramatically affecting your glucose levels. Integrating these fruits into your desserts will enhance the flavor while increasing nutritional value. They are a sure-fire way to ensure you can have desserts that tempt your tastebuds and support your health! It proves that a diabetes-friendly diet can still be rich and satisfying!

 

Diabetic Dessert Sweetener Comparison Table

 

The Impact of Fiber and Fats in Diabetic Desserts

If you have diabetes, you will want to incorporate fiber and healthy fats into your diet as they really benefit blood sugar stabilization. Popping them into sugar-conscious desserts is an easy way to bump up the health factor. 

Fiber, especially found in fruits, whole grains, and nuts, slows digestion to help moderate how your body processes sugar. This slower digestion helps prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which are needed to maintain stable glucose levels. As a result, you feel satisfied longer and avoid the quick sugar highs and lows that can occur with more traditional desserts.

Healthy fats (such as those from avocados, nuts, and seeds) also influence your body’s response to insulin. By slowing down the digestive process, fats reduce the speed at which glucose enters your blood, helping to avoid harsh increases in blood sugar that require immediate insulin intervention. This effect is enhanced when fats are paired with fiber-rich ingredients in healthy desserts. They also add a rich texture and flavor that makes them irresistible! 

Including ingredients like almond flour, flaxseeds, or chia seeds can enhance the nutritional profile of your healthy diabetic desserts while keeping your blood sugar levels more stable. By making deliberately more diabetic-smart choices that align with your health goals, you can ensure you never have to skip dessert again!

 

Delicious Diabetic-Friendly Dessert Recipes

As I shared, opting for diabetic-friendly desserts doesn’t mean compromising on taste or texture! Here are three delicious recipes that you can make time and time again. Whether for gatherings, celebrations, or just to curb your sweet tooth, these are fan favorites I know you’ll be whipping up right away.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup stevia (granulated)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 70% cocoa)
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except the chocolate chips until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips last before dropping spoonfuls of the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on a cookie rack (if you can wait that long!) Store for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Why it’s a good option: 

This recipe minimizes the impact on blood sugar by using almond flour and stevia. Almond flour is high in healthy fats and fiber, and stevia is a zero-calorie sweetener that does not raise blood sugar levels. It can help offset the higher caloric content of the almonds, which makes this a good option for those looking to keep a healthy weight. These cookies are an excellent treat for maintaining glycemic control.

 

Banana Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 3 ripe bananas, very well mashed 
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup dark cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). In a bowl, combine the mashed bananas, almond flour, eggs, melted coconut oil, baking soda, and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly until you achieve a smooth batter. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.

For the icing, blend the avocado, cocoa powder, agave and vanilla extract until smooth. If necessary, adjust the sweetness to taste, but I advise against oversweetening. Spread the icing over the cake as normal once the cake has cooled completely.

Why it’s a good option:

This cake uses the natural sweetness of ripe bananas, which are a wholesome, unprocessed fruit and rich in fiber. The entire cake is free from refined sugars. The almond flour base offers a low-carb, high-fiber alternative to traditional flour, making it ideal for blood sugar management. The icing, made with avocado and sweetened with agave syrup, provides a luxurious and creamy texture without relying on high saturated fat and sugar icing. This makes the cake perfect for celebrations without the sugar hit!

 

Apple Chia Crumble 

Ingredients:

  • 4 apples, cored and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup agave or low glycemic sweetener of your choosing. 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Toss apple slices with cinnamon and half of the sweetener, then lay them in a baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix chia seeds, oats, almond flour, coconut oil, and the remaining sweetener until crumbly. Spread this mixture over the apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the topping is golden and the apples are tender. Let cook before serving.

Why it’s a good option:

This crumble uses apples and chia seeds, both of which are excellent sources of fiber. The slow digestion of these fibers helps prevent sugar spikes, while the oats and almond flour add additional nutrients and satisfying texture. It gives you the nostalgia of a family favorite without the blood sugar challenges. This one is like a hug in a bowl!

 

Food is more than just nourishment; it’s an undeniable source of joy, a part of celebrations, and a means to bring people together. When you have diabetes, it might seem like you have to step back from these moments, but that’s far from the truth. With the right recipes and knowledge, you can continue to love the food you eat and allow it to help you heal. You don’t have to sacrifice flavor for your health. You don’t have to miss out on another event. You don’t have to feel stuck for options. 

Your meals get to be a source of healing, joy, and celebration. Want even more advice on how to heal from your chronic conditions and finally get in the best health? Book your 1:1 Health Discovery Call now!

 

 


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