Diabetics Can Enjoy Ice Cream


Ice cream

Abigail Medina

Ice cream is known for being a sugary treat, but you may be shocked to find out that certain types of ice cream are perfectly okay to eat for those with diabetes.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that consists of elevated blood sugar levels. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by the pancreas producing little to no insulin, and type 2 diabetes affects the way the body processes glucose (sugar). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 37 million people live with diabetes, and nearly 100 million Americans have prediabetes.

In addition to taking insulin and medication, a healthy diet is also part of the treatment options. Ice cream is not usually considered a healthy option; however, if ice cream has certain characteristics, it’s perfectly okay for those with diabetes to eat it. Josten Fish, a registered dietitian who works with patients with diabetes, says “ice cream can certainly be included in a healthy diet, including for someone with diabetes, by practicing good portion control and making smart choices on the type of ice cream you consume.”

Ice cream has the potential to have more nutritional value. Ice cream that contains probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, and antioxidants is the best choice for diabetics. Other ingredients like legumes, nuts, cardamom, and ragi are also great for nutritional value. Ice cream containing these kinds of additives is called functional ice cream. Functional ice cream is rich in minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. This kind of ice cream is an exceptional choice for people with diabetes or other health concerns.

Most people with diabetes, or other digestive conditions, or who are interested in keeping up with a healthy diet believe they are obligated to cut out desserts like ice cream. However, Josten Fish said, “cutting out all desserts could lead to actually craving more desserts and possibly binging.” There are many options regarding ice cream consumption that can actually benefit one’s health.

Some possible options include pairing ice cream with a protein-enriched snack, eating controlled portions (the recommended amount is ½ of a cup of ice cream), choosing ice cream that doesn’t contain ingredients that will raise blood sugar (aspartame, mannitol, sorbitol), choosing ice cream with fewer calories, or even making your own ice cream!