How to Eat Ice Cream

Ahh the Diabetic’s forbidden fruit: Sweets. And it’s summertime so I have to mention the foods we will all be around at the barbeques and summertime events.

Do you remember your Mother telling you at some point NOT to do something. And it did not matter what it was, the fact that it was prohibited made you want to do it. Curiosity, and the feeling that you would experience sensations you’d never had before, made the forbidden desirable.

Our shared forbidden fruits make appearances in our lives all the time, especially on special occasions. So can we indulge our senses? We are human. We do strive for perfection, but are not perfect. I believe an occasional indulgence is ok, as long as you eat responsibly!

We all know what drinking responsibly means: don’t drink and drive, don’t drink too much, don’t act out in public, etc. What does it mean to eat responsibly? Here are some basic guidelines:

  1. Eat in moderation. Easy to say, hard to do.  Stick to just one serving, whatever it may be. Make sure that you are not starving so you don’t overindulge and stress out your body, and it’s ability to handle the carb/sugar load.
  2. Eat a good, filling,  healthy meal before eating your treat, like ice cream. If you have had a good meal beforehand, you will be less likely to overindulge in your treat.
  3. If your indulgence is your meal, like pizza, eat a salad or some veggies with it to get the extra healthy fiber and help to fill your belly.
  4. Drink a large glass of water before you eat. This will help a bit to make you feel full so you won’t want to eat as much.
  5. If you use an insulin pump, make sure to take advantage of your extended bolus settings like “Square” or “Dual-Wave” boluses. This is the most important part to avoid an after meal high blood sugar. Not sure how to do this? My best advice is to see your Doctor or nurse practitioner for insulin pump education. I’ll explain how I bolus for a meal or snack like this:

Dual-Wave Bolus

When I eat a high-fat, high-carb meal it takes longer to get digested, and it needs insulin right away, and a little later to handle the breaking down of the combined fat and sugar. You can administer shots the same way, it’s just a bit more tedious. It is essential for you to know what your carb ratio is: How many units of insulin do you need when you ingest 1 gram of carbohydrate.

For example: If I have a ratio of 1/10, Meaning I need 1 unit of insulin for every 10 grams of carbohydrates I consume.

My treat is one serving of ice cream equal to 40 g Carbs. I will need 4 units of insulin (some now and some later).

Using my Dual-Wave Bolus setting I will probably need anywhere between 1/2-2/3 of my insulin right away, and the last 1/2-1/3 of my insulin dispersed over the course of 1-4 hours (this depends on your body’s specific response to the food). I can tell you how it works for me, but it may be very different for you!

That’s 2 units now+

2 Units over the next 2.5 hours

This works much better than overdosing on insulin after a splurge, needing more sugar to get back to normal, only to find yourself way over normal blood sugar levels in a couple hours. That’s what happens to me if I don’t spread out my dosage in a square or dual wave bolus. Not only do I feel crappy afterwards, I feel like an idiot for not dosing my insulin appropriately.

As I mentioned before, an occasional indulgence is ok, but sometimes you may want to look for an alternative, or lesser evil, to such an indulgence:

  1. Single servings are available in the local grocery store, so you are not tempted to eat more than just that 1/2 Cup. Haagen Dazs is one of my favorite brands because it is just real stuff- no preservatives or colors, just good old cream and sugar with natural flavors.
  2. I just discovered an ice cream made from whey protein that is very low in carbs and calories. It is called Arctic Zero. There are only 37 calories in one serving of their ice cream, and 7g carbs; 150 calories for the whole pint! The  bars with vanilla or chocolate ice cream dipped in chocolate are 85 calories with 8g carbs. Visit them at  where you can search for local grocers that carry the products and view all they have to offer (site may have some technical difficulties, if so visit Amazon to have it shipped directly to your house). The ice cream bars I like the best so far because they have a thin chocolate shell on the outside that makes me feel like I’m eating the real thing!
  3. Make some homemade real fruit popsicles (not fruit juice)- Yum!

About Meredith
My name is Meredith and I am a Type I Diabetic. Through many struggles I have learned what works and what does not work for treating my Diabetes. I wanted to create a place where other people could learn from the experiences of a Diabetic, in addition to advise from others in the Medical profession.

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