Diabetic-Friendly Dessert: A Delicious Apple Crisp Everyone Will Love | 1MD Nutrition™

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Diabetic-Friendly Dessert: A Delicious Apple Crisp Everyone Will Love

Having diabetes means you have to focus on what you eat every day and when. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your food, though, or even give up on delicious desserts. This diabetes-friendly apple crisp recipe is perfect for everyone, diabetic or not.

6 minute read

Last Updated September 20, 2021

Diabetic-Friendly Dessert: A Delicious Apple Crisp Everyone Will Love

Thinking about desserts makes most diabetics sad. Many people with diabetes think they have to avoid sweet treats as a means of managing their blood glucose levels. While it is true that the best sweets contain sugar and starches, and both of these can be dangerous for diabetics, there are always exceptions to the rule.

The American Diabetes Association releases recipes that are perfect for diabetics and gives them the opportunity to enjoy all their favorites without compromising their health. The apple crisp recipe below is one such favorite, especially with the cold season approaching.

Apples Are a Diabetic’s Best Friend

While apples do contain carbohydrates, they impact blood sugar levels differently than other sugars and carbohydrates found in junk food. Apples are also sweet to eat, full of nutrition, and fill you up, which can keep you from craving unhealthy sweet treats and lead to increasing your longevity.

Opting to include apples in your diet can help satisfy your sweet tooth without causing dangerous glucose spikes and crashes.

Apples, along with other fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended for any diet, and not just diabetics. They are abundant sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that promote overall good health. Including fruits and vegetables in your diet has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

It is the large amount of water and fiber in apples that keeps you satiated while the antioxidants protect you from free radicals and tissue damage. Most of the nutritional value of apples can be found in the skin, so there is no need to peel them.

As a diabetic, it is important to keep track of your carbohydrate intake, but you cannot avoid them completely. Carbohydrates are essential to health and apples thankfully are the perfect source of carbs for diabetics.

The fiber in apples helps to slow the digestion of the carbohydrates, which means there is not as dramatic of an effect on blood sugar levels.

There is also sugar in apples but this sugar is fructose, which has very little impact on blood sugar levels. Again, the fiber slows digestion so the fructose enters your bloodstream more gradually. Apples also contain polyphenols which even further slow the digestion of any sugars present.

Apples are also beneficial for diabetics as they help to reduce insulin resistance. The polyphenols in apples help to reduce this resistance by stimulating your pancreas to release more insulin.

The antioxidant content of apples can help to lower your risk of developing type-2 diabetes. As mentioned, there are several reasons that apples help regulate blood sugar levels, but the antioxidants are thought to play the greatest role.

Antioxidants help to protect your body from harmful chemical reactions and protect you from serious diseases. The antioxidants in apples that are particularly beneficial are:

Quercetin: Helps to slow carbohydrate digestion and prevents blood sugar spikes.

Chlorogenic Acid: Helps your body to use sugar more efficiently

Phlorizin: Slows sugar absorption

Adding apples to your diet is easy whether you are a diabetic or not. Eating whole apples as a daily snack allows you to reap the most benefits, as the majority of the nutrients can be found in the skin.

You want to avoid apple juice as much as possible because it may contain added sugar and also will not have the fiber content of the whole fruit.

When it comes to buying apples, opt for medium-sized ones. Because they do contain sugar, it is better to steer clear of larger ones, just to make sure you don’t increase your glycemic load too much.

With apples, as with any other fruit, you want to spread them out through your day. Again, the fructose is not as bad for you as other sugars, but spacing out your intake will help to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Apple Crisp Recipe Perfect for Diabetics


1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

2 tablespoons softened margarine

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 cups of red apples, peeled and sliced


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and coat a 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, oats, flour, margarine, vanilla, and spices. Make sure you blend all ingredients together until moistened and slightly crumbly. Layer your apples in the pan and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes and serve warm.

The Bottom Line

As with any food item containing sugar or carbohydrates, you need to monitor your blood sugar levels closely to see how it affects you individually. In general a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables is the healthiest option, for anyone.

Fresh fruits like apples as part of your daily diet help to promote optimal health and protect against serious diseases and illness. There really is some truth to an apple a day keeping doctors away.