Help me satisfy a sweet tooth on a low sugar/low carb diet!
July 10, 2009 4:00 PM   Subscribe

Help me satisfy a sweet tooth on a low sugar/low carb diet!

I have been put on a low carb/low-to-no sugar diet because of high blood glucose. I will be meeting with a nutritionist, but my biggest concern is my ravenous sweet tooth. I love me some ice cream and cookies, and chocolate. I'd like to hear what y'all recommend - recipes would be fabulous, any prepackaged food suggestions would also be great, and anything at restaurants that's good is also, um, good.

I have no other dietary restrictions, but if you have a tasty vegan recipe, I'm open to it.

(I realize this type of question has been asked before, but there are always new recipes and products coming out)
posted by mattholomew to Food & Drink (30 answers total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
Club soda, heavy cream, and splenda. Yummy, yummy cream soda.
posted by procrastination at 4:08 PM on July 10, 2009

Jell-o sugar-free dark chocolate pudding. 60 calories per container.
posted by sharkfu at 4:15 PM on July 10, 2009

Best answer:

It doesn't need the full amount of sugar.

You can thank me later.
posted by paanta at 4:21 PM on July 10, 2009 [3 favorites]

I always like natural peanut butter with a little honey mixed in.
posted by Sassyfras at 4:22 PM on July 10, 2009

I don't know where the recipe is anymore, but I used to make Splenda "meringues" that were made with cocoa powder. Because Splenda isn't exactly sugar, the meringue doesn't get as crispy, but I liked the texture almost more. No carbs, no sugar, almost no calories!
posted by xingcat at 4:24 PM on July 10, 2009

funny thing is maybe you'll be lucky like me and after a month or two you can get used to less sweets; everything gets a lot sweeter when you cut out the high-glycemic stuff for a while.

But yeah, Splenda is your friend. If you have a Costco membership they might sell low-sugar "Detour" candy bars with 5g fat, 15g protein, 17g Carbs but only 3g sugar. It's got a slight aftertaste from the Sucralose (the active sweetening agent in Splenda) but they're tasty enough.
posted by @troy at 4:25 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Splenda "meringues" that were made with cocoa powder

Trader Joe's sells these low-calorie meringues that sound like that. Not bad.
posted by @troy at 4:26 PM on July 10, 2009

Best answer: At restaurants: you can't order pasta, obviously, but just about any protein entree that comes with a starchy side can substitute something green - broccoli, spinach, green beans, etc. Nobody blinks an eye when I ask. Ask your nutritionist if summer squashes are OK for you, because it's prime zucchini/yellow squash season right now. For a sandwich or burger, get a side salad and dump out the contents over it (I love cheeseburger salad, and it's my go-to if fast food is my only option).

Also ask your nutritionist about agave nectar as a sugar substitute. It's only low-glycemic, not really low-carb, but a lot of programs allow it in moderation for pre-diabetics. I find it far preferable to chemical sugar subs or Stevia in recipes, especially homemade ice cream. Stevia has a learning curve, and some people HATE it, but that's a non-chemical sub. Erithritol (TrueVia brand in the US) is a sugar-similar chemical, but I like it better than Splenda. If you have not previously been a diet soda drinker, the sugar replacement journey is a longer one; my body is so riddled with aspartame that I can abide most of them. Agave nectar is definitely the most real option.

Check out the recipe board at for about a thousand cheesecake recipes, plus other desserts. Diet Jello is disgusting by itself, but is entirely tolerable with the addition of cottage cheese. There are some low-point sugar-free popsicles and fudgesicles, you have to experiment to see if any of them are tolerable to you.

Other tips: Anything that goes on top of a pizza is good on eggs. Watch out for salad dressings, as many of them have high-fructose corn syrup. Along with the homemade cream soda, diet orange soda with a splash of cream is pretty tasty.

The best thing to do is try to wean yourself off a regular sweet schedule. Eat as much fruit as you're allowed, but look to well-seasoned protein and green vegetables to satisfy you as much as you can. If you're not a hot-sauce/spice user, you may want to ramp up - that extra punch really helps in general food-experience satisfaction.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:28 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

Bread cheese with a little low-sugar jam.
posted by ecsh at 4:36 PM on July 10, 2009

So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk + cocoa powder and coffee + stevia (or whatever other sweetened) + ice = mocha! I also do this with chai instead of the cocoa powder and it's good too.

I have used stevia for awhile and it did a great job weaning me off regular sweets. I now abhor sweets I used to chow down on. I don't love stevia, but it gets the job done.
posted by melissam at 4:45 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is xylitol allowed? I love xylitol. Low on the glycemic index, tastes like sugar, and you can use it 1:1 to replace sugar in recipes. I buy the Emerald Forest brand because that's what I can easily find in grocery stores around here (Fred Meyer, New Seasons).

If xylitol is not OK, there's also something that I just learned about called erythritol. I haven't tried it but it might be worth checking out.

Comparison of xylitol and erythritol
posted by rabbitrabbit at 4:46 PM on July 10, 2009

My favorite low sugar snack:

Greek Yogurt (fat free or fat full, your choice) + Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (basically, baking cocoa) + a dash of stevia, all mixed together= OM NOM! There aren't any specific ratios, but the more cocoa powder the better, I say. It's super rich and chocolatey with a hint of sweetness.
posted by wiretap at 5:00 PM on July 10, 2009

Ricotta cheese spun in the food processor with sugar-free Torani syrup makes a pretty tasty mousse. Try lime plus vanilla.
posted by ottereroticist at 5:02 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

I've always made a delicious homemade strawberry julius, that included real sugar. I recently went on Weight Watchers and modified it for that... My roommate and boyfriend cannot get over how SWEET and delicious it is:

1 cup water
1 cup milk (I use non fat)
1 raw egg
1 tsp vanilla
6 packets of Equal (or splenda, sweet & low, etc.) Note that 6 packets = 1/4 cup sugar
1.5 cups strawberries
Ice to fill the blender.

Makes 2-4 servings.

Often I will also add some protein powder. Also if you use frozen strawberries (which I do all the time) you can use less ice. The egg is key for a frothy texture and additional protein.

NOTE: you can also make a sweet Orange Julius with this recipe using a half can of OJ concentrate... however that often. adds a lot of sugar.

This is a very filling snack, breakfast, or meal accompaniment.
posted by veronicacorningstone at 5:12 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Up your calcium + vit D, it will help curb your sugar cravings.
posted by meeshell at 5:15 PM on July 10, 2009

my husband is a diabetic, he likes:

low carb toast with natural peanut butter and no sugar jam

fake sugar meringues

fake sugar homemade egg custard (made with fake eggs and no fat milk, although there are milk sugars in it)

egg beater omelet with no sugar jam
posted by fifilaru at 5:20 PM on July 10, 2009

Is xylitol allowed? I love xylitol

xylitol is a wood alcohol (note the similarity to xylophone) and is not digestible by tooth bacteria or the body. I discovered it in sugarless gum from Japan and, yeah, it tastes great.

But gut bacteria love it so if you eat a lot of it you'll get some amount of gastrointestinal discomfort. I also discovered that effect in Japan.
posted by @troy at 5:29 PM on July 10, 2009

Almond butter has a somewhat sweet taste. I love it out of the jar!
posted by jgirl at 6:02 PM on July 10, 2009

Splenda ice cream is tasty to me, but guess what? Make your own! Ice cream makers are awesome, then you can have ANY FLAVOR!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:09 PM on July 10, 2009

If you want a sweet taste go with fruit, if you want a carb like feel go with carbs with a low glycemic index and then add in some Splenda.
posted by caddis at 6:12 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

This one is raved about on the South Beach Diet Board I used to frequent. It's really good; I'll even still make this even though I've given up the whole SB thing for the time being.

For a single serving, take half a no-sugar-added fudgesicle (ie 1 stick). Nuke it for 5-10 seconds or so -- you don't want it to melt, you just want it soft enough to get off the stick. Scrape it off into a bowl. Add two tablespoons of Light Cool Whip, and mix them together. Put the bowl back into the freezer for 15 minutes to allow it to firm up a bit, as it's usually half melted by the time you're finished mixing the two ingredients together.

In general, frequent the south beach diet boards and blogs. They've spent a lot of time on this particular problem.
posted by cgg at 6:32 PM on July 10, 2009

Carb Lover's Survival Recipes
I can vouch that the pancake recipe is freakin' awesome. Mmmm... paaancakes...

(Also, Blue Diamond unsweetened chocolate almond milk is a super tasty substitute for regular chocolate milk)
posted by for_serious at 6:37 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite] You will thank me!
posted by chaoscutie at 7:42 PM on July 10, 2009

Best answer: I'm a Murray's Sugar Free cookie junkie - the pecan shortbread and fudge mint ones are the best.

Sugar Free Tastykake snacks are pretty awesome too.

Oh and sugar free Andes mints. And sugar free Reese's peanut butter cups.

Dryers (Edys) Carbsmart chocolate ice cream is good stuff.

I don't have a problem with sugar alcohols though (which is lucky, as I can't stand Splenda). I've also had WLS, so I usually eat half a serving and I'm done.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:49 PM on July 10, 2009

Mr. Dirtmonster and I have been living sugar-free for about 4 years. I have a ravenous sweet tooth as well - but thanks to stevia extract, I eat all sorts of sweets. We make ice cream, chocolates, cakes, brownies, fudge - the only thing I can't really mimic is true candy (like divinity, caramel). Stevia is an herb native to Paraguay - it's extracted form is 300 times sweeter than sugar. It does have a different taste, but once you stop eating sugar, you swiftly stop noticing the stevia taste!

Stevia has the added benefit of helping to regulate your blood glucose level. I recommend Sensational Stevia Desserts and The Stevia Cookbook. I usually buy Kal brand Stevia extract - but it also comes as a liquid - you have to taste test each brand when you use it in a recipe - they all vary in amounts of sweetness. Because 1 tsp. of stevia extract is roughly equivalent to 1 cup of sugar, it is a little trickier to mod existing sugar-based recipes, but not impossible.

I would recommend that you meet with a registered dietician - they will be able to give you all sorts of recommendations to help regulate your blood sugar and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Good luck!
posted by dirtmonster at 6:44 AM on July 11, 2009

Mr. Dirtmonster and I have been living sugar-free for about 4 years. I have a ravenous sweet tooth as well - but thanks to stevia extract, I eat all sorts of sweets. We make ice cream, chocolates, cakes, brownies, fudge - the only thing I can't really mimic is true candy (like divinity, caramel). Stevia is an herb native to Paraguay - it's extracted form is 300 times sweeter than sugar. It does have a different taste, but once you stop eating sugar, you swiftly stop noticing the stevia taste!

As much as I think it's weird corporate whatever that only coca cola branded stevia is fda-approved, I have to say that their newly released truvia tastes much better than normal stevia, and is pretty much the only artificial sweetener I can stand. Except for xylitol, and eating that gives me weird mouth sores. I'd recommend giving it a try. Other than a slightly licorice after-taste, it's really, really good.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:54 AM on July 11, 2009

I find that if I avoid carbs like white bread, pasta, etc, my sugar craving almost disappears and I can get by with having greek yogurt with a very small amount of honey for dessert rather than a chocolate concoction.
posted by betsybetsy at 12:07 PM on July 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Honestly, you might try and cut back on the sweets regardless. I found that using Splenda in food/tea/coffee too often and cutting sugar.. made my sweet tooth worse than ever.

I do recommend if you like chocolate, adding *some* Splenda to something like ricotta or greek yogurt, or having low-sugar ice cream and adding *plenty* of cocoa powder - the powder itself doesn't have sugar and I found that it makes things taste super rich without adding many calories (though there's some caffeine). Just don't follow every mean with dessert, have a bit after dinner maybe. I guess the Atkins thing is big on ricotta + splenda for dessert (and some vanilla extract or cocoa), it's.. not too bad.

Greek yogurt is fantastic in general - try the 2%, it's high protein, low fat, though it doesn't taste low fat at all, and adding just a touch of sweetener makes it seem like a very rich dessert.
posted by citron at 12:32 PM on July 11, 2009

I love and use a lot of splenda and stevia. The unfortunate side effect of artificial sweeteners is, as some comments have noted, that you will keep your sweet tooth. If you go off sweeteners all together, you might find yourself appreciating the sweetness in fruits more. That said, there are a lot of good sugar-free/ low carb recipes online - I think I tried a sugar free cheesecake once that was pretty good. You can make custard-type things with milk or cream and eggs or egg whites and artificial sweetener. Some people like sugar free jello. They definitely make sugar free and low carb ice cream, though I haven't tried it. Stay away from nonfat frozen yogurt - it tends to have a lot of sugar.

And be careful with sugar alcohols - malitol, sorbitol, etc - they're used in most sugar free candy including sugar free chocolate, and most people have INTENSE stomach pain and gastrointestinal distress if they have too much. I'm not saying don't have any - most people are fine with some. Just start with a half serving or one serving, and increase if you want to and if you have no reaction. Don't just eat the whole bag, or you will be very sorry (never happened to me, but I've heard so many stories. . .)

Eating enough fat is supposed to help with sugar cravings.
posted by insectosaurus at 1:27 PM on July 11, 2009

Dessert tea like Stash's Vanilla Nut Creme.
posted by ifjuly at 10:16 AM on July 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

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