Shopping list items for a type 2 diabetic with a sweet tooth?
August 21, 2021 6:21 PM   Subscribe

I am most interested in a list for someone with mainstream American taste who tends to think that the sweeter something is the better ... shopping for a lover of soda, pecan pie, chocolate chip cookies, candy bars, and gummi bears. They had indigestion from artificial sweeteners in the past, although that could have been because of excessive consumption. Ready-to-eat or easy-to-prepare foods would be better for my circumstances than complicated recipes. That said, any suggestions are welcome!
posted by mortaddams to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As someone with a loved one with diabetes, it’s not exactly clear to me what you’re asking. Are you looking for some low glycemic options, keto options, desserts made with artificial sweeteners or alternative sugarless sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit? I almost hesitate to say this, but one small amount of a real item, not a diabetic sugarless substitute, is the best option, provided that they take insulin and are managing their diabetes well in general. If you clarify what you’re looking for, I’d be happy to recommend specific items or recipes.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 6:44 PM on August 21, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I enjoy non-fat vanilla yogurt with fresh strawberries or blackberries. A high-protein, low-carb snack that is very satisfying.
posted by SPrintF at 7:11 PM on August 21, 2021

Best answer: WW has low sugar fudge bars in the ice cream section at my super market. They’re pretty good!
posted by SLC Mom at 7:59 PM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

I do not have diabetes, but I have taste preferences similar to this person and have paid attention to refined sugar best practices over the years, and no longer eat it, except I just started eating a bit of molasses for calcium.

Anything with fiber in it. Look for the ratio of fiber to total carbohydrates. The higher that ratio is, the better. If they're willing, eating it with something something very high in fiber, like some sticks of kale.
posted by aniola at 8:11 PM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I’m kind of unclear on what you’re looking for, but some good lower-carb options I’ve found for sweet snacks include Rebel ice cream, regular Lindt truffles (5g carbs each!), sugar free Werther’s, Evolved coconut butter cups, Catalina Crunch cereal, and if you’re willing to DIY it and use artificial sweeteners, there are tons of options you can make yourself. Ooh and I just bought some sugar free lemon drops at Walgreen’s that are satisfying for that sour patch kids type flavor, and some red vines I haven’t tried yet. Some of these are eye-wateringly expensive but it’s better than all the potential consequences otherwise.
posted by music for skeletons at 10:40 PM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I guess what I am trying to ask for are specific foods that you think are particularly enjoyable and attainable in the US. Feel free to get quite specific if you want.
posted by mortaddams at 5:07 AM on August 22, 2021

Best answer: My husband and I like Atkins bars and treats. They do have artificial sweeteners and I do think that intestinal side effects can be dependent on the amount you eat, but for us it also seems like some varieties give side effects and some don't. My husband eats the coconut bars and peanut butter cups daily and has no issues, but there was a chocolate caramel one that gave him diarrhea. So some trial and error may be necessary.

I like the nut fudge brownies, the chocolate candy treats (similar to M&Ms) and the blueberry yogurt bars. I have the additional factor of needing to avoid things made with chicory or inulin as these will give me a terrible gut ache, so I read labels obsessively. Unfortunately, those ingredients are supposed to be "healthy" so they are in a lot of high-fiber goods like cereals, whole grain breads, snack bars and sugar-free candy. But all of the above-mentioned varieties of Atkins work well for me.

Also, I consider the potential for side effects related to the amount eaten to be a built-in deterrent for overeating these items. It wouldn't be hard to eat 5 or 6 items in a day but I usually restrain myself because I don't want to aggravate my intestinal issues. The Atkins products do not bother my blood sugar but they are not low calorie by any stretch, so if weight is an issue that would be another reason to limit the number eaten.

Another thing we like is sugar-free pudding and gelatin. We get the ready-to-eat Jello brand from the refrigerator section.

We also like Light N Fit yogurt which comes in lots of flavors, or sometimes I'll get plain yogurt and mix in some Crystal Light drink powder to make a flavored yogurt.

We also drink a significant amount of diet soda with no problem. I don't think aspartame is particularly linked to indigestion so they may have no issue drinking these.

Also, you can get pure liquid sucralose which is basically Splenda without the maltodextrin. You can use it to sweeten ice tea, coffee, yogurt, etc. I don't have any issue with powdered Splenda but if your person finds that it bothers them the liquid sucralose might be another option. I've ordered it off Amazon.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:29 AM on August 22, 2021

I hate all fake sweeteners except in chewing gum. I like spindrift strawberry flavor soda. It has real fruit in it and it's the sweetest of the spindrift options. For a "dessert," I get a big spoon of peanut butter and mix raisins and a few chocolate chips into it. I also will cut an enormous wodge of warm triplecream brie and eat it with a teeny tiny fork I got in a Starbucks promotion interspersed with sips of pinot noir. Makes the wine sweeter and the cheese creamier.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:31 AM on August 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also: roasted salted nuts + berries in alternate bites. Tastes like pie.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:34 AM on August 22, 2021 [3 favorites]

There are a lot of recent keto options that might work -- things are evolving fast, e.g. the widespread availability of low carb ice creams that are actually pretty good (Rebel is recommended above). Also, might try monkfruit for an alternative sweetener if you haven't yet.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:52 AM on August 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

Also you can make a kind of sweet fudge/protein bar using coconut oil, butter, almond butter, egg, cocoa powder, protein powder, monkfruit, salt. They're a little messy but you can wrap them in wax paper and keep them in the fridge. Lots of variations on these online if you look up recipes for "keto bars".
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:58 AM on August 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

I primarily use monkfruit or allulose for sweeteners, which can be used in baking and don't (to me) have a weird or bitter flavor or digestive side effects.

Something I make regularly for us to have on hand is basically a sweet omelet or frittata. It can take a minute to get over the American-palate coding of eggs (in an eggy format) as savory, but if you combine beaten egg, sweetener, cream cheese, vanilla, and optionally berries or maple flavoring/maple-flavored monkfruit syrup, the end result tastes remarkably like a danish or french toast. This is a microwave "mug cake" type recipe for similar, which is nice for a quick fix.

I make mine in bulk - 8-12 eggs, a cup of milk or half and half (or cottage cheese, for more protein, and you can also use low carb protein powder in vanilla or whatever flavor), start with a half cup of allulose but you may have to add more to taste, blitzed with a stick blender until smooth. I do mine in a small (probably 6-cup) bundt pan so it doesn't take forever for the center to cook - you can put that in a 350 oven for 10-15 minutes until it starts to thicken up and then sprinkle in berries and use a baggie to pipe in a block of softened cream cheese, or you can do the berries and cream cheese from the start, just know they're probably all going to sink to the bottom (which is then the top, so it actually kinda looks deliberate). Depending on the pan and the oven it can take 20-40 minutes total to cook. You can also do this in a muffin/cupcake pan. You can also just make some of this and cook it in a nonstick pan on the stovetop.

Bread goods that loudly claim to be keto are starting to hit mainstream grocery shelves. They're not technically strict keto because most of them use grains, but they are pretty low in net carbs because they are high-protein and high-fiber. The texture is a little weird and they toast funny (I've been trying Aldi keto bagels this week, the texture is NOT a bagel but it is a good odd roll) but they can be a vehicle for moderate sweet treats.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:41 AM on August 22, 2021

If the person in question is trying to cut down on sugars/ carbs but is fine with fat, I’d go for full fat yogurt instead of nonfat. It’s higher in calories, but more satiating and many prefer it. Greek yogurt has less natural sugar than regular yogurt. Many vanilla yogurts have a lot of sugar added - either regular sugar or artificial sweetener.
posted by insectosaurus at 1:25 PM on August 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

Not quite the same situation, but the gestational diabetes subreddit used to be obsessed with Snickers ice cream bars as a very indulgent and satisfying sweet treat that for some reason didn't tend to spike many of us as much as you'd think. I say "used to be" because I am no longer pregnant and therefore no longer diabetic, so I haven't checked in recently and maybe the product has changed since then.

In general that subreddit, r/gestationaldiabetes, is full of tips and tricks for people who are trying to manage very-short-term diabetes without insulin or other medication while experiencing some of the most intense food cravings most people experience in their lives. I found it very useful.
posted by potrzebie at 5:12 PM on August 22, 2021

Best answer: The Smart Baking Company makes a thing called Smartcakes. The lemon and chocolate cakes are very sweet but the flavors are really pretty decent. They are expensive, but once you place an order they will be forever sending you coupons. You can get them at Wegman's too, I think.

Honestly these cakes are so sweet that I suggest using them as the foundation of a dessert with some whipped cream, yogurt or something else creamy and some berries.
posted by BibiRose at 5:17 PM on August 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

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