truth behind diabetic sweets

Desserts, mithais and all other kinds of sweet delicacies are restricted in the diet of individuals suffering from diabetes. Media suggests that using a sweetener instead of sugar in a brownie, nankhatai or even gajar halwa can allow diabetics to indulge their sweet tooth with little guilt.

The free use of artificial sweetener is still under scrutiny. Meanwhile, we are more concerned about the wrong messages going across to the poorly informed consumers.

The problem with desserts is not just the sugar content, it is much more –

Sugar-free Cakes/ pastries: An average cake requires 3 parts maida (refined wheat flour), 1 part margarine/butter, about 50g cream and 2 cups sugar. The proportion of maida, butter and cream are usually higher when we want to prepare more rich and ornamental cake.  So is sugar really the ONLY culprit I wanted to get rid of. For  a person who is overweight  or has diabetes, there are bound to be cholesterol , blood pressure and other metabolic derangements. In any of these situation I don’t think that refined wheat flour, cream and butter are advisable.

Sugar-free Cookies / nan khatais: As we discussed in our blogs on biscuits, cookies get their texture from Maida and loads of margarine/ dalda which is definitely a no-no in the diet of anyone , normal or overweight.

Sugar-free malai peda/ Gajar halwa , etc – Indian sweets are made from vast variety of ingredients and there is much difference in methods of preparation as well. Sweets prepared from maida such as jalebi , imarti , etc and the mawa based sweets such as peda, halwas, are definitely more harmful than the others.

Of course, there are ways of modifying these to make them healthier wherein first priority should be replace maida , mawa and as much dalda as possible.

So What Is a Truly Diabetic Sweet ?

An ideal diabetic sweet is one which is made from the naturally sweet ingredients. The anjeer or date based mithais available in the market are just the right bet. They contain dry fruits mixed into date/ anjeer paste. These are energy as well as nutrient dense and can satisfy the sweet tooth. They are so rich and filling that one may not be able to consume more than one at a time which is an added advantage.

Another way to enjoy a sweet treat would be to have low fat milk/ curd based dessert. One can easily make a mango sandesh without using sugar, a fresh strawberry n banana smoothie tastes great and so  do home-made gur (jaggery) rasgullas.

So next time you are looking to indulge in something sweet ,you know exactly how to go about it. I suggest that if you know how to kick-off those extra calories then go on and relish that piece of frosted cupcake without any guilt. But, don’t get fooled  by the smart marketing /advertising and buy sugar-free products. There are lots of innovative ways to satisfy that sweet tooth!

Stay healthy with eKincare – your personal health manager!

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Written by drpoojachhawcharia

Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.

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