Keeping your blood sugar on track during the holiday months can be difficult, especially if you have a sweet tooth. Christmas cookies, filled-the-brim pies, and all sorts of candy treats seem to be everywhere!

Don’t get overwhelmed trying to block out all of that holiday sugar. The American Diabetes Association reports that sugar and other carbohydrates can be treated the same. It’s simply the total amount of carbohydrates that matter. This means you can swap out a serving of mashed potatoes and make up for it with a small dessert.

So bring on the dessert table!

Not All Desserts Are Created Equal

Even though a little bit of sugar won’t derail your glucose levels, it’s best for diabetics to choose sugary foods that provide some type of nutritional value. For example, a candy cane is made of pure sugar and doesn’t provide any healthy nutrients. However, a fruit parfait offers vitamins in the fruits and calcium in the pudding.

To make a tasty fruit parfait, toss together your favorite seasonal fruits. Kiwi, apples, clementines, star fruits, oranges, and pears should be easy to find during the early winter months. Pick out a fun glass or festive bowl and alternate layers of fruit with layers of pudding or yogurt. (To keep your apples and pears from turning brown, coat them with a dash of lemon juice, orange juice, or another acidic liquid.)

SIZE Matters

If you’re going to swap out a starchy carb at dinner for a sugary carb for dessert, make sure the portions match up. It’s obvious that forgoing one roll at dinner doesn’t mean you can indulge in five cookies that evening. In this case, it’s best to make a plan in your head before dinner begins and stick to it throughout the evening.

To keep things in check, look for bite-size desserts. Cake pops, mini-muffins, and truffles are just the right size. You could also offer to share a dessert with a friend or family member.

Sugary Swaps

Many holiday desserts have low-sugar and low-carbohydrate alternatives.

  • Choose plain dark chocolate instead of fudge.
  • If the dessert calls for canned fruit, look for the kind that’s packed in 100 percent juice.
  • Sweeten holiday desserts with applesauce or mashed bananas instead of sugar.
  • Cut down the sugar in dessert recipes, but slightly increase the spices like vanilla and nutmeg.
  • Opt for sugar-free versions of whipped topping, ice cream, and pudding.
  • Frost cakes with marshmallow fluff or meringue instead of conventional frosting.

How do you plan to handle the dessert course this holiday season?

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