Healthy Holiday Foods For Diabetics: How To Stick To Diabetic Diets During Holiday Season!

by Cindy

Choosing Foods For Holiday Diabetic Diets

Patients with diabetes are faced with the challenge of always watching what they eat to keep glucometer readings in a normal range.  The holiday season poses a challenge to many diabetic patients as ‘tis the season to overindulge in rich, sugary and fatty foods.  Most experienced type 2 diabetics know that these are not the best foods for diabetics!  Holiday eating doesn’t have to send your hemoglobin a1c through the roof.  Try some of these holiday eating tips for diabetic patients to keep your blood sugar under control!

Healthy Appetizer and Snack Ideas For Diabetics

  • Raw Vegetable Platter with Fat Free Dip
    • Offer to bring a raw vegetable tray and fat free dip to holiday gatherings.  Diabetic patients can fill up on low calorie, high fiber raw vegetables to help curb hunger and reduce the risk of overeating sugary treats.
    • A vegetable tray of raw carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and red peppers slices is colorful and full of natural vitamins without calories and sugar.
  • Pumpernickel Bread with Dill Dip
    • Need to bring an appetizer?  Consider pumpernickel bread with dill dip.  This richly flavored bread is a better choice than white bread as it contains whole grains and is of lower glycemic index.  Make homemade dill dip with fat free sour cream, dill and spices.
  • Bruschetta
    • Create bruschetta with whole grain bread, healthy tomatoes, fresh basil and fat free mozzarella cheese.  This combination of fiber, vegetables and protein makes this holiday treat a good food for diabetics!

Healthy Holiday Meals For Diabetics

  • Start the Meal with Soup 
    • Start your dinner course with a broth based soup that is rich in beans and vegetables instead of fattening, heavy cream based soups.  A broth based soup is much better for your cholesterol and beans are considered a diabetic super food.  Their high fiber content will help stabilize blood sugars and promotes a feeling of fullness to reduce the risk of snacking!
  • Choosing the Main Dish
    • Choosing the right main dish for your holiday meal can be a challenge.  Turkey is a very lean meat and a staple of many holiday tables.  It is a good alternative to salty ham and fatty red meats.
    • Another alternative is to consider using fish, such as salmon for a healthy protein source that also offers heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids!
  • Diabetes Friendly Side Dishes
    • Try mashed sweet potatoes!  Substitute white potatoes for mashed sweet potatoes.  This tasty vegetable can be mashed just like white potatoes and is rich in vitamins, nutrients and flavor without needing to add extra cream.  Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index and are good foods that diabetics can eat.
    • Add a salad to your holiday table.  Green leafy vegetables are low in calories and sugars and diabetic patients can fill half of the plate with these delicious foods without feeling guilty.  This is one of the best diabetic foods to eat if a type 2 diabetic is looking to fill up on low calorie, healthy food!  In addition, a salad is easy to make and affordable.
  • Desserts For Diabetics
    • Homemade angel food cake with fresh fruit topping is a tasty, lower glycemic alternative to fatty, calorie rich cheesecakes and other desserts.
    • Popcorn is also a low calorie treat that is high in fiber.  Popcorn can be flavored with different spices to create interesting new flavors.  Consider sprinkling popcorn with a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar for a tasty sweet after dinner treat.

When it comes to choosing what foods diabetics can eat during the holiday season, simple substitutions and trying foods in moderation are easy ways to keep blood sugar levels in better control during the holiday season.  A cookie or candy on occasion is okay for people with diabetes but patients need to take care to keep track of these carbohydrates and avoid overindulgence.  Patients with diabetes should also keep in mind that alcoholic beverages are high in calories, sugars and can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar readings. Patients should check their sugars regularly and keep a written log of these readings.  It is also important to adhere to all prescribed medications to avoid dramatic changes in glucose levels.

The holiday season is an exciting time to gather with friends and family and to enjoy good company and good food.  It should be no different for patients with diabetes.  Knowing which foods make good diabetic snacks and making healthy choices will help maintain excellent glucose control and keep you healthy and your doctor happy into the new year!

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