Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the level of sugar in a person’s blood is too high. This can lead to serious complications with the heart, nerves, eyes, feet and kidneys. In order to reduce the risk of complications from occurring, people with type 2 diabetes are advised to follow a diet that is low in sugar and calories. But for people with a sweet tooth, cutting down on sugary and sweet treats can be hard. If you struggle to turn down a hot chocolate or apple crumble, try these five swaps, recommended by nutritionist Angela Dowden, to help you lower your sugar and calorie intake without having to ditch your favourite treats.
Hot chocolate swap
Swap a standard mug of hot chocolate for a mug of hot cocoa with low-calorie sweetener, to save 147 calories and 13.8g of sugar per mug.
A standard mug of hot chocolate contains around 263 calories and 23g of sugar, on average. Hot cocoa with low-calorie sweetener contains around 116 calories and 9.2g of sugar.
Put one teaspoon of cocoa in a mug and whisk in 200ml of boiling semi-skimmed milk. Stir in one to two teaspoons of low-calorie sweetener.
Swap shop-bought ketchup for homemade ketchup with low-calorie sweetener, to save 12 calories and 4.7g of sugar per serving.
Two tablespoons of shop-bought ketchup typically contain 30 calories and 6.8g of sugar. The same amount of homemade ketchup contains 18 calories and 2.1g of sugar.
To make ketchup at home, squeeze a 150g tube of tomato paste into a bowl and mix in five tablespoons of water, two tablespoons of cider or white wine vinegar and 1.5 tablespoons of low-calorie sweetener. Stir in a pinch of garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper.
Apple crumble swap
Swap a bowl of apple crumble with a bowl of apple crumble and low-calorie sweetener, to save 101 calories and 25g of sugar per serving.
A 180g serving of traditional apple crumble containing sugar, white flour, butter and sugar topping contains around 459 calories and 35g of sugar. The same size portion of apple crumble with margarine and low-calorie sweetener contains around 358 calories and 10g of sugar.
To make eight servings, simmer six peeled and chopped large Bramley apples in a splash of water with three tablespoons of sweetener until softened. Place 350g of plain flour in a bowl with 10 tablespoons of sweetener and rub in 175g of cubed chilled margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Spoon the apple into an ovenproof dish, cover with the crumble and cook in a medium oven until the topping is golden.
Honey roasted veg swap
Swap honey roasted veg with a low-sugar serving of vegetables roasted in olive oil and low-calorie sweetener, to save 21 calories and 5g of sugar per serving.
Regular honey roasted veg contains 153 calories and 17g of sugar per serving. A low-sugar variant contains 132 calories and 12g of sugar.
To make four servings, boil 200g each of peeled, chopped carrots, turnips, parsnips and beetroots for five minutes; drain and spread out on a baking tray. Whisk two teaspoons of low-calorie sweetener with four teaspoons of olive oil and some black pepper and dried rosemary to taste. Coat the veg in this mixture and roast for 30-40 minutes.
Mojito mocktail swap
Swap a standard mojito cocktail for a low-sugar variant with low-calorie sweetener, to save 24 calories and 8g of sugar.
A standard mojito cocktail contains 33 calories and 9.4g of sugar. A low-sugar variant contains nine calories and 1.4g of sugar.
Place some crushed ice, the juice of half large lime and two lime quarters into a cocktail shaker with one to two teaspoons of sweetener and shake. Muddle through five mint leaves and add 125ml club soda.
“Reducing your sugar intake can help you to manage your weight by helping to remove ‘empty calories’ from the diet – it’s also much better for your teeth,” said Dowden.