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Don’t close door on sweet treats


If you are celebrating and giving thanks this week, it is normal to want to top off your holiday table with festive desserts. Diabetics and those watching their intake of sweets might experience the “feast or famine” holiday affect: Avoiding desserts all together or throwing caution to the wind since it’s “just for one day.”

Diabetic-friendly meal plans focus on healthy foods, but you can eat sweets once in a while without feeling guilty or interfering with your blood sugar control. The key to maintaining control is moderation.

The Mayo Clinic explains that sweets count as carbohydrates in your meal plan. The trick is substituting small portions of sweets for other carbohydrates — such as bread, tortillas, rice, crackers, cereal, fruit, juice, milk, yogurt or potatoes — in your meals. To allow room for sweets as part of a meal, they suggest two options:

  • Replace some of the carbohydrates in your meal with a sweet.
  • Swap a high carb-containing food in your meal for something with fewer carbohydrates and eat the remaining carbohydrates as a sweet.

Another strategy for holiday desserts is the use of sugar substitutes for cooking and baking. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved six artificial sweeteners for use: sucralose, saccharin, stevia, aspartame, neotame, and acesulfame potassium. Out of these six, three are widespread — saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose — while the newest sweetener, stevia, is rapidly gaining in popularity.

Chef John Wright uses Splenda in an Eating Wright recipe for Blueberry Cheesecake. Find a compatible sugar substitute that works for you and have one less worry when giving celebrating and giving thanks.

Click here for Chef John Wright’s Blueberry Cheesecake.

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