Type 2 Diabetes & Sugar

By: Lauren Kremer, Dietetic Intern

In 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes.  The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 25.2%, or 12.0 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed)1.  Factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, high blood pressure, heart disease and being overweight can all contribute to Type 2 Diabetes.  Diet modifications can delay or prevent complications and the progression of the disease.  Maintaining a healthy weight, choosing heart healthy foods, and exercising daily can all help to prevent Type 2 Diabetes.  Our clients are also facing this issue, and at the request of a Casa Mutua resident I gave a nutrition workshop focused on Type 2 Diabetes and Sugar.  In class we discussed sugar and the importance of limiting sugar and sugar sweetened beverages.

During the workshop, the residents at Casa Mutua made no bake, low sugar cookies.  As a healthier alternative to “regular cookies” this recipe is high in protein from either peanut butter or chickpeas, high in soluble fiber from oats and, while honey is included, a banana provides additional sweetness.  These cookies can be a fun, easy, interactive activity with a group, as it requires no baking and is quite simple to execute.

No bake, low sugar cookies recipe:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy (for best results, use shelf-stable peanut butter; if using natural peanut butter, ensure that it is well stirred and not oily) – 1 cup of pureed chickpeas can substitute in a nut free environment
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup (or less) honey
  • 1/3 cup well mashed very ripe banana (about 1 medium banana)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats (see recipe notes to make your own)
  • Cinnamon and cardamom to taste
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions:

1.      Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, wax paper, or a silpat mat.  Set aside.
2.      In a small saucepan (or microwave) over medium heat, combine the peanut butter, milk, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and salt until smooth and well combined.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the honey, banana, spices and vanilla extract until smooth and most of the banana lumps have disappeared.  With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the oats.  The mixture will be very thick.
3.       With a small cookie scoop or spoon, drop heaping tablespoons of no bake cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet.  Gently flatten the mounds into a cookie shape, then roll in the unsweetened coconut.  Place the cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the oats to soften and the flavors to meld.

  • Do not use rolled oats, as they are much firmer than quick and will make the cookies hard to chew. To make your own quick oats, place the same amount of regular rolled oats in the food processor and briefly pulse 3 to 4 times.
  • Store leftover no bake cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or tightly wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.

References:

1.       http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/

Adapted from https://www.wellplated.com/healthy-no-bake-cookies/