March 30th, 2016  Vices – Sweets and Portions

“A life without swFlan pictureeets is not much worth living”, is from the novel, Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy by Pawan Mishra.

I love sweets, and for many diabetics like myself it is very difficult to say “No” to any sweet dessert. It is a known fact that sweets cause glucose levels to increase. With diabetics, this increase is a concern. Living in South Florida, I have temptations for sweets everywhere. The food landscape is filled with flans, tres leches, and other savory treats.   Are diabetics then doomed stay away from these pleasures in life?

Dessert Picture

In my experience, the answer is no! In my other blog, I pointed out that portion control and moderation are key to successfully managing diabetes. Serving size and how often sweets are included in the diet is key to guilt-free enjoyment of these sugary treats.

So what do I do? I would take a small portion of a yummy dessert like flan. When at a restaurant, I would share sweets with others at the table. Splitting up an order of flan with others ensures that portions are small. We would let our son order the dessert and he would share it with us (assuming he does not eat it all, which he often does)

When dining with my wife, we do not order a full meal for each of us. Instead, we will order one full meal and get an appetizer. We split the order between the two of us. Again, small portions. In the event that we cannot avoid ordering a meal for each of us, the trick is to ask for a doggie bag. Half of the food would go into the bag, the other half we eat. Again, we end up with smaller portions.

Cooking at home offers more flexibility. One thing we adjust is the amount of sugar. We would reduce the sugar called for in the recipe. Unfortunately, sugar does wonderful things for the dish, and if too much is taken away, it affects the taste. We do not like using artificial sweeteners. We stick to good old sugar.

Speaking of sugar, even with soda, which I drink occasionally, I found that there Coca-Cola now makes “Coke Life” with a combination of cane sugar and Stevia. No more high-fructose corn sweetener. I hope that other soda manufacturers would follow this trend of using more natural cane sugar. When shopping, I now look for products with case sugar instead of corn sweeteners.

On the next blog, I will discuss some of the issues surrounding high fructose corn syrup and its negative effects on our bodies.