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Healthy Desserts for People With Type 2 Diabetes

You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

Trying to balance your diet to meet your type 2 diabetes goals can be challenging, especially for those who have a sweet tooth. Although smart food choices and healthy eating habits are an important part of managing your blood sugar levels, it is still possible to enjoy other foods, including dessert.
The key to eating sugar and high-fat food is to keep it limited and to eat small portions. So if you indulge here and there, try to remember that the main goal of managing type 2 diabetes is focusing on long-term health and weight management. However, for those who just can't pass up desserts, there are some ways to ensure they are within your meal plan goals.
Here are a few helpful tips on how to include dessert (either at home or in a restaurant) into your meal plan:
  • Save your carbohydrate allotment for dessert. This can be one of the beauties of counting carbohydrates with type 2 diabetes. You don't have to sacrifice everything, and if you want dessert, just be sure you make room for it. If you want a high-carb dessert, make low-carb choices for the rest of the meal so that your total carb count for the whole meal is within your target range.
  • Plan on a dessert for one of your snacks. Those with type 2 diabetes need to eat small, frequent meals and snacks. This means that you may have one to three snacks throughout the day, with each snack usually around 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates. Rather than having a dessert in one of your meals, you could opt to use one of your snacks as a dessert. However, remember that you need to wait at least two hours after your meal to count it as a snack.
  • Be careful with low-sugar or sugar-free desserts. Just because a dessert doesn't have any added sugars or is made with noncaloric sweeteners, it doesn't mean that it's carbohydrate-free. Make sure to read the labels and account for the carbohydrates you are eating, regardless of whether the dessert contains sugar or not. 
  • Increase your physical activity for the day. Another way to help account for that dessert indulgence is to step it up with your exercising for the day. Desserts tend to have extra fat and calories, so you may want to add a little extra physical activity on, before, or after the days that you splurge on sweets. Because weight management is an important part of type 2 diabetes treatment, keep an eye on how many calories you are consuming and burning each day to keep your weight in check as well.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels. Particularly when consuming foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates, it's important to monitor your blood sugar levels. Once you have been monitoring these levels for a while, you may start to notice that some carbohydrate-containing foods will raise your blood sugar levels more than others, even if they have the same grams of carbohydrates.
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