Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and with it comes an abundance of sweet treats that can be dangerous for the nearly 26 million Americans with type 2 diabetes who need to maintain blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol control.
Dining out this Valentine’s Day? Here are some tips on how to make healthy choices when dining out, available at www.MerckDiabetes.com:
- Avoid Sauces – Sauces often contain excessive amounts of butter, oil, cream, and sodium; if a sauce is cream- or butter-based, it probably has a high amount of saturated fat and calories. Be sure to ask your server questions on how the dish is prepared.
- Save room for dessert – A lot of restaurants offer seasonal fresh fruit plates, sorbet or frozen yogurt. Sugar content in sorbet and frozen yogurt varies, so just make sure to control portion sizes. If you’re a choco-holic, try sharing the dessert with friends.
- Watch portions! – Restaurant portion sizes can be double or triple the size of a normal meal! When ordering your meal, ask for a half- or lunch-size portion, or have your server package part of your dish to go before it even arrives at the table.
Staying in? Enjoy a delicious, diabetes-friendly tiramisu recipe that is also heart healthy – this is important because people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease than people without the disease. Diabetes-friendly recipes are generally lower in sodium, carbohydrates, saturated fat and cholesterol, and higher in fiber compared with other dishes, and include appropriate portion sizes.
Ingredients (yields 8 servings):
- 1 package ladyfingers (24)*
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso or strong coffee
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 cup low-fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sweetener
- 2 tablespoons dark rum or 3 teaspoons imitation rum extract
- 2 cups whipped topping, sugar-free
- Bittersweet chocolate shavings
- Arrange 12 ladyfingers on the bottom of a 13 × 9-inch baking dish.
- Dissolve instant espresso or coffee and brown sugar in hot water.
- Brush 1/4 cup of the coffee mixture onto the ladyfingers.
- Blend cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add sweetener and rum or rum extract, mixing until blended, and stir in whipped topping.
- Spread half the cream cheese mixture over the ladyfingers.
- Top with remaining ladyfingers, brush with the espresso or coffee to coat.
- Spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over the ladyfingers.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 (and up to 24) hours.
*Substitute low-fat sponge cake or pound cake for ladyfingers.