Nutrition & Diabetes

Archive for December 14th, 2010

This week’s question is: “I have diabetes and this time of year is the toughest for me.  It seems holiday treats/sweets are everywhere tempting me!  Is it ok to indulge a little?  If not, how can I build up enough will power to avoid holiday sweets?”

I completely understand where you are coming from and how difficult it can be to stay away from the treats/sweets during the holidays.  My advice would be to not deprive yourself and enjoy some the desserts, but just kept your consumption moderate.  If you deprive yourself, it is only going to make you want the dessert even more and might lead to overeating later.  According to the American Diabetes Association and American Dietetic Association’s “Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Diabetes,” people with diabetes can eat anything and that includes sugar, but the meals have to be balanced.  There has to be a balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat on your plate.  Sweets/treats are fine as long as there is a balance.

The important thing is to make sure that your blood sugar levels do not skyrocket.  If you want the sweets, then you would have to control the other carbohydrate rich foods that you are eating throughout the day.   All foods contribute to your blood sugar levels, but the carbohydrate rich foods are the ones that raise your blood sugar levels the most.

For example, if there is dessert after dinner, make sure there is more meat, protein, and non-starch vegetables on your dinner plate and go low on carbohydrate rich foods like mash potatoes, bread, or pasta.  This way you do not load up on carbohydrates during dinner and the carbohydrates are saved for the dessert.

Below there is a guide to show how  dessert can still be part of meal by looking at how much desserts cost in terms of carbohydrate choices:

According to the “Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Foods,” one serving of carbohydrate choices like breads, cereals, grains, starchy vegetables, crackers, beans have 15 grams of carbohydrates.

Some examples of one serving of a carbohydrate choice (exchange) is:

1 slice (1 oz) bread = 1 carbohydrate choice (15 grams of carbs)

1/2 cup of mashed potatoes = 1 carbohydrate choice (15 grams of carbs)

1/3 cup of pasta = 1 carbohydrate choice (15 grams of carbs)

People usually eat more than a serving size.  Keep that in mind when eating dessert to ensure that an excess amount of carbohydrates is not being consumed.   For example, a serving size of chocolate chip cookies is 2 cookies, but sometimes people eat more than that.  If 4 cookies are consumed, it’s not the worst thing in the world.  The key is too keep it in moderation and watch the rest of the carbohydrates when considering dessert as part of a meal.

To compare a carbohydrate choice to sweets/desserts:  A dessert choice (exchange) also has 15 grams of carbohydrates.

Examples of one serving size of  sweets/desserts and its equivalent to a carbohydrate choice:

1  1/4-inch square 7/8 high small unfrosted brownie = 1 carbohydrate choice (15 grams of carbs)

2-inch square of frosted cake = 2 carbohydrate choices (30 grams of carbs)

2-inch square of unfrosted cake = 1 carbohydrate choice (15 grams of carbs)

2  (2  1/4-inch across) chocolate chip cookies = 1 carbohydrate choice (15 grams of carbs)

3 gingersnap cookies = 1 carbohydrate choice (15 grams of carbs)

1 small (1  3/4 oz) frosted cupcake = 2 carbohydrate choices (30 grams of carbs)

1/2 cup of fruit cobbler = 3 carbohydrate choices (45 grams of carbs)

1/6 of an 8-inch commercially prepared fruit pie 2 crusts = 3 carbohydrate choices (45 grams of carbs)

1/8 of an 8-inch pumpkin or custard pie = 1  1/2 carbohydrates (22.5 grams of carbs)

1 (2  1/2 oz) sweet roll or danish = 2  1/2 carbohydrate choices (37.5 grams of carbs)


December 2010
« Nov   Jan »


About Me

Iris M. Pacheco, MS, RD, LD/N

This was a blog I wrote during 2010-2011 while I was a dietetics and nutrition student.

Through this blog I volunteered to answer questions from people with diabetes that were submitted to is a website that helps people with diabetes make better food choices. It holds of large databases of food items and gives recommendations on which foods to have "More Often," "In Moderation," or "Less Often."

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9 other followers

Blog Stats Since November 13, 2010

  • 19,218 hits