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4 Low Carb, Sugar-Free Desserts to Include in Your Diabetic Diet

March 17, 2020 | in Food & Diet

Author Denise Parent, BSN Regis University, Denver CO
Parkland Medical Center
Editorial Review Phoebe Stoye, A.B. in Neurobiology, Harvard College
Clinical Review Nicholas Yozamp, MD, Washington University in St. Louis
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Living with diabetes does not mean living without dessert. How many times have you heard "You can't eat that!" from well-meaning friends and family? If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you know that one way to manage the disease is by counting carbohydrate grams because it has the biggest effect on blood sugar. But did you know that fiber is a carbohydrate that is not digested by the body and does not cause blood sugar to rise? So, it makes sense to incorporate high fiber foods into dessert. It's ok to indulge, as long as you indulge responsibly. Here are some tasty, healthy choices that will make you feel like you are cheating.

#1 Dark Chocolate Hummus
Hummus for dessert? Why not, when there's a chocolate version of this chickpea and tahini dip? And yes, you can have chocolate. Dark chocolate has antioxidants and fiber. It has been shown to help decrease blood pressure and increase HDL (the good cholesterol). Hummus is high in protein and fiber. It is made with olive oil which helps combat inflammation. It can be paired with almost any fruit, but goes especially well with strawberries. One cup of strawberries has 12 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber. A serving of hummus will have about 11 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber. One serving of hummus is about 2 tablespoons. One serving of strawberries is about 1 cup.

How to Make It:
Start with 1 can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drain the can (but keep the water handy), remove the skins, and add the beans to your food processor. Add 4 tablespoons of unsweetened dark cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of stevia, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Blend until creamy. Add small amounts of water from the can of beans if needed, until the consistency is just right. Enjoy!

#2 Frozen Berry Yogurt
Greek yogurt is loaded with protein and calcium. It also has probiotics which are good for the immune system and your digestive tract. Berries are loaded with fiber and antioxidants. There are several commercial options in stores, but this is so simple to make you can easily do it at home and have more control over the ingredients. Blackberries have 14 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fiber per cup. One cup of raspberries will have 15 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fiber. If you choose to use honey, it has about 7 grams of carbohydrate. This recipe makes 1 serving.

How to Make It:
Combine 1 cup of frozen berries of your choice (the key to making frozen yogurt is making sure the berries are frozen!), 1 tsp of honey or stevia, and 1/3 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt. Blend together with a food processor or handheld blender. Store it in the freezer if needed.

#3 Baked Cinnamon Apples
Apples are high in fiber and low in calories. And have reported that cinnamon can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol. A medium apple has approximately 25 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fiber. One serving is one half of an apple.

How To Make It:
Wash apples thoroughly and cut into chunks while removing the core. Next combine 1 tablespoon of your favorite vegetable oil-based spread with 1 tsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, ½ tsp of cinnamon, and 1 tsp of nutmeg. Whisk together and coat the apples. Place the mixture into a baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until desired tenderness.

#5 Baked Ricotta
Ricotta cheese is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Blueberries are a great source of fiber. They are packed with antioxidants and may help the body use its own insulin more effectively. One half cup of ricotta has only 4 grams of carbohydrate. One cup of blueberries has about 15 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fiber.

How To Make It:
Mix together ½ cup of low-fat ricotta, 1 egg, 1 tsp stevia, ¼ tsp grated lemon zest, and ¼ tsp vanilla extract. Using a mini cupcake pan, fill cups ¾ full and add berries to the top. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.

Life is too short to skip dessert all the time. Use these simple desserts when you want a sweet treat, and if you want to learn more about the research on nutrients that are beneficial for controlling your blood sugar levels,
! Remember not to over-indulge, as fruits do have carbohydrates. Monitor your blood sugar as directed by your doctor.