During the summer, temptations are everywhere from barbecues to outdoor restaurants. You don’t have to feel deprived as everyone else snacks on decadent desserts. Discover delicious and safe summer desserts for people with type 1 diabetes.

  • Even people who don’t want to eat desserts may want to sip on high-calorie beverages such as a latte or frappe. You could try a cup of sugar-free hot chocolate with sugar-free whipped topping and a dash of cinnamon on top. This is sure to satisfy your cravings for something warm and sweet on a chilly summer night.
  • Summertime is the season of eating ice cream on a hot day. Try sugar-free ice cream in a small amount topped with mouthwatering Walden Farms chocolate syrup as a safe summer dessert. It tastes similar to the chocolate syrup used at ice cream parlors but contains no sugar, calories, gluten or fat.
  • If you envy those tall parfaits everyone is eating, make your own using sugar-free pudding layered with sugar-free whipped topping. Another alternative is making sugar-free gelatin or nibbling on canned fruit packed in water. Remember quantity is still important since sugar-free does not mean calorie free. Be aware that sugar-free foods may cause GI upset for some individuals especially if eaten in large quantities.
  • Fresh fruit is naturally sweet and typically abundant throughout the summer. Make melon salad to bring to parties or barbecues. Use cubed honeydew melon and cubed cantaloupe for a perfect mix. Toss the melons gently with Splenda or Stevia and watch everyone enjoy your diabetes-friendly dessert.
  • Take a cup of fat-free Greek yogurt and drizzle it over a large bowl filled with fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and sliced strawberries. This guilt-free dessert is sure to make you feel good when eaten in a proper portion size.
  • When everyone is eating a banana split you can also enjoy this fantastic fruit. Slice up a small banana and place it over a small bowl of sugar-free vanilla pudding. Top with a tablespoon of sugar-free chocolate syrup and a dollop of sugar-free whipped topping. You could add a small sprinkle of nuts such as almonds or pecans.
  • If you want to ward off the desire to dive into the dessert table, keep sugar-free candy or a package of diabetes cookies on-hand. This makes it possible to participate in eating dessert even when nothing else is available.
  • Even when you eat fruits and nuts keep in mind the carbohydrate count and portion sizes. Test your blood sugar before and 2 hours after eating dessert. Record the results and report any extreme highs or lows to your diabetes health care team. Realize which dessert foods may be off limits due to high numbers.
  • Keep in mind low-sugar and sugar-free foods are not the same as low-fat foods. Often low-fat foods have more sugar and should be avoided. When in doubt, read the label.
  • If you are at a birthday party, an occasional slice of cake is alright when combined with a healthy meal and exercise. Have a very small slice, skip the other carbohydrates, and monitor your blood sugar afterward. It is usually safer to avoid sugary sweets as they can tempt you to binge. These foods may cause your blood sugar levels to soar. Consider the rule of one – for example, you can have one cookie but no more. You may want to have just a bite of regular dessert instead of a sugar free one which is O.K. Remember to regulate your insulin based on counting your carbohydrates to keep your blood sugars controlled.

Having type 1 diabetes does not mean you have to skip dessert. With a bit of planning you can enjoy a flavorful dessert without guilt or complications. Be aware of the carbohydrate content in foods you eat and test your blood sugar regularly.