When you're sticking to a strict low-carb plan, you can't afford to waste carbohydrate grams on sweets and fruit. No-carb desserts aren't easy to find, as even low-carb cheesecake and cookies contain ingredients with carbs, such as honey, sugar, fruit or dairy. If you long for the weight-loss and blood sugar stabilizing benefits of a low-carb plan, but still need to calm your sweet tooth, your best options are sugar-free.
Gelatin as a No-Carb Dessert
Sugar-free gelatin offers zero carbohydrates, but tastes sweet and refreshing. Buy powder to make at home or purchase already prepared cups for an easy treat. Avoid adding fruit, nuts or marshmallows, which raise the carb content. Top it with a squirt of sugar-free whipped cream to give the gelatin a festive touch. Purchase the whipped cream, or make your own with fresh whipping cream, adding sucralose for sweetening.
Candy may not fit your definition of a typical dessert, but it offers a sweet taste to finish a meal. Many sugar-free hard candies, flavored with artificial fruit flavors or mint, contain no carbohydrates. Be sure to read packages to avoid hidden carbs. Certain coffee- or caramel-flavored hard candies that contain no sugar also qualify as carb-free.
A few brands of sugar-free caramel nut candies or chocolate-covered marshmallows contain zero carbs, but most chocolate or gummy candies have at least 1 gram of net carb per serving.
Enjoy Sugar-Free Ice Pops
Purchase sugar-free ice pops or make your own for a refreshingly sweet dessert. Always check labels to make sure the type you choose is completely carb-free. Freeze sugar-free drink mix, in flavors such as lemon-lime or berry, to make easy, at-home versions. Pour the drink into small paper cups and insert a toothpick for easy eating, or use an ice pop mold.
Creamy No-Carb Desserts
Reframe your idea of dessert and go gourmet with a cheese plate. Serve a selection of carb-free cheeses, such as Stilton, havarti and hard Parmesan. You won't need a large serving to cleanse your palate.
Alternatively, make a mousse-like dessert by blending together mascarpone -- a soft, sweet and creamy Italian cheese that's carb-free -- with ground cinnamon and sucralose to taste. Chill until ready to serve. You could also use whipped cream to create a pudding-like treat by blending it with sugar-free cocoa mix.
Low-Carb Rather Than No-Carb Choices
Desserts free of all carbs are quite limited. If your diet plan allows you to spend a couple of grams on a sweet treat, you have more options. For example, make a crust-free, low-carb cheesecake by mixing cream cheese, eggs, sucralose and vanilla extract. Add flavorings such as lemon zest, ground cinnamon, cocoa powder or coconut extract. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until set. Refrigerate until firm.
The cream cheese has about 1 gram of carbohydrate per 2 tablespoons, and the other ingredients have only trace amounts of carbs. Keep your serving small and you'll make only a mild dent in your carb grams for the day.
Dip strawberries -- which have about 1 gram of carb for each large berry -- in a mixture of melted sugar-free chocolate chips and heavy cream. You may not be able to afford this treat if you're limited to just 20 grams of carbs per day or fewer, but if you're on a 50-grams daily plan you could indulge once in a while.
Go for Gum Instead
A low-carb diet can help diminish cravings, especially if you avoid satisfying them each time they appear. Consider chewing a piece of sugar-free gum instead of reaching for dessert. The gum's flavor distracts your taste buds and freshens your breath. Mint and bubblegum flavors are available in sugar-free versions, but so are some fruit flavors.