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Some Experts Say Sweets Okay on Diabetic Diet

Whitney | November 13th, 2012

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Individuals who are diagnosed with type II diabetes quickly discover that they truly are what they eat. The diabetic diet plays a key role in regulating blood sugar levels and helping patients get to a healthy weight that makes it easier to manage the disease. For some, managing diabetes with diet has meant giving up the foods they love the most – including the occasional dessert after a meal or on a special occasion. However, some experts are saying that diabetics don’t have to give up satisfying their sweet tooth for good, as long as they use moderation and common sense when enjoying those rich treats.

Physicians at The Center for Medical Weight Loss believe that the occasional sweet can be included in a diabetes diet, as long as it is exchanged for another food with similar carbs, protein, fat and calories. Doctors at the center also recommend satisfying the sweet tooth with a sugar-free snack, such as gelatin or a parfait, which provides the sweet taste without packing on extra calories. Since one of the primary functions of managing diabetes with diet is often weight loss, calorie-laden desserts can sabotage even the best of intentions.

Choosing wisely on the diabetic diet

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune earlier this year, diet experts agree that sweets can be a part of the diabetic diet on occasion, as long as dieters exchange the dessert choice with another carb option. Diabetics typically have a daily carb goal they must remain under in order to keep their blood sugar levels on an even keel. If dieters opt for a high-carb dessert, other carbs must go for that day to keep them within their daily allowance.

Another key to successfully including sweets in a diabetic diet plan is portion control. When dieters opt to add a dessert to the day’s menu, they need to be sure the size of the serving does not significantly impact blood sugar levels. Experts recommend checking blood glucose levels approximately two hours after eating a sweet snack. If it remains under the acceptable range – which is usually determined by a doctor – the portion size was correct.

Managing diabetes with diet

The team of doctors at The Center for Medical Weight Loss help patients find effective ways for managing diabetes with diet. Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder and chief medical officer for the Center, explains that some diabetics who lose weight can even go off their medication.

“We see diabetic patients all the time who lose weight and no longer need insulin,” says Dr. Kaplan. “When patients lose 5% – 10% of their body weight, it is a given that they will reduce their blood sugar significantly; many no longer need medication.”

The right diabetes diet plan can also be helpful in reversing pre diabetes for some patients. The Center focuses on weight loss through a multi-faceted system of diet, exercise and counseling.

Currently, there are more than 450 centers across the country helping Americans produce thousands of stories of weight loss success. Enter your  zip code in the box at the right to see if there is a center near you. Special introductory offers are available to first-time clients at select locations.