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Smart Ways to Give in to Temptation


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While the rule for people managing diabetes has always been to avoid sweets, we now know that there are smart ways to incorporate "forbidden" foods into our diets. Here are some ideas for your "healthy" enjoyment of sugary, crispy, crunchy and salty treats from "Sweets, Treats and Cheats", a chapter of The Sugar Solution, a book by the Editors of Prevention Magazine with Ann Fittante, MS, RD, and member of the BD Diabetes Dream Team.

  • First of all, constantly denying yourself treats usually doesn't work. Instead, pick your favorites, learn their individual carbohydrate counts and enjoy them in moderation.
  • Do the math to work foods with sugar into your meal plan. For instance, if you want a couple of chocolate chip cookies and a sandwich for lunch, you can substitute low- calorie bread for regular bread. The carbs savings in bread would allow you to enjoy your treat.
  • An apple a day helps keep the glucose spikes away — fresh and dried fruits help satisfy sugar cravings.
  • Portion control! Reach for the smaller or single-serving sized packages of your favorite snacks, or split your dessert with a companion.
  • When you need to grab something from a convenience store, have a protein bar, bag of nuts or powdered nutritional drink to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  • Consider substitutes. Baked chips are just as satisfying as the full-fat version!
  • Pick your treat times wisely and give in to cravings when you are least likely to overeat. For example, have a small bag of chips after lunch, but only if you had a healthy, satisfying breakfast that morning.

It's also important to remember that most sweets and desserts are high in fat and lacking in important nutrients often found in healthier foods. This is especially concerning if you are trying to lose weight. Taking a brisk 30-minute walk after eating a sweet treat can help offset some of the negative effects of desserts. Plus, exercise helps regulate your glucose levels.

We all love to indulge in treats from time to time; being smart about it can make all the difference in the world.

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