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Eating healthy during the holidays with diabetes

Registered dietitian Annette Boulden explains how you can still enjoy your favorite dishes.

holidayFor 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.

Looking for delicious diabetic-friendly dishes you can serve this holiday season? Go to for recipes like Spice Cookies and Pizza Muffin Mummies, or call 215.339.4747 to learn how Mercy LIFE can help control your diabetes.

Mercy Health System has doctors and programs that can benefit your health. Find a Doctor on our website or call 1.877.GO MERCY to learn more.

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