When you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, you learn about the types of food you’re supposed to cut back on — namely sugary foods and desserts. But surprisingly, baking for a diabetes diet can be just as easy and tasty as baking was before. By experimenting with ingredient substitutions to create healthy bread and dessert recipes instead of sugar- and fat-based ones, you can still enjoy sweet treats. Soon enough, you’ll create your own collection of go-to favorites for diabetes.
As with much of your diabetes diet, once you learn all about healthy baking, the real issue is how much to eat. “The key to breads and desserts when you have diabetes is moderation. You can still eat these foods, but sharing is a great idea,” says Sacha Uelmen, RD, CDE, program director of the Outpatient Diabetes Education Program at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor. Be realistic about your weaknesses. “You might have to avoid items that are problematic for you,” she adds. “For example, my weakness is Hershey Kisses. I can’t even have them in the house or I know I’ll splurge, and my family and friends can attest to that.”
So if you can bake your award-winning apple pie for a potluck and not overindulge, by all means do it. Whatever you choose to eat, remember to keep track of carbohydrates and calories so you can stay in control of your diet and blood sugar.
Baking and Diabetes: A Word About Sugar Substitutes
Perhaps the most obvious ingredient exchange to make is sugar substitutes, such as Splenda or stevia. You’ll need to practice, because a new sweetener can change your baked goods in these ways:
- Taste. You may taste a difference between sugar and non-sugar sweeteners. Try different sugar substitutes to find out which flavor you prefer.
- Color. Sugar substitutes may create baked goods that are lighter in color rather than golden brown.
- Rise. Items baked with sugar substitutes are occasionally flatter or smaller…
Read more: Madeline Vann, MPH, Everyday Health