May 22, 2018

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Can I Eat Sweets if I Have Diabetes?

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to eat your favorite “fill-in-the-blank” sugary snack or dessert again.  By avoiding your favorite treats completely, it can make you feel deprived which makes a healthy diet less sustainable.  Be smart about what and how much sugary food you eat and when you eat it. As a general rule, you can have small amounts of sugar if you swap them for other carbohydrates in small servings and still keep your blood glucose levels on track.

ACMC dietitian and diabetes educator, Amy Salo, MS, RD, LD, CDE, talks about sugar consumption and managing your diabetes in this video:

It’s okay to indulge every once in a while, but keep the following tips in mind:

  • Skip the bread (or rice or pasta) if you want dessert. Eating sweets adds extra carbohydrates so cut back on other carbs during your meal.
  • Desserts are a treat not a daily occurrence.  Allow yourself up to three sweets per week in small portions.  More often than this may add too many calories and carbs and lead to weight gain or elevated blood sugars.
  • Eat sweets with a meal, rather than as a stand-alone snack.  Eating sweets on their own may not be very filling so incorporating as a treat at the end of a meal may leave you more satisfied instead of craving more.
  • When you eat dessert, truly savor each bite.  Make every indulgence count by savoring the taste and flavors of your treat.

So the next time that piece of chocolate cake is staring you down, don’t feel guilty.  Cut a small slice and enjoy, but don’t forget moderation is key.