Being diabetic doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go without dessert!
While it’s imperative to control the sugar content of the foods you eat, it’s still possible to enjoy sweet treats at the end of a meal.
Try as much as possible to prepare your desserts yourself, to be sure of the ingredients that make them up! How can we do this? We adopt good habits in our home preparations by favoring certain desserts and substituting some ingredients with others.
Are you a diabetic, and desserts are your favorite food? Here are our 7 tips!
1. Replace sugar with honey
In your homemade preparations, desserts, dairy products, or hot drinks, get into the habit of replacing sugar with honey. Honey is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and helps stabilize blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.
Be careful, however, to choose a honey that is rich in fructose and, therefore, with a low GI (glycemic index). For example, the GI of acacia honey is 53, while that of forest honey is 88.
Honey remains a product rich in sugar, and it is necessary to consume it in moderation (like other sugars, whether natural or not).
Good to know: honey has a higher sweetening power than sugar so you can use less. 100 g of sugar in a recipe can be replaced by about 65 g of honey.
2. Choose agave syrup
Agave syrup is often presented to diabetics as an ideal alternative to sugar because of its very low GI (glycemic index) and its high fructose content. However, it would help to take several precautions.
– Its GI is not as low as is often claimed. It depends on the manufacturing techniques and the maturity of the agaves from which it is extracted. As a result, some poor-quality agave syrups, refined to the extreme, can have a GI equal to white sugar.
– It is undoubtedly very rich in fructose (the sugar in fruits), but this does not mean that it is good for your health. In fruits, fructose is associated with fibers that slow down its assimilation. This is not the case for agave syrup. Fructose can increase the blood level of triglycerides (a type of fat).
– Agave syrup is almost as caloric as sugar.
Conclusion: always choose a good quality agave syrup, as unrefined as possible, and don’t overdo it because it remains a sweet product!
3. Focus on fresh fruit
All fresh fruits are allowed when you have diabetes, and as for the rest of the population, 5 fruits and vegetables are recommended every day. They are low in calories and have a moderate or even low GI (glycemic index) while rich in water, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
On the other hand, fruit juices (even fresh ones) that are 100% pure juice and have no added sugar should be avoided because they are low in fiber and contain large amounts of free fructose. However, precisely the fiber slows down the passage of sugar in the blood.
Good to know: the sweetest fruits should preferably be eaten at the end of a meal and not between meals to avoid blood sugar spikes. This is the case for cherries and grapes. Also, be sure to spread fruit throughout the day.
The GI (glycemic index) of white wheat flour is exceptionally high (85), so don’t hesitate to swap some of it or replace it entirely with other flours (with a lower GI).
– Semi-complete wheat flour can be a good alternative, as it has a GI of 65.
– Also, consider other cereal flours: rye flour, barley flour, spelled flour,…
– Other plants can also be used to make flours, like buckwheat (GI 40) or quinoa (GI 40).
– Legume flours are also an excellent option: chickpea flour (GI 35), lentil flour (GI 35), soy flour (GI 25).
5. Adding fiber to your homemade cakes
To lower your desserts’ GI (glycemic index) (cakes, cookies, and dairy products or creams), think about adding fiber. Fiber delays glucose absorption and, therefore, helps control blood sugar levels after a meal.
There are several choices:
Wheat or oat bran can be added to dairy products or incorporated into cakes, pancakes, or cookies.
– Coconut flour: ultra-rich in fiber (about 40%), it also brings a deliciously exotic and sweet taste to your cakes (which helps reduce the amount of sugar).
Psyllium is traditionally used in gluten-free pieces of bread and cakes, as it has bulk properties.
6. Choose your dairy products carefully
Dairy products are excellent desserts for people with diabetes, as long as you choose the least fatty and least sweet products possible. Some examples to choose from:
– 1 plain yogurt;
– 1 0% mg fruit yogurt (be careful, in many products labeled 0% mg, the fat is replaced by sugar!
– 1 individual pot of cottage cheese at 0 or 20 % mg;
– 2 plain petits-suisses at 20% mg.
Good to know: because of their high sugar and fat content, gourmet dairy products (cream desserts, rice or semolina with milk, etc.) should be eaten occasionally and always as part of a balanced meal to avoid blood sugar spikes.
7. Think about cinnamon and spices
Cinnamon can lower blood sugar. An American study conducted in California has shown that people with diabetes who regularly consume cinnamon have a lower blood sugar level on an empty stomach than those who do not.
Cinnamon is also beneficial to the cardiovascular system because it helps regulate cholesterol levels.
Do not hesitate to add a few pinches to all your desserts: yogurts, creams, cakes, and homemade cookies…
Other spices have exciting properties for health. In addition, spices add flavor to dishes and, therefore, often reduce the amount of sugar.