Tasty Holiday Health Foods for Diabetics

Tasty Holiday Health Foods for Diabetics

So much of the fun of the holidays is centered on food. Special treats remind us warm memories of friends and family, and party after party features a spread of enticing fare. If you have diabetes, your willpower to resist sugary foods probably faces no greater test than at this time of year.

Still, there's no need to be a Scrooge to your taste buds. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the bounty of the season without threatening your health.

Spice It Up
Sometimes, it seems like every dessert is full of chocolate or candy. Yet spice can lend as much to a treat as anything else. Spice lets you limit the amount of sugar in a snack, making it more manageable, and it can temper the taste of an artificial sweetener. When searching for desserts to make with your family or bring to a potluck, search the spice aisle for these staples:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Vanilla

Bake a tray of cinnamon cookies, or make gingerbread men for you and your kids. Add cloves to a muffin recipe for a warm treat that works just as well with breakfast as it does as a late-night snack. Add spices to pie crusts and fillings to provide rich flavor without added sugar.

Fresh Winter Fruit
Just as a fruit basket can be a welcome holiday gift, keeping an assortment of fresh fruit at home for you and your holiday guests to snack on helps fill everyone with a little seasonal cheer. Common winter fruits include:

  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Pomegranates
  • Grapefruits
  • Persimmons
  • Bananas
  • Pears

Citrus fruits provide the added benefit of Vitamin C, helping you with more than just your diabetes as you fight off colds and the flu. Eat fruits whole, or bake them into inviting goodies. Lemon cookies help break up the monotony of the cookie jar, and a warm loaf of banana bread can make you feel as cozy as a roaring fire. Mix fresh fruit juices together for a cocktail that complements a warm bowl of oatmeal full of sliced fruit.
Hang on to Fall
Winter doesn't officially start until December is almost over, meaning your autumn favorites are still appropriate even in a house full of snowflake decorations. Carry over some Thanksgiving staples to the December dinner table. Yams help satisfy a sweet tooth before it leads you to save too much room for dessert. Cranberries are another in-season fruit that can swing between side dishes and snacks. The hankering for pumpkin doesn't go away so easily, so experiment with pumpkin recipes that go beyond the traditional pie. Serve pumpkin by itself as a side dish, or put some in the blender with a banana and mix up a smoothie for a healthy breakfast on the go.

The holidays offer countless opportunities for diabetics to be naughty instead of nice. Temper the urge to reach for sugary sweets by filling up on healthy food that still satisfies your culinary wish list.