This guest post was written by type 2 diabetic and chef Ward Alper. It originally appeared on his website, The Decadent Diabetic, and was republished on Information About Diabetes with permission.
My mission, as I see it is to help you….and me find Diabetes-Compatible foods and recipes that allow us a better chance of sticking to an eating plan One that works to help us manage our disease while we STILL enjoy the pleasure of eating.
I am often asked if I miss eating things like Ice cream. Early on in my battle I was lucky enough to find a few products that I liked. Remember, if you don’t like the products, it is of no use to you.
So today I am doing a “little” product review of some ice cream (frozen treats) that work for me. I personally like many of the flavors offered and that is based on my PERSONAL taste likes and dislikes. You have to keep in mind that prior to MY diagnosis, my all- time “favorist” ice cream was (maybe still is) Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip. None of these brands have anything that does the same thing for ME that the Häagen-Dazs did.
To be clear, none of the manufactures or distributors of the products I am going to mention here have paid me in any way or provided me with coupons (that are not available to the general public), or even a key chain. They are products I have found on my own that work for me and I hope will work for some of you. I have left out a few Ice cream products simply because I can not make sense of the way they arrive at their NET carbohydrate numbers.
I have Diabetes. I won’t lie to you (what good would it do?) I like my desserts. I also like baking and cooking. All of my Diabetes-Compatible desserts are at least as good as the “old” KIND. Many are even better. I would not have it any other way.
But sometimes I haven’t the time or the energy to prepare a dessert. Again, I won’t lie to you. I REALLY like my low carbohydrate yogurts, both Greek style and regular. Sometimes I really want….Ice cream. A yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and toasted nuts is great, and it is not ice cream. But then again…neither is the my chocolate cake.
The big guy
One of the first products I found years ago was HEALTHY CHOICE PREMIUM FUDGE BARS (Conagra Foods). The net carbohydrates (11 grams) worked very well for me. They remind me of when I was young and poor and the wonderful fudgicles I could buy for a nickel. My friend Gail and I used to celebrate “Fudgicle Fridays”. This product is not intended just for people with Diabetes, but for those people watching their calorie intake and fat intake. The ONLY problem I have with the product is availability. I can only find them in big box stores like Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ”s. If you don’t have a membership there, you are pretty much out of luck. I have asked at several of my local “stupidmarkets” and have uniformly been met with: “it didn’t sell”. Perhaps one day we will find them more available. In the meantime find a friend with a membership and be VERY nice to them.
When I got out here to New Mexico, I discovered Artic Zero products. There is a decent selection of flavors. My favorites are the butter pecan and mint chocolate chip (it is the kid in me). The product benefits from letting it sit in the refrigerator for about half an hour or so before eating. The carbohydrate count is about 11 grams per serving. I really like the product but see it more as a “frozen treat” than an ice cream. The good thing is that there is a fairly wide distribution with most of the Whole Foods and Sprouts, and some “stupidmarkets” carrying at least a couple of flavors. Most of the reviews I have read have been mixed to so-so. I think it is a good choice. They have a lot of interestingly named flavors.
Monk Fruit vs. Agave
Many years ago, I was introduced to Graeter’s Ice Cream. It is an Ohio based company that makes their ice cream in small batches. My memory of them was that the flavors were as deep and rich as any Italian Gelato I had ever tried. To my great joy, I rediscovered them during my drive to New Mexico (made the driving worth it) and that they were doing a “low glycemic” version of the product. Carbohydrate value varies from flavor to flavor).
Again, it has great flavor but limited distribution. They use monk fruit for sweetening the product. I contacted the monk fruit group to get some information on monk fruit sweeteners and as yet have gotten no response.
Most recently I found a product called Agave Dream. This is another small company out of southern California. They use the expression “Peace of Mind indulgence”. When I contacted them, they wrote back telling me that they started making the product because of so much Diabetes in their own family. A portion of the profits does go to JDRF. That is terrific. What is more terrific is the flavor and texture of the ice cream. My favorite hands down is the cappuccino (11 grams of carbohydrates per 4 ounce serving). As is obvious from the name they use agave to sweeten the product. It also happens to be organic agave and they have a real commitment to their product being as chemical free as possible. More important, they have a real commitment to the flavor they create. They are a very small company out of California and have had to stop online orders because if the high cost of overnight shipping.
So, here are a few really good to scrumptious ice cream products for you to try. What, you say, they are NOT available in your local Stupidmarket”? Go up to the customer service desk, better yet find the store manager and tell them what you WANT. Don’t forget to remind them that 1 in 9 people have Diabetes. We are a large percentage (and sadly growing) of the population. STAMP YOUR LITTLE FEET AND GET WHAT YOU WANT. That is if you want it. If you are not going to do it for yourself, do it for the rest of us!
ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, and BE DECADENT!