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Diabetic Desserts – Recipes to Avoid High Blood Sugar
A diabetic should avoid excessively high blood sugar levels as much as possible, due to the health problems that result from unchecked high glucose levels. In order to manage blood sugar levels, many physicians recommend a combination of lifestyle changes, including the reduction or elimination of sugar in the diet. In order to cook diabetic desserts, recipes must be altered in order to lower their sugar content, which can be accomplished with the use of natural sugar substitutes.
Stevia Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Stevia is a sweetener made from a plant called Stevia rebaudiana, which is native to Central and South America. Sweetening a diabetic’s desserts with Stevia will not only prevent the high blood glucose levels caused by sugar consumption but will actually reduce blood glucose levels, according to a study published by Pubmed.gov. This study indicates that Stevioside, a compound found in Stevia leaves, lowers glucose levels after meals in type 2 diabetics.
Stevia is much sweeter than sugar, but has none of the other properties of sugar, so cannot be used in candy. Stevia can be used to sweeten beverages, as well as any dessert that does not require the sweetener to affect texture. Careful attention should be paid to the brand and type of stevia used, due to the fact that some stevia products have a bitter aftertaste.
Erythritol Improves the Texture of a Diabetic’s Desserts
Erythritol, a naturally occurring sugar alcohol, is becoming more commonly used in place of sugar. A simple, non chemical, fermentation process changes cane sugar into erythritol, which retains most of the sweetness of sugar, without any glycemic impact or calories. Erythritol’s ability to sweeten foods without increasing blood glucose levels makes it useful in the formulation of diabetics’ desserts.
Not only does erythritol retain some of the sweetness of sugar, it also keeps sugar’s crystallization and carmelization properties. Using erythritol in diabetic desserts recipes improves the texture of the foods when compared to many other non-sugar sweeteners. Erythritol does offer a lower capacity for sweetening, and has a slightly cool after-taste when used in large amounts. For this reason, combining it with other sugar substitutes that have a more intense sweetening power improves the recipe.
Natural Sugar Substitutes Work Best When Combined
Combining sugar substitutes in recipes ensures that the best parts of all sweeteners benefit the dish. Truvia is a name-brand sweetener that combines erythritol and rebiana, an extract of the stevia plant. This sweetener combines the heightened sweetness of stevia with the sugary texture of erythritol, resulting in a sweetener that is suitable for the recreation of any of a diabetic’s favorite desserts.