Holiday celebrations can be quite challenging, especially if you are diabetic. Unfortunately the holiday season often consists of consuming large quantities of sugary and fatty foods. When you have diabetes it is important that you pay close attention to what you put in your body or risk diabetic complications. Thankfully with a little preparation, you can still enjoy the holidays.

Don’t let diabetes ruin your holiday fun. Planning out your menu in advance can help you avoid the pressure and stress of wondering what you will eat and how it may affect your health. If you are wondering what healthy foods you can eat during the holidays, if you have diabetes – you have come to the right place. This article will provide you with helpful tips on the healthiest foods to eat during the holidays.

1. Turkey

Turkey is a great food to eat during the holidays, if you have diabetes. Skinless, white turkey meat is not only protein-rich and low in fat; it is also a good source of zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Believe it or not – turkey is the only food traditionally offered during the holidays that does not contain any carbohydrates. Enjoy the holiday season by placing 3 oz. of turkey on your plate.

2. Fruits

Almost all fruits are good holiday food choices, if you suffer from diabetes. Fruits like oranges, tangerines, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apples, melons, pineapples and grapes are not only low-fat, they are also rich in minerals, vitamins and fiber. In addition, the sugar in most fruits is considered natural sugar, which helps keep your blood glucose levels stable. So when you feel yourself craving something sweet reach for a couple of pieces of fruit. Moreover, if possible, prepare a fruit platter and take it with you to the holiday celebration.

3. Steamed Broccoli

If you have diabetes and you want to make sure that you consume healthy foods during the holidays – prepare steamed broccoli. Steamed broccoli is not only low in calories and simple carbohydrates (sugars); it is also rich in vitamins, fiber, mineral and phytochemicals. It is important to refrain from saturating the broccoli with butter and salt. Natural is better. The good news is that almost all veggies have a low glycemic index (an index that monitors your blood glucose levels). Other healthy vegetables that you can eat during the holidays are: asparagus, Brussels sprouts, dark, leafy greens (turnip, Swiss chard, mustard and collard), cabbage, okra and salads.

4. Sugar-Free Pudding

If you are diabetic and craving something sweet during the holidays, you may want to prepare a sugar-free pudding to snack on. It is important to remember that most of the sweets prepared (by others) during the holidays contain large amounts of sugar and fat, which can cause your blood glucose levels (blood sugar) to skyrocket. If you are attending someone else’s holiday party, ask to prepare a dessert for the event. This will help you control what you put in your body.

If you do not like pudding or you want to prepare something closer to traditional holiday foods – replace the fat and sugar in cookies, cakes or pies with baby food prunes, applesauce, nutmeg, cinnamon and/or vanilla. Moreover, if you are unable to prepare a healthier version of traditional holiday sweets, then avoid a carbohydrate-based food like rolls in favor of a small pie of pumpkin or sweet potato pie. Lastly, if you must eat a dessert with sugar, the key is moderation.  Happy Holidays! 

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