- List of Low Carb Dessert Recipes for Diabetics
- 4 Low Carb & Low Sugar Treats for Diabetics
- Desserts and Sweets for Diabetics
- Diabetes Dessert Guidelines
- Diabetes-Friendly Desserts
- Bottom Line
- Sweet options for people with diabetes
List of Low Carb Dessert Recipes for Diabetics
Atkins® tips and recipes for diabetic desserts are perfect for anyone living with type 2 diabetes or trying to decrease sugar consumption. Living with type 2 diabetes doesn’t mean entirely eliminating desserts from your diet. Instead, type 2 diabetics should focus on making healthier choices to satisfy a sweet tooth. Avoid blood sugar spikes and help regulate blood sugar levels by selecting low sugar and low carb dessert options.
Use the following suggestions below to discover low sugar desserts for those on a low carb way of eating to satisfy your sweet tooth while living with diabetes.
- Make fruit the star of your desserts as long as you’re not in Phase One of Atkins. Blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, and strawberries are all good lower carb fruit options.
- Look for sugar-free chocolate, syrups, gelatins and other baking ingredients when you grocery shop.
- Eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages, since these have been linked to higher obesity rates associated with type 2 diabetes. Learn more on how the Atkins® Induction Phase may help to improve glycemic control in diabetes here.
Please consult your physician before starting any diet to manage your diabetes.
4 Low Carb & Low Sugar Treats for Diabetics
Treat yourself to these low carb desserts on special occasions; or on average days, and be mindful of portion size and ingredients.
When you’re craving something sweet, try one of Atkins® low carb & low sugar dessert recipes for diabetics. They’re perfect dessert recipes for diabetics: they’re easy-to-make, no added sugar, low in naturally occurring sugars and carbs and can satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth:
- Coconut-Cashew Chocolate Truffles – These are a healthier alternative to traditional truffles that still taste indulgent.
- Chocolate and Flan Layered Mini Cakes – Sugar-free chocolate and sugar-free caramel make these flan cakes a great low-sugar dessert option.
- Chocolate-Covered Strawberries – Using sugar-free chocolate makes chocolate covered strawberries diabetic-friendly.
- Strawberry Granita – This cool dessert is made with strawberries, sugar substitute and fresh lemon juice for a healthy and refreshing dessert.
Register with Atkins® today for additional low carb recipes and tips for diabetics
Desserts and Sweets for Diabetics
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can never have dessert again. With some simple swaps and diabetes-friendly dessert recipes, you can satisfy your sweet tooth without sending your blood sugar soaring.
Diabetes Dessert Guidelines
Pictured Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Cookies
Desserts may seem off-limits since many are high in sugar, but remember that for people with diabetes the total number of carbohydrates of a meal or snack matters more than the total sugar. That means dessert can still fit into your diet-with a few adjustments. Before you head to the kitchen, here are a few dessert guidelines and some of our favorite sweets that fit into a diabetic diet.
1. Swap carbohydrates
If you opt for something sweet after dinner, you might want to skip the starch at your meal to keep your total carbs in check. By swapping carbohydrates, instead of adding them, you’re also helping keep your blood sugar levels steady. Keeping mealtime carbs consistent also makes it easier for diabetes medications, such as mealtime insulin, to work properly to keep your blood sugar steady.
But remember that, while exchanging your sweet potato for cheesecake can keep your carb intake steady, you’ll lose the fiber, vitamins and other good-for-you nutrients that the sweet potato would provide. It’s not a good idea to indulge in dessert every night; instead, enjoy desserts in moderation.
2. Slash serving size
The American Diabetes Association recommends that most people with diabetes aim for 45-60 grams of carbohydrates per meal. Unfortunately, a bakery-sized cookie can contain 60 grams of carbs alone. Choose a smaller portion, and you can still enjoy something sweet without using up your allotted carbohydrates for the meal. One of these Almond Cookies has only 9 grams of carbohydrates.
Pictured Recipe: Apple-Nut Wedges
3. Go easy on artificial sweeteners
While making desserts with artificial sweeteners can help you cut down on calories and carbs, it’s a better idea to try to reduce your total sweetener consumption (from both sugar and noncaloric sources). Because artificial sweeteners are much sweeter than sugar, they may enhance your craving for sweets. They have also been shown to alter your gut bacteria, which can affect how the body regulates blood sugar.
Related: The Best 30-Day Diabetes Diet Meal Plan
Pictured Recipe: All-American Apple Pies
Fruit is one of the best desserts for people with diabetes (same goes for people who don’t have diabetes). Not only does it have good-for-you vitamins and minerals, it also contains fiber. Fiber helps stabilize blood sugar and can also lower cholesterol. When people with diabetes in one study consumed 50 grams of fiber per day, they had better blood sugar control than those who consumed just 24 grams per day. Half of this fiber was soluble, which is found in fruits, such as apples, oranges and pears. Aim for at least 25-30 grams of total fiber per day. These satisfying Pineapple Raspberry Parfaits pack 3 grams of fiber per serving. Make a fruit parfait with plain yogurt or choose a brand lower in sugar to cut down on carbohydrates even more.
Related: Low-Carb Fruits Ranked from Lowest to Highest Carbs
Good news for people with diabetes: Eating chocolate may actually improve insulin response and blood sugar control because of the presence of flavanols, which are protective compounds found in cocoa. The problem is that most of the chocolate we eat contains only small amounts of flavanols and is loaded with added sugar. You can still have some chocolate, but nix some of the sugar and increase flavanols by opting for dark chocolate instead of milk or white. If plain dark chocolate doesn’t please your palate, try one of these lower-carbohydrate chocolate treats.
While traditional gelatin desserts, such as Jell-O, contain about 20 grams of sugar in one serving, sugar-free Jell-O can be a good alternative for people with diabetes who want an after-dinner indulgence. The downside? With only one gram of protein and not much else, Jell-O has little nutritional value. Plus, sugar-free versions contain both artificial colors and sweeteners. Even though it’s low in carbohydrates, it’s still best to limit sugar-free gelatin consumption.
Related: Buyer’s Guide to Sweeteners
Going out for ice cream may not be as much fun when you have diabetes, since one cup of vanilla ice cream delivers around 30 grams of carbohydrates. While frozen yogurt may seem like a healthier option, most brands pack more sugar than ice cream since they typically have less fat to help carry the flavor. If you are ordering out, ask for a mini or kid-size portion. Otherwise, consider saving money and carbs by making a healthier frozen treat at home. This Berry Frozen Yogurt has 22 grams of carbohydrates but also delivers 3 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, as well as 28 percent of your daily value of vitamin C. Or, try Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches if you want both a diabetic-diet-friendly and kid-friendly treat!
Most Americans eat too much sugar, and it’s especially important for people with diabetes to keep an eye on their intake. Of course, having a healthier and portion-controlled sweet treat once in a while can be part of a healthy diet, even for people with diabetes. The key is moderation and making tweaks to treats so they fit in your diet. And if you’re having trouble keeping your blood sugar under control, be sure speak with your health-care professional.
Sweet options for people with diabetes
A person with diabetes can still enjoy something sweet, but they may need to plan to help avoid unnecessary spikes in blood sugar.
Even a person without diabetes could benefit from following some of the suggestions below.
Eat smaller portions
Share on PinterestA person with diabetes can still eat desserts in moderation.
Desserts are best in moderation. People with diabetes do not necessarily need to skip dessert entirely, but they can opt for a smaller portion of dessert.
When eating out, asking for a smaller slice of cake or pie or sharing dessert with a friend can help limit portion sizes.
When eating at home, cutting baked goods into smaller pieces can help avoid overeating.
An easy way to allow room for a small serving of dessert is skipping a starchy vegetable, roll, or other carbohydrates at mealtime.
By not eating a carbohydrate serving during the main meal, people can help avoid spiking their blood sugar levels by eating a dessert shortly after.
People should only use this trick occasionally, however. This is because most starches in a meal, such as potatoes, are likely to be more nutritious than dessert.
Have homemade dessert
By making desserts at home, a person can control exactly what goes into the dessert.
They can swap out ingredients, such as regular sugar for artificial sweetener, use a whole-grain flour, or use applesauce instead of butter to make the dessert fit into their diet plan.
Also, packaged sweets and desserts often contain a variety of unhealthful additives.
Eat dark chocolate
Share on PinterestDark chocolate with no added sugar may benefit people with type 2 diabetes.
Chocolate offers several potential health benefits, including helping control blood sugar levels. A study paper published in 2017 revealed that chocolate could have some benefits for managing type 2 diabetes.
However, the authors warn that many manufacturers add copious amounts of sugar, which can be bad for people with diabetes.
So, consuming dark chocolate in moderation can be a healthful choice. Dark chocolate is also very rich, making it easy to satisfy a craving without eating very much of it.
Eat fruit and fruit salads
Fruits are high in sugar, but they also offer a range of nutrients, including vitamins and fiber. In fact, the American Diabetes Association recommend using fruit or fruit salads as a way to satisfy cravings for sweets.
However, people with diabetes should opt for fresh, frozen, or fruit canned in water over fruit salads canned in sugary syrups.
Try sugar-free gelatins and puddings
Gelatins and puddings are popular dessert items. Unlike fruits, these dessert options offer no nutritional value.
However, people can eat a small portion of sugar-free pudding or gelatin as a low-carb dessert without interfering with their blood sugar levels.
Use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar
Some people believe that artificial sweeteners can cause adverse health effects. However, most research does not support this.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved five different sweeteners after extensive testing. These include:
- acesulfame potassium
Not all sweeteners offer the same flavor or composition. For example, aspartame loses its flavor during cooking.
However, switching out some or all sugar with artificial sweeteners may help minimize the chances of experiencing a blood sugar spike.
Instead of following recipes to a T, sub in items like applesauce for oil or artificial sweeteners for sugar.
No surprise, portion control is also a big deal when it comes to home-baked treats. So follow the restaurant trend and serve your goodies in small dishes with small spoons.
Make fruit a part of your dessert menu as much as possible, whether it is the dessert itself or is part of a recipe.
“Although fruit is high in carbohydrates, it’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber,” Rondinelli-Hamilton says. If you crave something more than, try adding it to sugar-free gelatin or mixing up one of the following quick and easy fruit salads.
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.
Exchanges: 1 fruit (makes 6 servings, 70 calories per serving)
From Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking. Reprinted with permission from the American Diabetes Association Inc.
Fruit Salad With Yogurt Dressing
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 cups green grapes
- 1/2 cup plain, fat-free yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, toss together the strawberries, blueberries, and grapes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
Pour this dressing over fruit and toss gently.
Exchanges: 1 1/2 fruit (makes 5 servings, 95 calories per serving)
From Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking. Reprinted with permission from the American Diabetes Association Inc.
If you’re looking for a fruity dessert to serve at a celebration, try this:
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 9×13-inch pan with graham cracker sheets.