Can a diabetic have sugar free pudding?

Quick Answer

Yes, diabetics can have sugar free pudding in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Sugar free pudding is made with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, so it does not spike blood sugar levels. However, sugar free pudding can still affect blood sugar due to carbohydrates from starch and small amounts of natural sugars. Diabetics should focus on controlling portion sizes of sugar free pudding and pair it with proteins, fiber, and healthy fats to help manage blood sugar response.

What Makes Pudding Safe for Diabetics?

Regular pudding contains lots of sugar, which can be dangerous for diabetics. Sugar free pudding replaces sugar with artificial sweeteners like:

  • Aspartame
  • Sucralose
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Saccharin
  • Stevia

These artificial sweeteners provide the sweet taste of sugar without adding carbohydrates that raise blood sugar. This makes sugar free pudding a safer choice for diabetics.

However, sugar free pudding is not completely carbohydrate or calorie free. It still contains starches and small amounts of lactose (milk sugar) that can impact blood sugar levels. Starch is broken down into glucose during digestion, while lactose is a natural sugar.

Nutrition Facts of Sugar Free Pudding

To understand how sugar free pudding affects diabetes, let’s compare the nutrition facts of regular and sugar free pudding:

Regular Pudding

Serving Size 1/2 cup
Calories 160
Total Carbohydrates 28 g
Sugars 23 g

Regular pudding is high in sugar with 23 grams per 1/2 cup serving. This added sugar causes a rapid spike in blood sugar for diabetics.

Sugar Free Pudding

Serving Size 1/2 cup
Calories 100
Total Carbohydrates 18 g
Sugars 2 g

Sugar free pudding is lower in calories and carbs than regular pudding. It has minimal sugars at only 2 grams per serving. This helps prevent blood sugar spikes.

However, sugar free pudding still has 18 grams of digestible carbs per serving primarily from starch. Starch breaks down into glucose during digestion, so diabetics need to be mindful of portion sizes. The small amount of lactose sugar also impacts blood sugar modestly.

Tips for Enjoying Sugar Free Pudding

Here are some tips for diabetics to enjoy sugar free pudding safely:

  • Limit portion sizes to 1/2 cup serving or less
  • Enjoy as part of a balanced meal with protein and fiber
  • Pair with high fiber foods like fruit, vegetables, or whole grains
  • Avoid eating sugar free pudding alone on an empty stomach
  • Test blood sugar levels 2 hours after eating to monitor response
  • Select sugar free pudding with the least amount of carbs and calories
  • Compare brands and flavors to find the best options

Being mindful of portions is key, since overeating sugar free pudding can surpass daily carb limits. Pairing pudding with protein, fat, and fiber is beneficial for slowing digestion and stabilizing blood sugar response.

Carb Counting with Sugar Free Pudding

Carb counting is an effective meal planning approach for diabetics. It involves tracking the number of carbohydrates consumed at each meal and snack.

Here’s an example carb count for 1/2 cup of sugar free pudding:

Food Amount Total Carbs
Sugar free pudding 1/2 cup 18 g
Total carbs 18 g

To stay within carb limits, diabetics can balance this 18 gram carb pudding snack with lower carb foods throughout the day. Taking insulin to cover the pudding carbs also helps manage blood sugar levels.

Best Sugar Free Pudding Brands

Not all sugar free puddings are created equal when it comes to carb and calorie content. Here is a comparison of some top sugar free pudding brands:

Jell-O Sugar Free Pudding

Serving Size 1/2 cup
Calories 100
Total Carbs 18 g

Jell-O is one of the most popular brands of sugar free pudding. At 18 grams of carbs per serving, it fits into a diabetes diet when paying attention to portions.

Snack Pack Sugar Free Pudding

Serving Size 1/2 cup
Calories 100
Total Carbs 15 g

Snack Pack has slightly fewer carbs than Jell-O at 15 grams per serving. The smaller serving cups make portion control easy.

Swiss Miss Sugar Free Pudding

Serving Size 1/2 cup prepared
Calories 60
Total Carbs 8 g

With only 60 calories and 8 grams of carbs per serving, Swiss Miss is one of the lowest carb and calorie options. This makes it a great choice for diabetics monitoring their intake.

Hunt’s Sugar Free Pudding

Serving Size 1/2 cup
Calories 100
Total Carbs 15 g

On par with Snack Pack, Hunt’s Sugar Free Pudding has 15 grams of carbs per serving. It provides rich flavor and smooth texture.

Is Sugar Free Pudding Keto Friendly?

The ketogenic diet is a very low carb diet often used for diabetes management. On keto, daily carb intake is limited to around 20-50 grams per day.

While sugar free pudding is lower in carbs than regular pudding, it may not fit into a ketogenic meal plan. Each serving of sugar free pudding contains 15-18 grams of total carbs, accounting for a large percentage of the daily keto carb allowance.

However, those with greater carb flexibility on keto may be able to work sugar free pudding into their diet occasionally in small portions. Pairing it with very low carb foods can help balance out the carbs.

Some tips for making sugar free pudding more keto friendly include:

  • Portion out 1/4 or 1/3 cup servings
  • Mix in heavy cream or unsweetened almond milk for fewer carbs
  • Top with keto approved fruits like berries
  • Add nuts, chia seeds, or coconut for crunch
  • Use avocado instead of pudding in chia puddings

With mindful portions and modifications, an occasional indulgence in sugar free pudding may be possible on a well-formulated ketogenic diet for diabetics. But regular eating or large portions could quickly surpass carb limits.

Risks of Too Much Sugar Free Pudding

While sugar free pudding is a better option than regular pudding for diabetics, eating too much can also pose health risks:

  • Blood sugar spikes – Excess carbs from starch and naturally occurring sugars may rapidly increase blood glucose levels.
  • Artificial sweeteners – Potential health concerns exist around large doses of artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose.
  • Weight gain – Providing calories without nutrition, large amounts of sugar free pudding could lead to excess calorie intake and obesity.
  • Gastrointestinal issues – Some sugar alcohols used in sugar free foods may cause gas, cramping or diarrhea when over-consumed.

To keep sugar free pudding safe and healthy, focus on the recommended serving sizes and pair it with whole foods like fruits, veggies, and lean proteins to protect blood sugar balance and promote weight management.

Healthier Homemade Sugar Free Pudding

For complete control over ingredients, diabetics can make their own healthier sugar free pudding at home. This allows replacing preservatives and artificial sweeteners with more wholesome options like:

  • Unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 100% pure pumpkin puree or avocado
  • Stevia or monk fruit for natural sweetness
  • Cocoa powder or carob powder
  • Extracts like vanilla, almond, coconut
  • Chia seeds or hemp seeds to thicken
  • Berries, lemon zest, cinnamon for flavor

This homemade chocolate chia pudding is diabetic-friendly at only 7 grams net carbs per serving:


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of stevia
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes to thicken.
  3. Portion into 4 servings.
  4. Top with fresh raspberries.
  5. Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Whipping up sugar free chia pudding, avocado pudding, or pumpkin pudding at home lets diabetics enjoy the creamy treat while controlling carbs and ingredients.

Healthy Pudding Alternatives for Diabetics

Beyond sugar free pudding, there are other healthy pudding options that provide dessert satisfaction:

  • Chia pudding – Made with fiber-rich chia seeds, unsweetened milk, and natural sweeteners.
  • Greek yogurt pudding – Uses high protein Greek yogurt and can be flavored many ways.
  • Avocado pudding – Creamy, nutrient-dense pudding made from avocado and milk.
  • Pudding made with pureed fruit – Blend berries, banana, or other fruits into a naturally sweetened pudding.
  • Chocolate avocado mousse – Whip up chocolate vegan mousse with avocado, cocoa powder, and sweetener.
  • Chocolate chia mousse – Fold whipped coconut cream into a chocolate chia pudding base.

These provide greater nutrition than sugar free pudding while keeping carbs and sugars low. Get creative blending, layering, and topping these alternatives for delicious diabetic-friendly dessert!

The Bottom Line

Sugar free pudding can be part of a healthy diet for diabetics when consumed in moderation. While lower in carbs and sugar than regular pudding, it still contains carbohydrates that impact blood sugar levels. Focus on portion control, balance it with proteins and fiber, and select brands with the lowest carbs and calories. Homemade sugar free chia or avocado pudding provides an even healthier option. Overall, sugar free pudding can be safely enjoyed as part of balanced blood sugar management. But moderation is key.

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