Can Diabetics Eat Ice Cream

ICE CREAMWhen you ask most diabetic people, taking ice cream is a no to them. It is believed that ice cream will cause a drastic rise in your blood sugar level which to some extent may be true since ice is mostly made from sugar. But, this shouldn’t be the case, there are various ice creams and frozen yogurt that you can take even with type 2 diabetes and not experience severe consequences

We can’t blame people living with type 2 diabetes for having worries about eating ice cream. They have a duty to ensure that they maintain stable blood sugar levels.

And, now that we know that even as a diabetic you can include ice cream as part of your healthy diet, the hardest part will be making a decision on what kind of ice cream will not be harmful to you.

Understanding ice cream sugar servings

Generally, most ice creams have a lot of added artificial sugars and as a diabetic, this is the last thing you want since it will lead to a drastic rise in your blood sugar level. The very first step in ensuring you decide on a safe ice cream for you as a diabetic is ensuring that you know the sugar content of the ice cream

Ice cream has other nutrients other than sugar, as diabetic here are the facts you should consider:

  • If an ice cream has more sugar this is an indication that it has more carbohydrates in it with 4 grams of sugar being equivalent to 1 teaspoon.
  • By now you should have a meal plan to guide you on the number of carbohydrates you need to eat in a day. 15 grams of carbohydrates in an ice cream serving is equal to 1 serving of carbohydrate.
  • Generally, proteins and fats slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, ensure that you choose ice cream with a high percentage of proteins and fats.
  • People with diabetes should ensure that they monitor the size of ice cream they take in a day. A small portion is recommended for them to know the precise number of calories and carbohydrates they are taking.

Things to look for when choosing an ice cream

With ice creams, there is a wide variety to choose from.  Different flavors, brands, and even different colors. However, as a diabetic, the following are the types of ice creams that won’t negatively affect your health.

Low sugar

Things to look for when choosing an ice creamAs a diabetic the best choice ice creams will the one will low sugar content. Stay away from ice creams with artificial sweeteners and since they will contain high sugar per serving. So as to be certain of a number of carbohydrates a particular ice cream contains, check the product label tag. Go for anything below 20 grams of carbohydrates per ½ serving.

Confusing labels

Most companies strive to attract more customers on the information they write on their product label tag. They use this as part of their marketing strategy which is understandable and allowed. However, as a diabetic, you have to be extra careful. There are some product label tags will lead reduced sugars or half calories, what they mean is that they have less sugar compared maybe to other brands. As much as this sounds good, it might have reduced sugar and the same time contains high sugar levels that can be fatal to your health.

Fat and protein level

As mentioned earlier, the percentage of fat and proteins contained in an ice cream will have a direct influence on how the sugar is absorbed into your bloodstream. Ice creams with high fat and protein contents have their sugar absorbed slowly compared to those with low-fat and proteins.

It’s not off-limits: Here’s why

Typically,  most diabetic people are required to eat a certain number of carbohydrates in a meal. And according to American Diabetes Association, the exact number should be between  45-60 grams. With that said, many interpret this as you have to avoid food with carbohydrates. However, this is not the case as long as your target is still in reach you can add in some ice cream.

How to make Ice cream part of your diet

It is advised that you don’t take ice cream on its own, instead include it as part of your diet and take it with other food substances rich in proteins and fiber which will either slow down its absorption or even stabilize your blood sugar. Also, you can substitute a certain meal with ice cream, for instance instead to eating sweet potatoes you can decide to substitute it with ice cream. It is also particularly important to ensure that you don’t exceed the recommended target of 45-60 grams of carbohydrates.

What to look for in ice cream

According to the Diabetic Living magazine, the right kind of ice cream should not have more than 20 grams of carbs, 3 grams of saturated fat, 150 calories and 5 grams if total fat. In their test, the following two ice cream brands made the cut: Breyers Smooth & Dreamy creamy Vanilla Ice cream and the Blue bunny Hi Lite Vanilla Ice Cream

Best ice creams for people with diabetes

Best ice creams for people with diabetesWith so many brands of ice cream in the market, it is hard determining a particular one that that will be appropriate for you as a diabetic. The following are some of the brands you can consider trying out:

  • Blue Bunny Ice Cream- which as two options to select from chocolate and vanilla. This brand has less than 20 grams of carbohydrates in a serving
  • Breyers- both the vanilla and chocolate option have a total of 17g of carbohydrates. Also, have other types of ice creams with artificial sweeteners but not recommended for people with diabetes.
  • Schwan’s- has a chocolate flavor which has a total of 18 grams of carbohydrates.
  • Edy’s- has several varieties of slow-churned ice creams with less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per serving
  • Halo Top– has their ice creams with higher protein percentage which in turn slows down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream

How to make room for ice cream in a diet

As a diabetic, you should ensure that you don’t take ice cream that exceeds 20 grams of carbohydrates. When making it part of your diet, you should ensure that you substitute a certain meal you used to take rich in carbohydrates so as to ensure you don’t exceed the target count in a day.

People with diabetes are prone to chronic diseases such as heart diseases and it is for this reason that you should ensure that you avoid taking ice cream with saturated fat content.


With ice cream and diabetes, the basic thing is ensuring that you understand a number of carbohydrates in an particular ice cream and how much of it you can take in a day and not exceed your target of 45-60 grams. And, after a meal walks around to reduce post-meal blood sugar.

Consult with your nutritionist when you want to make a meal plan to include ice cream. Let them advise you on what to substitute ice cream for and make it part of your day to day diet.


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