People with diabetes can compensate for the sugar in sweets using a variety of low sugar alternatives.

These alternatives can prove extremely useful, especially during holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving in which the quantity of sweet foods being purchased tends to increase.

To replace the sugar while losing none of the fun, there are several options to sweeten up your diet without increasing your blood glucose levels.

Substituting sugar

Among the treats that normally contain sugar which can be substituted include low sugar cakes, popcorn, toffee apples and smoothies.

To ensure you don’t miss out on the sweets you want, choosing to make certain things at home can help you adapt them to minimise sugar content.

Baking low sugar cakes with sweeteners instead of sugar can suit any occasion. Finely ground almonds can also replace flour to reduce carbohydrate intake and be kinder to blood glucose levels.

Butter popcorn, meanwhile, makes for a far more wholesome snack than sweetened popcorn and will also contain less carbohydrate.

Your creativity can really shine when making toffee apples and smoothies, with a small glaze of toffee or melted chocolate coating part of the apple being a trick worth knowing. Not covering the whole apple can reduce sugar content, with toffee apples normally very sweet when purchased.

Regarding smoothies, it can be very rewarding to make them at home. As well as controlling the amount of sugar and carbohydrate you include, you can also use natural yoghurt to thicken the smoothie, which will be more filling.

Using different coloured berries for different holidays is another option to liven up your smoothies as these can provide natural and artificial colours.

Sugar free sweets

People with diabetes may check out sugar free sweets as a way of enjoying the taste that comes with sweets, but without the sugar.

However, you should check beforehand which sweeteners are used, as some sugar alcohols (such as sorbitol, maltitol, erythritol and xylitol) can have laxative effects if consumed in excessive quantities.

These sugar alcohols are a type of carbohydrate often used to sweeten food and drink products, but laxative effects can vary from person to person.

While they may serve to raise blood sugar levels, it will be a minimal amount compared to full sugar sweets, and effects can again differ between individuals with diabetes.

Once you have had some low sugar sweets, it is best to test your blood glucose levels roughly an hour afterwards to test their effects.

Low sugar snacks

Alongside low sugar sweets are low sugar snacks which can help people with diabetes looking for a snack that is not high in carbohydrate.


Unsalted nuts are not only healthier than salted nuts, but they are filling and packed with flavour.

Calorie content should still be noted, as nuts contain carbohydrate, and you should be sure to investigate how much insulin to inject, if necessary.


There is no carbohydrate in cheese, and as long as one eye is kept on monitoring calorie intake, it can make a great, filling alternative to sweets.

Roasted pumpkin seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds can make for a great snack, especially around Halloween. Save the seeds you’ve carved from your pumpkin and if you’re a fan of what is quite an acquired taste, you’ll have a low sugar snack full of flavour.