Living With

Controlling Indulgences and Diabetes

David Mendosa Health Guide September 23, 2009
  • Guiltless indulgences might sound like a contradiction in terms. But it's not -- as long as we control how much we indulge ourselves.

    Recently I have been researching some of those sweet foods that are usually off limits but we can now buy or prepare with non-caloric sweeteners. Almost since I learned in 1994 that I have diabetes I've avoided even these guiltless indulgences. But my good friend Barry "the low-carb vegetarian" has more of a sweet tooth than I do and has been leading me down this path.

    "Do you know of any low-carb chocolate drink that tastes good?" I asked him.

    "Hot chocolate couldn't be simpler," he replied. "Grind some organic cacao nibs into cocoa powder, or get 100% unsweetened cocoa alkalized powder, sweeten with erythritol and/or stevia, mix in to unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened soy milk... add cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg... however you like it, even a little high fat low carb whipped cream on top, and voila!"


    This was all I needed to make my new favorite warming drink. I make it with Scharffen Berger unsweetened natural cocoa powder that doesn't have any milk or alkali, the chemical in Dutch-process cocoa.

    Barry is also the expert on low-carb ice cream. I hope that he will add a comment to this post about his discoveries.

    But just yesterday I cooked cookies for the first time in my life. These cookies were well worth cooking, not that it was at all difficult.

    David Fulton, the inventor of Yes! To Cookies, had sent me a couple of boxes of his wonderful cookie mix while I was vacationing in Alaska. After buying the two ingredients -- eggs or egg whites and butter or margarine -- that I needed to add to the bag of mix, all I needed to do was to whip them together, spoon out the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and cook in the oven.

    I was amazed that I could cook cookies. And even more amazed at how good these cookies tasted. They have no sugar, no starch, no net carbs, no gluten. The main trick is using erythritol, which is the best sugar alcohol, and psyllium fiber.

    The trick for us when we eat these guiltless indulgences is to limit ourselves to moderate amounts. When we do that, none of them will have any significant effect on our blood glucose levels.

    None of these foods are free of calories. Controlling how much we consume of these sweet foods is the challenge.

    Personally, I can't handle the ice cream challenge and can't stop until I finish the carton. So I avoid even low-carb ice cream. Otherwise I have learned to enjoy my guiltless indulgences.