Diabetic? How you can still enjoy dessert

Dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food.

Most desserts tend to be highly processed and often prepared with added sugar. Sweet, mealcapping treats are always tempting. But when you have type 2 diabetes, sweets are more than just extra calories. You also have to think about how the foods you eat will affect your blood sugar.

Contrary to the misconception on intake of sugar/glucose leading to hyperglycemia, recent studies have proved that eating sugar or carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, etc has similar effects on blood glucose levels.

Hence, blood glucose levels can be maintained in the normal range even with intake of desserts and/or sweets. Though, the sweet does not provide any important vitamins and minerals, they may be high in fats and calories but while including them in the meal plan one must make sure that it provides necessary nutrients.

Strategies for enjoying desserts
• Substitute small portions of sweet for other carbohydrate-containing foods in the meals and snacks (i.e. if a person wants to have desserts in a meal, then he should replace any other carbohydrate content of his meal. The total amount of carbohydrate ingested during the meal will remain the same
• Eat a small serving of the favorite dessert, instead of something common
• Satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh or dry fruits
• Share desserts with your friend or family member
• Reduce the amount of sugar or fat in your favorite recipes
• Choose low calorie and low fat desserts

Sweet foods that curb diabetic cravings

When you have type 2 diabetes, the best dessert options are the least processed. So, instead of limiting your dessert options to traditional sweets, broaden your definition to include raw or baked fruit.

Raw fruit tends to be low in fat, high in fiber, and naturally sweet. Baking raw fruit concentrates the natural fruit sugars producing an even sweeter taste while retaining the other wholesome qualities of the fruit. Fruit that is in season tends to be tasty, reasonably priced, and easy to “dress up” with simple ingredients.

Tips for making diabetes-friendly desserts

Palm Fruit (Nungu) Sago Payasam (Serving size 8 cups)

Ingredients
• 100gm Nungu
• 50 gm sago – soaked in water
• 25 gm Vermicelli
• 500 ml milk
• 2 cups water
• 3 crushed green cardamom
• 25 gm cashews
• 10 gm almonds
• 2 tsp ghee
• Sugar free – as required
• Saffron, a little
• Salt, a pinch

Directions
1. Heat ghee in a pan and fry vermicelli, cardamom, crushed cashews, almond pieces and keep it aside.
2. Boil milk in the pan and add water, sago, vermicelli and cook well.
3. When sago and vermicelli is cooked, add a little saffron.
4. Add crushed nungu.
5. Turn off the flame and mix the sweetener as required.
6. Refrigerate for 20 mins and serve chilled.

Nutritive values per serving:

Energy 101 kcal; Fat 4.1 gm; Protein 3.4 gm; Carbohydrates 15.4 gm

Fruit and veg peel halwa(Serving size: 4 cups)

Ingredients
• Apple peel ½ cup
• Mango peel ½ cup
• Carrot peel ½ cup
• Beetroot peel ½ cup
• Tomato peel ½ cup
• Milk 200 ml
• Wheat flour 2 tbsp
• Ghee 2 tsp
• Almonds 25gm
• Sugar free as required

Directions
1. Grind all the peel together in the mixer with 2 spoons of milk.
2. Heat kadai and add remaining milk and bring into boil.
3. Add ground peel mixture into boiling milk and mix well.
4. Add wheat flour and ghee little by little and cook until the mixture leaves side of the kadai.
5. Turn off the flame and mix the sweetener as required.
6. Garnish with chopped almonds and serve cold.

Nutritive values per serving: 1 cup= 150ml

Carbohydrates 15.4 gm; Protein 3.4 gm;  Fat 4.1 gm; Energy 101kcal

Note: One cup of dessert can be substituted for one cup of rice or one chapatti or 50-100g of fruit. But not on a regular basis, as it has too much of sweetener.

Source: Mrs. Sheela Paul B Sc, DND, MA & Ms. Vimala M Sc, Dieticians, www.mvdiabetes.com
Image: Ukanda

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