The holidays are the time of year when family and friends gather together, share and EAT. When it comes to eating during the holidays, that usually means overindulging especially on pie, cookies, cake, eggnog; the list goes on and on. As if this time of the year isn’t difficult enough in trying to avoid pant seems bursting, those with Diabetes need to be especially careful. Although the inevitable sweet will pass your lips at some point this holiday season, that doesn’t mean blood glucose control is out of reach. 

When partaking in meals this holiday season, just remember your routine. As any other day of the year – checking your blood glucose levels two hours from the start of your meal is ideal. This number gives you the most accurate information about how the meal has affected your blood glucose. 

So we finished our meals, and now it’s time for dessert. The aroma of fresh homemade pie fills the air; there seems to be an endless supply of sweets! What do we do? Naturally we want to try everything, so before you start filling your plate; browse the entire selection first. When making your selection, base your decision on what’s only available during the holidays. No need to indulge on foods you can eat any other day of the year. One way to help control your blood glucose is through physical activity. While the meal is cooking, plan a family walk to get your heart rate up. Another walk after the meal would also help.

With the many different sugar substitutes available now it’s easy to believe that pie, cookie or cake won’t affect blood glucose. Some examples of sugar substitutes include: Splenda, Truvia and Stevia. Although it will decrease the overall calories, other ingredients can still result in an increase in blood glucose. Portion size is the key to blood glucose control. Remember just because something is made with artificial sweeteners doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you would like. The desserts still contain calories!

This holiday season, use these simple guidelines!

H- Healthy Choices 
O- Observe the whole table before making your selections, choose foods you can’t get year round. 
L- Lots of vegetables 
I- Invest some time for a walk 
D- Don’t forget your routine – check your blood sugar two hours after meals
A- Avoid beverages that contain calories
Y- You and your health are important! 

Here is a recipe for cookies that replaces sugar with Splenda to help better control blood glucose. Remember to enjoy in moderation, as they still have 140 calories per cookie. Let’s say we eat 2 cookies that would be 280 calories…Look what else you could get for 280 calories!  

Breakfast
1 English muffin – 100 calories 
1 Egg – 70 calories 
5 oz. Banana 75 calories 
2 tsp of whipped butter- 35 calories
Grand total = 280 calories 

Lunch
3oz Tuna in water = 72 calories 
1 Arnold Sandwich Thin – 100 calories 
2 tbsp reduced fat mayo – 45 calories 
1 cup Raspberries -60 calories 
Grand Total – 277 calories

Crispy Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies provided by splenda.com

INGREDIENTS
•    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•    1 teaspoon baking soda
•    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•    1 cup butter, softened
•    1 cup SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
•    2 large eggs
•    1 tablespoon molasses
•    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•    3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
•    1 cup raisins

DIRECTIONS

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.    Stir together flour, soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3.    Beat butter and SPLENDA® Sugar Blend at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, molasses and vanilla, beating until blended. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
4.    Stir in oats and raisins.
5.    Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto lightly greased baking sheets.
6.    Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

NUTRITION FACTS
Servings per Recipe: 36 
Serving Size: 1 cookie

Amount per Serving

Calories: 140 
Calories from Fat: 50 
Total Fat: 6g 
Saturated Fat: 3.5g 
Cholesterol: 25mg 
Sodium: 90mg 
Total Carbs: 18g 
Dietary Fiber: 1g 
Sugars: 9g 
Protein: 2g