Being health conscious comes with a price- quite often, we have to choose between nutritious food and that which, though heaven on the palate, isn’t good for you. The dilemma is worse when it comes to sweets…resisting them is difficult. And if you’re a diabetic, it’s tougher, as even a small amount of sugar could affect your blood sugar levels.
Here, we bring to you a few suggestions, which could satisfy your sweet tooth, while controlling your blood sugar levels too.
Dark chocolate, in moderation, can be a good sweet snack for you. It is very rich in Flavonoids, and can help your body fight insulin resistance. It also protects against heart disease. You can try chocolate with added dry fruits (almonds/ raisins), for added benefit.
It is also low in carbohydrates and sugar, therefore a healthier option to milk chocolate. Preferably, go for the one with 70 % cocoa content.
Fruits, with their natural sugar content, are always a good alternative to sugar or prepared sweets. As a thumb rule, the more vibrant the colour, the better it is…more antioxidants, which fight free radicles in the body.
Not only are they good antioxidants, they also have a low glycemic value- they will not spike your blood sugar levels. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, they all are healthy, and can be had as is, or as an addition to a dessert.
Being a rich source of fiber, they can stabilize your post meal blood sugars, as fiber slows the absorption of sugar in blood.
They can be had as is, or as a pie or low calorie dessert.
An apple is a great choice, easy to carry too. Rich in Fiber, multivitamins and vitamins, it helps control hunger pangs. The peel, too, is very healthy, with antioxidant properties, so try to consume the fruit with the peel.
Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit are very rich in Vitamin C, which is a good immunity booster. These fruits are also low in calories, and refreshing.
Being low in calories, rich in Vit A and with a high percentage of fiber, apricots are a good addition to your list of diabetic friendly snacks. Though they taste good as a fruit in itself, you can also add them to low fat yogurt to make a smoothie.
Kiwi is rich in potassium, vitamin C and fiber. Low in carbs and calories, it makes a good addition to your diet.
It’s always better to consume a fruit rather than juices, firstly, because you end up having more fruit than recommended in juice form; secondly, you will lose out on the fiber.
Some fruits to avoid if you’re a diabetic are mangoes, grapes, custard apple and sapota ( chikoo). Bananas can be had in moderation. Overall, the high fiber and vitamin content of fruit far outweighs the calorie count.
Having a higher percentage of protein as compared to regular yogurt, this dessert keeps you satisfied and reduces hunger pangs. Additionally, it is high in Calcium and Vit D3.
To make it healthier and tastier, add your choice of fruits…all berries would give it an amazing boost!
Chias seeds are a great source of proteins, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. It could control blood sugar levels and reduce blood pressure.
Chia pudding, prepared with oats or almond milk, dry fruits and topped with fresh fruits, is a great way of satisfying your sugar craving.
Bite sized balls of protein, dry fruit, fruit, seeds…what could be healthier? You can select the ingredients you want to mix into these delights. Add almonds and cashews for the added health boost. They help regulate blood sugar.
Some of the options are:
Banana energy bite- made with banana slices covered in dry fruits and a bit of dark chocolate.
Chia seed energy bite- mixed with peanut or almond butter, these are healthy as well as filling, which means your blood sugar level won’t drop very soon.
Cottage cheese fruit bowls
Cottage cheese, especially when made at home, is another good addition to your diet. Rich in proteins and calcium, it is also low fat, making it the perfect snack to turn to. Not only does it reduce body weight, it also reduces insulin resistance, regulating blood sugar levels. Mix in some fresh fruits like kiwi or strawberries and you have a delicious, yet healthy snack.
A snack made predominantly with seeds, dry fruits and nuts, trail mix is rich in fiber, protein and micronutrients. As it is easy to carry, you can keep some handy at all times.
Store bought trail mixes, though popular, tend to be high in sugar and cholesterol; it’s better to make it at home, customizing it to your needs. Mix up some dry fruits- almonds, raisins, pecans, pine nuts- with seeds like pumpkin and chia- and you’re good to go. You can add some pieces of dark chocolate or dates for sweetness.
Ice cream, as a rule, isn’t a healthy option for a diabetic- too sweet, too rich. However, you can customize it by adding fruits, or make fruit ice creams at home. Banana ice cream is one example…it contains the goodness of bananas, it’s healthy as well as having a low glycemic index.
As their name suggests, these bars have high protein content, so make for a good snack. However, as store bought bars could have a high content of sugar; preferably make the bars at home.
Combine protein flour (oats) with whey protein and add honey for sweetness.
Protein smoothies are a fast and easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth, and maintain a healthy diet. It satisfies your hunger and the high fiber helps maintain glucose levels.
Blend together the milk of your choice, some protein (like whey or cottage cheese), some greens, dry and fresh fruits…and you have a great snack ready.
Cinnamon flavored chickpeas
Chickpeas are a natural source of protein, and by themselves quite filling and tasty. They are known to reduce blood sugar levels, as they are high in fiber.
For a sweet twist, toss boiled chickpeas with honey, cinnamon and dry fruits and bake them.
Whatever sweet you choose, always have it in moderation. Try to select ones that are high in fiber and nutrients , stick to small portions and preferably, have sweets that have been prepared at home.