Eating healthy during the holidays with diabetes

How you can still enjoy your favorite dishes.

holiday ornamentsFor people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, maintaining a healthy diet can be a challenge during the holidays. But thanks to some easy tips, diabetics can still enjoy festive favorites, says Annette Boulden, a registered dietitian with Mercy LIFE.

For example, Boulden advises her clients to use low-fat or fat-free sour cream in recipes, and to choose broth-based soups instead of creamy ones.

When it comes to fruit trays at parties or buffets, dip fruit into low-fat yogurt instead of caramel or chocolate sauce.

“Use spray butter instead of regular butter,” Boulden suggests. “Bake sweet potatoes and then spray some butter on top – delicious.”

When you’re serving or eating salads, watch out for dried fruits like cranberries, raisins and apricots.

“Not everyone realizes this, but dried fruits actually have tons of sugar – more sugar than regular fruit because it’s concentrated,” she warns.

And if you’re looking for a tangy and sweet, but low-sugar holiday punch Boulden suggests this: “I take unsweetened iced tea, add a little bit of freshly squeezed real lemon juice (not lemonade), and then add a splash of OJ or low-sugar cranberry juice.”

She also stresses the importance of portion control.

“Just simply watching portion size can go a long way. Cranberry sauce is packed full of sugar: If you’re going to have it, think of it as a condiment instead of a side dish,” she says.

We have doctors and programs that can benefit your health. Find a Doctor on our website or call 1.877.GO MERCY to learn more.