14 Smart Diabetic Swaps for the Holidays
Choose Pumpkin Pie Over Pecan
Pecan pie gets a double-sugar boost from corn syrup and brown sugar. Choose a slice of pumpkin pie instead to save 10g carbohydrates. Eat it slowly, and savor just a few bites.
Choose Dark Chocolate Over Brownies
Just 1 satisfying ounce of dark chocolate has half the carbohydrates of a sugar-loaded brownie. Bonus: The flavonoids in dark chocolate can offer heart-healthy benefits.
Choose Shortbread Over a Frosted Sugar Cookie
A buttery shortbread square has only 9g carbohydrates–that's 75% less than a frosted sugar cookie. Even better: Go for the shortbread with nuts to add a little protein and fiber.
Choose Salsa Over Creamy Spinach Dip
Try one of our favorite fresh salsa recipes.
Add zip to your chip by choosing naturally low-carb salsa (just 4g per ¼ cup) over mayo and sour cream-filled dip. You'll also save 120 calories and 14g fat per ¼ cup.
Choose Fresh Raw Veggies Over Crackers
An ounce of wheat crackers has the same amount of carbohydrates found in about 2½ cups fresh veggies. You'll also save on sodium and fat and get a vitamin and mineral boost, too.
Choose Bean-Based Spreads Over Cream Cheese Spreads
Try one of our quick-and-healthy hummus recipes.
Opt for fiber-packed bean spreads like black bean dip or hummus. Fiber helps control blood sugar and will help you feel full longer so you're less tempted to overeat.
Choose Mixed Nuts Over Snack Mix
Go for plain mixed nuts instead of a snack mix with cereal, dried fruit, and candy–which can have more than 24g carb per ½ cup. Nuts are packed with protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats and contain only 7g carb per ounce.
Choose Lemon Sparkler Over Soda
A 12-ounce can of soda contains 40g carbs–all from sugar. That's nearly 3 tablespoons! Instead, mix 4 ounces fresh lemonade with 8 ounces sparkling water for a drink that cuts carbs and sugar by two-thirds. Garnish with a lemon slice.
Choose Oil and Vinegar Over Bottled Creamy Dressing
Taste Test: The Best Everyday Olive Oils
Bottled dressings, especially light and fat-free versions, are often filled with sugar and added salt. Vinegar and heart-healthy oils don't have any effect on blood sugar.
Choose Boiled Shrimp Over Fried
Ten large boiled shrimp have less than 1g carbs and only 60 calories. You'll save 12g carbs, 170 calories, and 14g fat over fried. A tablespoon of spicy cocktail sauce adds only 3g carbs.
Choose Cauliflower Mash Over Traditional Mashed Potatoes
Swap Roasted Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes for traditional Mashed Potatoes and you'll save more than 100mg sodium per 2/3 cup, plus you'll consume fewer calories, carbs, and fat. Plus, cauliflower, milk, and butter create a rich, creamy side.
Choose Turkey Over Glazed Ham
A sensibly prepared turkey may contain just 2g of carbs and around 300mg sodium compared to a glazed ham, which can often contain more than 7g carbs and more than 800mg of sodium. A little more versatile than ham, turkey leaves you with a plethora of options for leftovers.
Choose Wild Rice Stuffing Over Bread Stuffing
Swapping bread for rice can save you more than 20g carbs and more than 100mg sodium, depending on the recipe. Hot cooked wild rice is incredibly nutty and fragrant as well making it a perfect counter to fresh spices.
Swap Eggnog for Champagne
While this festive cocktail is a good source of both calcium and protein, eggnog is notorious for its heavy hand in cream. A typical 6-ounce pour of the real deal can set you back nearly 435 calories and 30 grams of fat (and you haven’t even eaten yet!). Grab a flute of champagne instead. It'll get you in the holiday spirit with 0g fat, less than 100 calories, and less than 2g carbs.