Have you ever heard that a diabetic must ALWAYS avoid sweets or else something really bad will happen?
Some people still believe that if a diabetic eats candy, cake or a brownie with ice cream, it will skyrocket their blood sugar and cause a life-threatening situation.
If a diabetic is seen eating a donut, someone is apt to think, “He shouldn’t be eating that!”
But diabetics CAN eat sweets.
“Individuals with diabetes can incorporate sweets and desserts in moderation,” says Alison Massey, MS, RD, LDN, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with over 10 years of experience in various community and clinical settings.
“It can be helpful if they understand carbohydrate counting and how many carbohydrates are appropriate to consume for meals and snacks,” she continues. “It’s all about moderation and portion control.
“I typically suggest that individuals don’t incorporate dessert after a high carbohydrate meal, but if they want to include something, they might have it between meals or after a lean protein and non-starchy vegetable-based meal to keep the total carbohydrates reasonable.”
So chocolate milk and a donut together is strongly discouraged. But chocolate milk with a chicken salad is perfectly fine.
Some diabetics even carry candy with them at all times in case they have a blood sugar crash.
And of course, diabetics need to exercise every day as part of managing their condition.
A diabetic may have sweets on them during a rigorous exercise session or a hike, as a precaution in case of a blood sugar dive.
Alison Massey has been working in the field of nutrition for more than 10 years helping individuals make sustainable changes to improve their health.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.