Calorie Restriction and Eating Sweets
Today we are making chocolate candy and for good reason. All of us need to have something sweet in our lives. And some of us like sweet food. So we went on a mission to find the best chocolate, a healthful organic sweetener (not easy to do) and some walnuts. First we melt the chocolate, add the other ingredients, cool the mixture, and voilà – a delicious, healthful dessert.
People need sweets for all kinds of reasons, especially when they are new to a diet. Adjusting to a new way of eating is hard to do. Whether the food you ate before was healthful or not, most likely it gave you comfort. So often new dieters turn back to what they are used to: what soothes them – even if it is killing them.
Consider dates for example. Many people think they are healthful because they are fruit and high in important nutrients like potassium, manganese, and magnesium. They are high in fiber too. So they often end up in organic recipes by health food gurus. All it takes is a trusty glucometer to see that dates can send glucose shooting upward, especially if they are blended into a recipe. In one test, dates actually ranked higher than sugar in glycemic effect.
You must also be aware that dried dates are even higher in carbohydrate concentration because the water has been removed. Although the GI of dates is controversial at the moment, people with diabetes will be safer to leave them alone until the argument is settled. Besides, so many (fresh or frozen) berries are delicious and in the right range!
For a person with diabetes, dates can raise glucose 5 mg/dl for every gram of carbohydrate. That’s about 25 mg/dL for a very small date with only 5 gram carbohydrate. We think we can find better.
Another concern is seductive labels, intended to fool people into buying a sweet treat that is really unhealthful. Candy that’s labeled ‘low calorie” or “no sugar” may also list the ingredients in such small print that almost no one could see a no-no, like trans fats.
So we have been on a mission to try to find satisfying desserts that everyone will enjoy.
Chocolate is a good place to start since it is the world’s favorite flavor.
Then there is the sweetener. Studies presented in the CR Way Forum say erythritol wins hands down for safety in artificial sweeteners. This study reinforces the beneficial effect of erythritol for people with diabetes who especially need to control glucose. Look at those results. No significant effect on blood glucose. In fact, glycated hemoglobin (Hb A1C) went down after two weeks of erythritol use.
Ishikawa M., Miyashita M, Kawashima Y, Nakamura T, Saitou N. Modderman J.
Dept. of Metabolic Endocrinology, Yokohama-shi Seibu Hospital, Japan.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 1996 Oct;24(2 Pt 2):S303-8.
The single dose study suggests that erythritol exerts no significant effects on the metabolism of diabetic patients. Two-week daily administration of erythritol had no adverse effect on blood glucose control.
But is a candy made with erythritol sweetly satisfying? Can it be a stand-in for all those seductive foods like doughnuts, cookies, cake, pie that can have measurably bad effects? We’d like to hear from you. Take time to find out what works for other CR Way members by joining LivingTheCRWay.com and look at the forum thread How to indulge your sweet cravings? in Recipes & Foods, Cooked and Uncooked. And if you’ve found a recipe that works for your sweet cravings, let us know. We are looking especially for sweet-tasting desserts that do not raise blood glucose.