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Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Diabetes can be a challenging condition to live with. Finding sweet treats low in carbohydrates and added sugars can be tricky – but a number of easy-to-make, healthy options exist to satisfy your palate.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate, in moderation, is a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Dark chocolate is filled with flavonoids, world war 1 allied aircraft pilots a plant compound credited with helping to prevent insulin resistance – and against heart problems for those with type 2 diabetes.

Look for dark chocolate with a cocoa content at 70 percent or more and, to keep it healthy, only consume around 28 grams at a time.

Chia pudding

Chia seeds are brimming with protein, fibre, and omega 3 acids. Including it in your diet has been linked to lowering diastolic blood pressure.

To make chia pudding at home, combine half a cup of almond, oat, or coconut milk with two tablespoons of chia seeds. To flavour, add a small amount of maple syrup or honey.

You can also top the pudding with your favourite fruits, such as raspberries, banana and mango.

Banana ice cream

While it’s not strictly ice cream as it doesn’t contain the same ingredients as your usual pot of Ben & Jerry’s, it’s good for those with diabetes as it has a low glycemic index.

To make banana ice cream at home, slice a ripe banana, place it in an airtight container and freeze it for at least two to three hours.

Next, blend the frozen banana in a food processor or blender until it reaches a smooth, soft-serve consistency. You can enjoy it yourself there and then – or freeze again for a later date.

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Cinnamon roasted chickpeas

Chickpeas have plenty of nutrients, offering protein, fiber, folate and manganese in each serving. They can also be beneficial to those with diabetes.

One small study in 12 women showed consuming chickpeas before a meal significantly decreased blood sugar levels and energy intake, compared with a control group. Another study had similar findings, noting that eating chickpeas with white rice improved blood sugar levels, compared with eating white rice alone.

Cinnamon roasted chickpeas are easy to make – drain a can of chickpeas, toss them in coconut oil, cinnamon, salt, and a drizzle of honey, then bake at 200C for 15 minutes.

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