What Frozen Dessert Can Diabetics Eat? (2024)

What Frozen Dessert Can Diabetics Eat? (1)

Written By: Sejal Dave, RD

Title: Registered Dietitian

Alumni: University of Florida

Last Updated on:

Are you worried that you can’t have ice cream, popsicles or other frozen desserts as part of your diabetes meal plan? You are not alone – this can be a challenge for many people who have diabetes. It is possible for people with diabetes to incorporate frozen desserts into a balanced diabetes meal plan. The big question for most people is how much they can actually have.

Carb-Counting For Frozen Desserts

For people with diabetes, a good rule of thumb is 2 carbohydrate servings (i.e., 30 grams of carbs) and 150 calories or less per serving of frozen dessert. This is a reasonable amount of calories and carbs for a balanced diabetes meal plan. Consult with your dietitian about your individual and carbohydrate goals.

What Frozen Dessert Can Diabetics Eat? (2)

Diabetes-Friendly Terms On Packages

“Sugar-Free” or “No Sugar” frozen ice cream or desserts are often seen at the freezer section. Most of these products are sweetened with artificial sweeteners such as stevia and acesulfame potassium; some also use sugar alcohols such as xylitol and erythritol. As some of these sweeteners provides 0 to 2 grams of sugar, the amount of sugar will be lowered, as with total carbohydrates as well as net carb.

When reading frozen dessert nutrition facts, note that amount of sugar alcohols as well for carb-counting.

Net Carb = Total Carb – Fiber – Sugar Alcohol

Store-Bought Frozen Desserts That May Be Appropriate for Diabetics

Whether your taste buds are craving something rich and creamy or light and refreshing, multiple choices are out there to satisfy your sweet tooth. Here is a breakdown of the carb and calorie content for some popular frozen desserts.

  • Popsicles are very low in both carbs and calories. Most popsicles have about 45 calories and 11 grams of carbs per pop. The no-sugar-added varieties are even lower with about 15 calories and 4 grams of carbs per serving. Keep in mind that most no-sugar-added or “sugar-free” products still contain carbs and are probably sweetened with artificial sweeteners. Look for Popsicle brand ice pops for a variety of frozen flavors.
  • Italian ice is a great frozen dessert option, made with fruit puree or concentrated syrup. Luigi’s lemon Italian ice has 100 calories and 26 grams of carbs per serving. The no-sugar-added ones are sweetened with artificial sweeteners.
  • Fruit bars have about 60 calories and 15 grams of carbs. If you prefer to make your own fruit bars, use 1 cup of fresh juice or a cup of blended watermelon and freeze in ice cube trays for about the same amount of calories and carbs. At the grocery store, look for Breyers All Natural Berry Swirl Bars – they have 40 calories and 10 grams of carbs.
  • Fudgsicles and fudge bars weigh in at 100 calories and 17 grams of carbs. Fudgsicles are also available in sugar-free versions, which have 40 calories and 10 grams of fat. Low-fat “original” flavor fudgsicles have 60 calories and 12 grams of fat. Check the Nutrition Facts label for carbs, fat, and calorie amounts on low-fat items, as less fat doesn’t always mean less carbs and calories.
  • Sherbets (most flavors) have around 100 calories and 23 grams of carbs in a half-cup serving. Sherbet is a great alternative to ice cream and is richer in taste than popsicles.
  • Ice cream is higher in carbs and calories than most other frozen desserts because it contains milk as well as sugar. In general, most ice cream brands have 140 calories and 15 grams of carbs per half-cup serving. Premium ice cream, or ice creams with nuts, fruit, fudge, or caramel added are higher in both carbs and calories (for example, a half-cup of butter pecan ice cream has 300 calories and 20 grams of carbs). There are low-sugar and low-fat versions of ice cream out there. Some tasty options include Skinny Cow ice cream bars at 140 calories and 30 grams of carbs, Ben & Jerry’s low-fat black raspberry at 140 calories and 28 grams of carbs, and McDonald’s reduced-fat vanilla cone at 150 calories and 24 grams of carbs.

The Bottom Line

The goal is balance and moderation in all foods for people with diabetes, so no food is off limits. When your sweet craving hits, swap your carb choices from other foods.

What Frozen Dessert Can Diabetics Eat? (3)

Sejal Dave, RD

Alumni: University of Florida –Sejal is a registered dietitian, a certified diabetes educator and she holds a masters degree in nutrition and health. Sejal was the project coordinator for the Veteran’s Administrations (VA) national weight loss program and previously worked for the VA hospital in Tampa, FL as a Spinal Cord Injury dietitian.

Sejal has had numerous clinical and community education experiences, including pediatric and intensive care nutrition support. She has also had the opportunity to teach nutrition courses at the community college level to students interested in pursuing health professions. One of her favorite areas of education is diabetes management.


dessert, diabetes, ice cream, sugar


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What Frozen Dessert Can Diabetics Eat? (2024)


What kind of frozen desserts can diabetics eat? ›

Diabetic Frozen Dessert Recipes
  • Strawberry Nice Cream. 12 hrs 30 mins.
  • Cherry Sorbet. 40 mins.
  • Watermelon Sherbet. 8 hrs 10 mins.
  • Strawberry-Mango Nice Cream. 5 mins.
  • Tart Cherry Nice Cream. 10 mins.
  • Vegan Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Banana Bites. 2 hrs 30 mins.
  • Chunky Peach Popsicles. 2 hrs 15 mins.
  • Blueberry-Swirl Buttermilk Ice Cream.

What store-bought desserts can diabetics eat? ›

Examples of some diabetes-friendly desserts include:
  • granola (with no sugar added) and fresh fruit.
  • trail mix with nuts, seeds, roasted pepitas, and dried cranberries.
  • graham crackers with nut butter.
  • angel food cake.
  • chia seed pudding.
  • low sugar avocado mousse.
  • frozen yogurt bites made with plain Greek yogurt and berries.

Is there an ice cream that diabetics can eat? ›

The following are the best brands and flavors for those who have diabetes. Blue Bunny Ice Cream: This brand offers vanilla and chocolate options. Both contain 20 grams (g) of carbohydrates per ½-cup serving. Breyers Creamy Vanilla: This contains minimal fat and 17 g of total carbohydrates per ½ cup.

What dessert won't spike my blood sugar? ›

Choosing the Best Dessert for Diabetes

Some of Burgess' go-to desserts include Medjool dates stuffed with peanut butter, energy bites, chia seed pudding with toppings (like fruit, nuts and yogurt), desserts baked with protein powder, and nut butter-based desserts like these Almond Butter-Quinoa Blondies.

What is the best dessert for a diabetic to eat? ›

Diabetes and Sweets
  • Fresh, seasonal fruit dipped in yogurt. ...
  • Low-carb coconut macaroons. ...
  • Angel food cake topped with sugar-free whipped cream. ...
  • Frozen grapes and frozen banana slices. ...
  • Grilled fruit topped with sugar-free whipped topping. ...
  • Sugar-free carrot cake. ...
  • Keto chocolate cake. ...
  • Mascarpone & pineapple cheesecake.
6 days ago

What ice cream can Type 2 diabetics eat? ›

Our Product Recommendations
  • Best Vanilla Ice Cream: Halo Top Vanilla Bean.
  • Best Cookies & Cream Ice Cream: Nick's Cookies and Kräm.
  • Best Fruit-Flavored Ice Cream: Nick's Chilly Mango.
  • Best Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: Edy's Slow Churned Mint Chocolate Chip Light Ice Cream.
Jul 14, 2023

Can diabetics eat sherbet ice cream? ›

Sherbet typically has almost double the carbohydrates of ice cream, states Cotey. If you're looking for a frozen treat from time to time, search out a product lower in sugar, carbs and saturated fats. Also be mindful of serving size. Most people scoop out far more than what's recommended.

What kind of angel food cake can a diabetic eat? ›

This Orange Dream Angel Food Cake is great for diabetics because the orange adds additional sweetness using healthy sugars, and while still keeping the sugar level of the cake very low. This is great because a person with diabetes can't have a frosted cake, and the orange adds flavor without making it less healthy.

What are the 5 worst foods for blood sugar? ›

You limit dairy products, red meat, sweets, added sugars, sodium (salt), and highly processed foods. Some additional guidelines include focusing on seasonal produce and reading food labels to help you avoid added sodium and sugar.

Is peanut butter good for diabetics? ›

Peanut butter contains essential nutrients, and it can be part of a healthful diet when a person has diabetes. However, it is important to eat it in moderation, as it contains a lot of calories. People should also make sure their brand of peanut butter is not high in added sugar, salt, or fat.

What can a diabetic eat when craving sweets? ›

8 sweet snacks safe for diabetics:
  • Cocoa nut butter. Cocoa powder is a great addition to your diet. ...
  • Chia pudding. Chia pudding is another great addition to your diet thanks to its numerous health benefits. ...
  • Apple & nut butter. ...
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Green yogurt.
  • Pears. ...
  • Oatmeal bites. ...
  • Fruit popsicles.
Jun 1, 2022

Can diabetics eat graham crackers? ›

Are graham crackers a healthy snack for diabetes? People with diabetes can certainly enjoy graham crackers, keeping in mind that one serving contains about 22 grams of total carbs and 6–8 grams of total sugar. Stick to one serving for a snack and pair with foods high in fiber and protein for balance.

What desserts should diabetics avoid? ›

The combination of flour, sugar, and dairy found in most high-carb desserts can contribute to blood sugar spikes, making diabetes harder to manage. For example, a single serving of strawberry cheesecake may contain more than 30 grams of carbohydrates.

Is Chapman's no sugar added ice cream good for diabetics? ›

I'm diabetic. Does Chapman's make no sugar added or low carb products? Yes! Chapman's No Sugar Added & Lactose-Free 1L ice cream and novelties were developed to meet the needs of people on sugar restricted diets.

How can I satisfy my diabetic sweet tooth? ›

Eat more fruits – This is the healthiest option to manage your sweet tooth. Fruits have natural sugar and added health benefits as they contain fibres, vitamins and minerals. The fibres present in fruits take more time to digest and they don't rapidly increase the sugar level in the blood.

What frozen foods can a diabetic eat? ›

Here are some of our top picks for diabetes-friendly frozen foods to stock up on.
  • Frozen fruits. Jennifer Causey. ...
  • Frozen veggies. Frozen veggies are simple to prepare and don't require much effort or prep on your part. ...
  • Frozen shrimp. ...
  • Sprouted grain bread. ...
  • Cauliflower pizza crust. ...
  • Frozen veggie burgers. ...
  • Salmon.
May 28, 2021

Which is better for diabetics, sherbet or ice cream? ›

Sherbet typically has almost double the carbohydrates of ice cream, states Cotey. If you're looking for a frozen treat from time to time, search out a product lower in sugar, carbs and saturated fats. Also be mindful of serving size.


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