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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

Sweet treats for type 2 diabetics?

I am type 2 diabetic and eat pretty healthy foods but have a sweet tooth what deserts can you suggest? I do have fruit but am aware that too much can be bad so need to watch sugar, so low fat yogurts no good either. Any ideas?

A.

Our expert says...

Hi,

Thanks for your question.

As you may be aware, diabetes specialists recommend that people with type 2 diabetes follow a diet that's in line with general healthy eating guidelines - so it's not necessary to cut out all sugar as previously thought. Therefore it's fine for you to have the occasional sugary snack, as long as it's part of a healthy balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy, lean meat and wholegrains.

Having said that, as you know high sugar foods and snacks will have an effect on your blood sugar levels. So if your goal is to ensure you can have a sweet treat without causing a big effect on your blood sugar levels, your best bet is to go for foods that are sweetened with low calorie / non-nutritive sweeteners. Non-nutritive sweeteners provide sweetness to foods, but they are virtually calorie free, so do not contain significant amounts of sugar (virtually none). This means they do not cause your blood sugar levels to increase.

There are some sugar free snacks you can try, that will be sweetened with sweeteners instead of sugar. I've given some examples below:

  • Sugar free jelly
  • Diet fizzy drinks
  • Sugar free sweets or marshmallows (available in most supermarkets)
  • Low calorie hot chocolate e.g. Cadbury Highlights or Options

As well as these, fruit is a good choices if you eat the whole fruit with its skin on, to increase the fibre content and slow the release of sugars.

Yogurts are still fine for you to eat as part of a healthy balanced diet - opt for low fat choices. Often these are sweetened with sweeteners so are quite low in sugar - Muller light or Weight Watchers yogurts are good choices.

Just to mention as well, that foods sweetened with sweeteners are good to use as an occasional alternative to sugary foods. But it's important to monitor your intake as large doses of some sweeteners can have a laxative effect and cause stomach discomfort. Ensure you include sweetened foods in moderate amounts as part of a healthy balanced diet.

I hope this helps to give you some ideas, and please get in touch if you need anything further.

Best wishes

Emma

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