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How People with Diabetes Can Still Eat Desserts

How People with Diabetes Can Still Eat Desserts

When one is diagnosed with diabetes, the first thought that many have is they must say goodbye to desserts and other sweet treats forever.  However, just because you have been diagnosed with diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself once in awhile.

It is true that you must severely limit your sweet treats and, in most cases, it’s best to reserve sweets and other desserts for special occasions so you don’t miss out. However, with a little planning you can still have your favorite dessert every now and then while still managing your disease.

The Truth About Sugar

One of the biggest myths about diabetes is that it is caused by eating too much sugar.  However, sugar has absolutely nothing to do with developing type 1 diabetes and the issue is even more complicated for those that develop type 2 diabetes.

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One of the biggest risk factors for type 2 diabetes is being overweight, but a diet that is high in calories that contribute to excessive weight gain can come from a variety of foods.  However, research has shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes, and the American Diabetes Association recommends that people limit their intake of these sweet beverages.

Any type of carbohydrate can raise blood sugar levels.  However, these carbohydrates can come from multiple sources and the total amount of carbohydrates you eat affects blood sugar levels much more than simply the type.  So what does this mean for you?  Most experts today agree that diabetics can substitute small amounts of sure for other sources of carbohydrates while still keeping your blood sugar levels in check.

This doesn’t mean that you can eat sugar all the time or whenever you want.  You must carefully plan when you are going to have that sweet treat and be sure you eliminate other sources of carbohydrates on the day that you choose to have your dessert.

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How to Incorporate Desserts into a Diabetes Friendly Meal Plan

When you decide that you want to include a small dessert into your meal plan, you must carefully plan your meals for the day.  Remember, you must eliminate one or more of your carbohydrates for the day in order to be able to enjoy that sweet treat.

Some common foods that you eat that contain carbohydrates are:

  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Rice
  • Fruit
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Juice
  • Milk
  • Cereal
  • Yogurt

On average, a person should have 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates at meals.  In order to include your favorite dessert, you must eliminate some of your sources of carbohydrates.  Remember, serving sizes are important and if you have a hard time eliminating your favorite carbohydrate for the day try cutting back on how much of it you eat instead.

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Sweet Recipes Diabetics Will Love

In addition to your favorite desserts, there are many types of sweet treats you can make that are more diabetic friendly.  For example, you can create your own sherbet using buttermilk, blackberries and lime.  By mixing these ingredients together and placing it in the freezer, you can easily make a diabetic friendly dessert that is both great tasting and good for you.

If you enjoy something a little sweet at breakfast time, why not mix it up a bit with a broiled grapefruit.  Simply cut a grapefruit in half and lightly sprinkle it with brown sugar and cinnamon and broil it in your oven for five minutes.  This treat is healthy and loaded with antioxidants and won’t drive your blood sugar through the roof when you eat it.

Just because you have been diagnosed with diabetes it doesn’t mean that you have to give up sweets for the rest of your life.  You can still enjoy your favorite dessert on occasion.  However, you must plan ahead and tailor your meal plan for the day in preparation for enjoying that divine dessert.  With proper planning, you can be sure your blood sugar levels stay in a normal, healthy range while still enjoying the sweet taste of your favorite dessert.

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Featured photo credit: Table of Sweets via picjumbo.com

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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