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7 Healthy Diabetic Desserts for Your Diabetes Diet

Having diabetes doesn't have to mean giving up desserts. Try these healthy diabetic desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.
WebMD Feature

Chocolate mousse pies, parfaits, luscious cakes topped with fruit. If you have diabetes, you'll have to bid farewell to such desserts, right?

Wrong, says Lara Rondinelli, RD, CDE, diabetes center coordinator at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

''At diagnosis, people think that their life's going to change, and in many ways it does,'' she says. But embarking on a strange new diet, dull and devoid of pleasures, isn't one of them, she says.

In fact, deprivation can backfire, says Rondinelli, author of the American Diabetes Association cookbook Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking.

"If people are too restrictive and don't allow themselves any sweets or favorite foods, they can get frustrated and go on binges,'' she says.

''It's a matter of balance,'' Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, says of desserts and sweet treats. ''They can fit into your meal plan when you work with a diabetes educator.''

Diabetes-Friendly Desserts

So the next time your sweet tooth beckons, try a few of these tasty temptations:

  • No-sugar hot chocolate with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top
  • A low-calorie parfait made of sugar-free pudding alternately layered with sugar-free whipped topping
  • Sugar-free gelatin made with fresh fruit or canned fruit packed in extra light syrup

Here are some more ideas for delicious, diabetes-friendly desserts.

Fruit Treats

Fruit is naturally sweet, and it's easy to dress it up as a healthy treat for your entire household. Here are a couple of ideas:

Melon Salad

In a medium bowl, combine 3 cups of cubed cantaloupe and 3 cups of cubed honeydew melon. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves and 1 tablespoon honey. Toss gently to coat. Makes 6 servings.

From Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking. Reprinted with permission from the American Diabetes Association Inc.

Fruit Salad With Yogurt Dressing

In a medium bowl, toss together 2 cups of sliced strawberries, 1 cup of blueberries, and 2 cups green grapes.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup plain, fat-free yogurt; 1 tablespoon honey; 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Pour this dressing over fruit and toss gently. Makes 5 servings.

From Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking. Reprinted with permission from the American Diabetes Association Inc.

For Chocolate Lovers and Banana Fans

Looking for a special dessert to serve at a celebration? Try Rondinelli's recipes for banana fans and chocolate lovers.

Banana Split Cake

6 1/2 graham cracker sheets (two 1 1/2-inch squares per sheet)

1 ounce sugar-free, instant vanilla pudding mix

2 cups fat-free milk

8 ounces light cream cheese

10 ounces canned, crushed pineapple packed in juice, drained

4 medium bananas, sliced

8-ounce container light whipped topping

3 tablespoons pecans, chopped

  • Cover the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan with graham cracker sheets.
  • In a medium bowl, prepare pudding with 2 cups fat-free milk, according to package directions. Add cream cheese to pudding and whip together. Spread pudding mixture over graham crackers.
  • Spread the crushed pineapple over the pudding layer and top with bananas, then spread whipped topping. Sprinkle pecans on top.

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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