How to Enjoy Ice Cream if You Have Diabetes

Living with diabetes can be challenging, especially if you have a big sweet tooth. Plus, as the weather heats up in summer and the need for something cool and refreshing intensifies, is it possible to enjoy ice cream and other chilled desserts if you have this chronic disease? Jump for joy because the answer is yes, diabetics can eat ice cream occasionally.

Ice Cream Nutrition

There’s no denying that ice cream and frozen desserts do not top the charts when it comes to health and nutrition. As tasty as ice cream is, it’s also a high-calorie, fat, and carbohydrate food, which is why it’s called a treat.

So, how can you enjoy it if it’s bad for your health?

Ice Cream Eating Tips for DiabeticsHow to Enjoy Ice Cream if You Have Diabetes Images

If you have diabetes and want to continue eating frozen desserts, these tips from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and other reputable organizations can help you:

  • Keep a close eye on your serving size. 1/2 cup should be enough to fulfill your cravings.
  • Examine the fat content, especially the saturated fat. Light ice cream or yogurt has about half the fat of the regular variety. Also, keep in mind that fat-free ice cream still contains calories, carbohydrates, and sugar.
  • Sugar-free frozen desserts can still contain carbohydrates, fat, and calories. Sweeteners such as aspartame and sugar alcohols like sorbitol are often used in frozen desserts, all of which can compromise your health.
  • Ensure to check your blood glucose levels after eating a frozen treat to determine how it affects you. Learn why, when, and how to use a blood sugar meter.
  • Doing some form of physical activity, such as walking or running, after having ice cream may help prevent your glucose levels from spiking.

Dietary Guide: Which Frozen Dessert Is Best for Diabetics?

To make it easier for you to manage your calorie-carb-fat counts in desserts, check out Everyday Health’s frozen dessert dietary guide below.

The following measurements are for a 1/2 cup serving:

  • Regular ice cream. 133 calories, 16g carbs, 7g fat, 7g saturated fat.
  • Light ice cream. 100 calories, 14g carbs, 4g fat, 3g saturated fat.
  • Fat-free ice cream. 90 calories, 20g carbs, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat. Fat-free ice cream is lowest in both calories and fat. 
  • No-sugar-added ice cream. 100 calories, 13g carbs, 4g fat, 3g saturated fat. This type of ice cream has the lowest carbohydrate count.
  • Sherbet. 132 calories, 29g carbs, 4g fat, 3g saturated fat
  • Sorbet. 92 calories, 23 g carbs, 0g fat, 0 g saturated fat, also lowest in fat.

In conclusion, a 1/2 cup serving of fat-free and/or sugar-free ice cream is the best choice if you want to indulge in something sweet, cool, and delicious.

A Final Word of Advice

There are so many ways to approach ice cream, including the option to avoid it altogether and go for something less likely to raise your blood sugar, such as fat-free and sugar-free desserts. If your craving for ice cream refuses to budge, hopefully, these suggestions satisfy your sweet tooth without elevating your blood sugar levels.