Carbohydrates are a compound in foods from animal tissue or from plants. As these carbohydrates enter your stomach and are digested they result in an increase in your blood sugar. This increase in your blood sugar results in an increase in production of insulin from your pancreas in order to help that blood sugar move into your cells for fuel. Desserts are often primarily made of sugar, a processed simple carbohydrate, which spikes your blood sugar faster than anything else. When you are eating a low carbohydrate diet, there is no need to eliminate eating a bit of dessert after dinner. There are some basic rules to making a low carbohydrate dessert.
The first is to limit processed sugar and white flour. There are other options that will titilate your sweet tooth without spiking your blood sugar. For instance, using dark chocolate over milk chocolate will both limit sugar and carbs without sacrificing taste or sweet. Low carbohydrate desserts will also help you to lose weight, eat less calories and still get up from the table satisfied with your meal. And, not all carbs are bad for your health. The worst are the simple carbohydrates, like sugar and breads, that metabolize quickly into glucose in the blood stream. The best are complex carbohydrates that release a slower and more steady stream of sugar, which doesn’t cause the immediate blood sugar and insulin spike. Dessert is often at the end of the meal and meant to polish off the meal, so to speak. And, while we often think of ice cream, cakes and chocolate as the only end to that means, there are other options that will fit the bill. What’s important is that your palate interprets it as sweet.
1. Greek yogurt with chunks of your favorite low carb fruit (like strawberries) is a perfect summertime light and satisfying treat.
2. Panna cotta is low carb and easy to prepare. It’s a mixture of gelatin, heavy cream and an artificial sweetener that is molded and then topped with fresh fruit.
3. Strawberry shortcake made with flourless and no sugar cake, topped with cream and strawberries. You won’t miss the carbs!
4. Apple or peach cobbler in a cup with just a few bits of low carb pastry.
5. Peanut butter mousse with heavy cream, vanilla pudding, peanut butter and cream cheese. You’ll remember the flavor and the texture for hours.
6. Cheesecake! The carbs in cheesecake are from the crust and the sugar. Substitute ground pecans for the crust and use a sugar substitute. Voila!
7. Flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies with dark chocolate chips. 8. Berry and cream cheese tarts; the crust is flourless and the carbs are almost non-existent.