Sugar free snow cones can be a refreshing treat for people with diabetes. Most sugar free snow cones are made with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, allowing people with diabetes to enjoy their flavor without spiking their blood sugar. However, there are a few things diabetics should keep in mind when consuming sugar free snow cones.
What are sugar free snow cones?
Snow cones are a popular shaved ice treat, often flavored with sugary syrup. Traditional snow cone syrup contains high fructose corn syrup or cane sugar, which can cause blood sugar spikes in people with diabetes. Sugar free snow cone syrups use non-nutritive sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, stevia, or sugar alcohols like erythritol and xylitol. These provide the sweet taste without the carbohydrates and calories. Popular sugar free snow cone syrup brands include Torani, DaVinci, and Skinny Syrups.
Are sugar free snow cones safe for diabetics?
For most diabetics, sugar free snow cones are a safe occasional treat. The lack of sugar means they won’t directly raise blood glucose levels. However, diabetics should still pay attention to portion size and ingredients. Consuming large amounts could lead to gastrointestinal issues from the sugar alcohols often used in sugar free syrups. Diabetics who are sensitive to certain sweeteners like aspartame should check ingredients lists carefully. Those with allergies or on medication should consult a doctor before trying sugar free snow cones.
Benefits of sugar free snow cones for diabetics
The biggest benefit of sugar free snow cones for diabetics is the lack of carbs. A 1/2 cup serving of traditional snow cone syrup contains around 24g of carbohydrates, almost all from sugar. Sugar free versions have 0-1g carbs per serving. This allows diabetics to enjoy the sweet cold treat without affecting blood sugar levels.
Sugar free syrups are also lower in calories than sugary versions. Traditional syrups contain around 120 calories per 1/2 cup serving, while sugar free options average 10-15 calories. This makes sugar free snow cones a refreshing low calorie treat during hot summer months.
Variety of flavors
Sugar free syrups come in many flavors beyond just cherry and grape. Diabetics can enjoy unique options like pina colada, root beer float, and wedding cake without worrying about calories or carbs. This variety can satisfy a sweet tooth while still following a diabetic diet.
Potential downsides of sugar free snow cones
Some sugar free snow cone syrups contain sugar alcohols like sorbitol, erythritol, and xylitol. In large amounts, these can lead to laxative effects, gas, or diarrhea in sensitive individuals. Moderating portion sizes can help avoid GI upset. Diabetics prone to these issues may want to avoid syrups with sugar alcohols.
The sweeteners used in some sugar free syrups can potentially interact with certain medications. Aspartame, for example, contains phenylalanine, which can affect levels of some antidepressants and Parkinson’s drugs. Diabetics on medication should consult their doctor before trying sugar free snow cones.
Rare allergies may exist to some sugar substitutes in snow cone syrups. Aspartame, sucralose, or sugar alcohols could trigger reactions in sensitive people. Checking ingredients lists and initial small portions can help identify any allergies. Diabetics with known food allergies should use caution with new sugar free products.
Tips for diabetics eating sugar free snow cones
Though sugar free, snow cone syrups are still highly concentrated sources of flavor. Limiting portion sizes to 1/4-1/2 cup of syrup at a time can help control calories and avoid GI issues. Spread syrup evenly over a large snow cone rather than soaking it.
Drink plenty of water when enjoying sugar free snow cones to avoid dehydration. The ice itself doesn’t provide much hydration, while some sweeteners have a diuretic effect. Drinking water before, during, and after eating snow cones can prevent thirst and hypotension.
Check blood sugar
Monitor blood glucose carefully a couple hours after eating sugar free snow cones to spot any variability or spikes. While sugar free, some diabetics’ individual responses may differ. Checking levels helps ensure stable blood sugar. Consult a doctor if experiencing ongoing instability after consuming.
Pair with protein or fat
Consuming sugar free snow cones alongside protein or fat can help control blood sugar response and prolong satiety. Some examples of side pairings include nuts, seeds, cheese, Greek yogurt, or a hard boiled egg.
Use medication as normal
Sugar free snow cones shouldn’t interfere with medication regimens, but consistency is key. Take any insulin injections or diabetes pills as normal around enjoying the treat to maintain stable blood sugar.
Best sugar free snow cone syrup brands
|Acesulfame potassium, sucralose
|Stirs the Soul
|Stevia, sugar alcohols
|Jordan’s Skinny Mixes
|Sucralose, sugar alcohols
Popular sugar free syrup brands like Torani, DaVinci, and Skinny Syrups use sucrose or stevia, avoiding sugar alcohols that cause GI upset. They come in diverse flavor options from fruity to cream soda to candy. Sweetleaf and stirs the Soul rely on stevia instead of artificial sweeteners. Jordan’s Skinny Mixes has under 5g carbs per serving.
Recipes for sugar free snow cones
Pina Colada Snow Cones
– 4 cups shaved ice
– 1/4 cup sugar free pina colada syrup
– 1/4 cup light coconut milk
– Lime wedge for garnish
1. Pour shaved ice into two paper snow cone cups.
2. Drizzle 2 tablespoons sugar free pina colada syrup over each snow cone.
3. Top each with 2 tablespoons light coconut milk.
4. Squeeze lime wedge over snow cones and serve immediately.
Strawberry Cheesecake Snow Cones
– 4 cups shaved ice
– 1/4 cup sugar free white chocolate syrup
– 1/4 cup sugar free strawberry syrup
– 1/4 cup low fat ricotta cheese
– Graham cracker crumbs for garnish
1. Fill two paper snow cone cups halfway with shaved ice.
2. Drizzle 2 tablespoons strawberry syrup over each.
3. Top with 2 tablespoons white chocolate syrup.
4. Add 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese on top.
5. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs and serve.
Root Beer Float Snow Cones
– 4 cups shaved ice
– 1/4 cup sugar free root beer syrup
– 1/4 cup sugar free vanilla syrup
– 1/4 cup diet vanilla root beer
– Sugar free maraschino cherries for garnish
1. Divide shaved ice between two paper snow cone cups.
2. Drizzle 2 tablespoons each of root beer and vanilla syrup over snow cones.
3. Carefully pour 2 tablespoons diet root beer over each.
4. Top with maraschino cherries and serve.
Frequently asked questions
Are sugar free snow cones Keto friendly?
Most sugar free snow cone syrups are keto friendly, containing 0-1g net carbs per serving. Avoid options with maltitol or high fiber content. Pair with heavy cream instead of milk for higher fat. Stevia-sweetened syrups are ideal for low carb keto diets.
What sweeteners are used in sugar free snow cone syrup?
Common sweeteners include aspartame, sucralose, stevia, erythritol, xylitol, acesulfame potassium, neotame, and advantame. Each has 0 grams of sugar per serving. Some use a blend of artificial and natural sweeteners.
Should diabetics limit sugar free snow cone portions?
While sugar free, diabetics should still limit portions to 1/4-1/2 cups of flavored syrup per snow cone. This controls overall calorie intake and decreases risk of GI issues. Spread syrup evenly rather than soaking it all in one spot.
Do sugar free snow cones affect ketosis?
Sugar free snow cones made with stevia or sucralose won’t kick you out of ketosis, since they don’t raise blood sugar or insulin. But ones with maltitol may impact ketosis due to it’s glycemic index. Check labels and limit to an occasional treat.
Can you make sugar free snow cone syrup at home?
Yes, make DIY sugar free syrup using stevia, erythritol, sucralose, or other zero calorie sweetener and sugar free flavor extracts. Mix to taste with water and bring to a boil. Let cool and bottle. Store refrigerated up to 1 month.
The bottom line
Sugar free snow cones can be a tasty occasional treat for people with diabetes. They provide refreshing sweet flavor without the carbohydrates, calories, and blood sugar spike of traditional syrups. Moderating portions and selecting syrups without sugar alcohols can make them even more friendly for diabetic diets. Pair with protein or fat and drink plenty of fluids for balanced nutrition. Sugar free snow cones allow diabetics to satisfy sweet cravings, especially during hot summer months. With mindful consumption, they can be enjoyed guilt free as part of a healthy diabetic diet.