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Enjoy your dessert despite diabetes

Most diabetics consider sugar to be their worst enemy and to blame for their condition. But that is simply a myth that you must discard. It is possible to enjoy your favorite dessert without your blood glucose levels shooting up like an arrow . Are you interested? Then learn to replace and moderate.

Eating a piece of cake may seem like the worst idea if you have diabetes . And it is normal that this is so, since you have learned to associate the consumption of a lot of sugar with high levels of glucose in the blood. Although this is partially true, you do not have to give up your favorite dessert, especially in the holiday season, if you know how to do it without hurting the acceptable levels of glucose that have cost so much to achieve.

The desserts themselves, for your information, do not make your diabetes worse. What does happen is that the sugar they contain has the same effect on blood glucose as carbohydrates  (which are also sugars but there are healthier ones). This means that if you eat foods with a lot of sugar, such as ice cream or a cupcake, your blood glucose level may rise a little faster – but not at higher levels, than if you had eaten the equivalent in grams of a carbohydrate as rice or a potato.

And how can you do it? For substitution and moderation will be your best allies in this case.

According to experts at Johns Hopkins University, what has the greatest effect on how quickly the blood glucose level rises is the amount of food you eat. And although the type of food does not stop being important, by its glycemic index (that is, the speed with which a food raises your level of glucose in blood), if you substitute other foods such as carbohydrates, gram per gram and calorie By calorie, you can consume sugary foods relatively safely. The problem is that most people with diabetes do not substitute sugary foods for other (healthier) carbohydrates, but simply eat as much as the others.

A test is the most indicated

Why do not you decide to take the test? To find out if your favorite cake is not going to upset your glucose levels, try first a rather small dessert, nothing over the top, like a sweet cookie or a scoop of ice cream after your dinner. Then, take your glucose medications (or inject insulin) in the usual way. Two hours later, measure your glucose level with your homemade glucometer . If you are in the usual range, you will know that you can give yourself one or another gustito from time to time (and this is important).

Learning to substitute

Even if the previous test turns out to be successful, there is something else you must learn and it is to substitute and replace carbohydrate-containing foods with those small pieces of candy. What are the foods that you must replace with sugar? Well preferably bread, tortillas, rice, biscuits and cereals, fruits with a lot of sugar, juice (juice) sweetened, milk, yogurt, potatoes (potatoes), corn (corn, corn) and peas (pea, peas). The size of the portions also makes the difference. To include sweets in your meals, you can reduce the amount of other carbohydrates within that same meal.

For example, do you want to eat a sweet cookie after lunch? If this consists of a turkey sandwich with two slices of bread, you have two options: eliminate one of the slices or substitute that type of bread for another with fewer calories. 

The quality of your nutrition comes first

But even if you check that you can enjoy your dessert, there is something you should keep in mind, as indicated by the American Diabetes Association ( American Diabetes Association) : most sweets and desserts do not provide important vitamins and minerals. They are found in other, healthier foods. That is why, even if you become an expert in replacing carbohydrates with sugar, you must continue to consume nutritious and lower-calorie foods so that neither your weight nor the quality of your meals will be affected.

If in any case, the temptation to eat something sweet is very strong, the American Diabetes Association suggests the following:

  • Satisfy your need to eat something sweet with fresh fruit .
  • It is preferable that you eat a small portion of your favorite dessert, instead of a larger portion of any dessert. Your satisfaction is also important. You also avoid the frustration that something you like is “forbidden”.
  • If you go out to eat at a restaurant, share the dessert with a friend or with a family member (it is better if you are several friends or family). You will feel happier with one or two teaspoons and much less guilty.
  • Try new recipes to prepare sweets with lower caloric content.
  • If at a seasonal party they offer you a dessert that you can not refuse, reduce the calories in the next meal.
  • Use a low-calorie sweetener  instead of sugar for coffee or tea.

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