Tips for healthy holiday eating for those with diabetes

Cookies, cake, candy—many Americans come face to face with temptation this time of year as they attend parties and family gatherings. Holiday treats abound, and it seems everyone is serving large meals. For people living with diabetes, healthy holiday eating is essential because proper weight management and proper blood sugar control is very important to maintaining good health.

“For individuals with diabetes, this can be an especially challenging time of year because, in addition to rich foods and holiday stresses, people step out of their usual routines,” says Fouad R. Kandeel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the City of Hope Gonda Diabetes Center in Los Angeles. “People with diabetes must maintain vigilance over their blood-sugar levels, their medication, their diet and exercise.”

People living with diabetes can successfully maintain their diets during the holiday season if they take care to adapt traditional recipes to reduce sugars, fats and carbohydrates. Following are two suggested recipes:

Egg Nog

Yield: 8 servings

Serving Size: 6 oz.

4 cups fat-free milk

1 cup egg substitute

Sugar substitute to equal 4 Tbsp. of sugar

3 tsp. rum extract or 1 tsp. vanilla

Ground nutmeg

Combine milk, egg substitute, sugar substitute and extract. Beat with rotary beater or electric mixer until well blended. Chill thoroughly. Stir before serving and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Exchanges: 1/2 carbohydrate exchange, 1/2 milk

Total carbohydrates: 6 grams

Calories: 50

Pumpkin Bread

Yield: 1 loaf (12 servings)

Serving Size: 1 slice

Nonstick cooking spray

1-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. cloves

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup reduced-calorie margarine, softened

1/2 cup sugar

6 packets Sweet One* sweetener

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin

1/3 cup fat-free milk

1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray 8-1/2 by 4-1/2 by 2-1/2 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves and salt. In a separate bowl, cream margarine, sugar and Sweet One*. Beat in eggs and vanilla; beat in pumpkin.

Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture alternately with milk, stirring until blended after each addition. Stir in walnuts.

Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in middle comes out clean. Turn onto wire rack and cool.

Exchanges: 1-1/2 carbohydrates, 1/2 fruit, 1/2 fat

Total carbohydrates: 28 grams

Calories: 135

For information about diabetes research and treatment at the City of Hope Gonda Diabetes Center, please call 1-800-826-HOPE or visit

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!