Story by: Norton Healthcare on December 21, 2016
Many of us have never eaten sugar plums or figgy pudding, but we’re certainly no strangers to sugar cookies, candy canes, homemade fudge, eggnog and the like at this time of year.
Add in loads of carb-laden favorites, such as mashed potatoes, candied yams, dressing and rolls, and it’s easy to see why many traditional holiday favorites make the “naughty list” for those who need to control their blood sugar.
The good news is there are plenty of healthy — and delicious — dishes on the “nice list.” Many diabetes-friendly foods are brimming with seasonal flavor and can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of whether they need to restrict their sugar and carbohydrate consumption.
Stacy Koch, APRN, Norton Community Medical Associates – Endocrinology, advises that in order to be diabetes-friendly, a dish should contain no more than 30 grams of carbohydrates per serving. This represents two carbohydrate exchanges on most standard diabetes meal plans.
As you think about healthy food options for your gatherings, the examples below can help you visualize what 15 grams of carbohydrates look like:
1 small piece of fruit 1/2 cup black beans or other beans
1 slice of bread 1/4 large baked potato
1/3 cup cooked pasta or rice 4 to 6 crackers
1/2 cup of casserole 6 chicken nuggets
2/3 cup nonfat yogurt 2 small cookies
If you’re searching for some healthier recipes, look for those built around readily available whole ingredients — fruits, vegetables, low-fat cheeses, lean meats, beans, whole grains and nuts.
A few simple adjustments to popular party or buffet foods can move recipes from the “slightly naughty” to the “oh, how nice” list:
Here are three easy ways you can make desserts more diabetes-friendly:
“Sweets don’t have to be banished as long as they are consumed within limit,” said Koch, who coordinates Let’s Chat, a diabetes support group that meets monthly at Norton Healthcare Pavilion.
Whether you’re hosting a huge holiday shindig or a small family get-together, food can help create a welcoming back drop for time well-spent with others. As long as what you serve tastes good, looks good and brings people together, there’s no down side to offering diabetes-friendly dishes that everyone can enjoy.
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