6 tips for handling sweets during the holidays

If you've managed to steer clear of the holiday treats up until now, the call of temptation may get louder over the next few days.

If you find yourself eyeing the dessert table at that Christmas party, there's no need to feel left out. With some preparation and common sense, you can indulge a little and satisfy your sweet tooth this holiday season.

Tips for healthy eating

Here are a few guidelines for healthy holiday eating:

  1. Substitute carbs. Since most holiday treats are high in carbohydrates, don't just add extra calories to your diet. Instead, the American Diabetes Association recommends that you substitute small portions of these treats for the carbohydrates you already have budgeted for your day. For example, if you want a serving of pie, skip the pre-dinner bread or crackers.
  2. Bake smart. If you're still doing some holiday baking, try replacing about half the sugar a recipe calls for with a sugar substitute. You'll get the same sweet taste without the calories. At the same time, increase your use of things like cinnamon, vanilla or nutmeg, which will all add more flavor to desserts.
  3. Have a plan. Decide ahead of time how much you can safely eat. Also plan how you might handle social pressure to eat or drink more.
  4. Share portions. If you're dying for that yummy dessert, share it with someone else. You'll save calories but still feel like you can indulge a little.
  5. Bring your own sweets. People who don't have diabetes – or aren't sensitive to your situation – won't necessarily know how to modify a menu for you. So bring a diabetes-friendly dessert you've made yourself, like baked apples or sugar-free pudding. (Click here to check out our collection of diabetes-friendly dessert recipes!)
  6. Have a buddy. Is there someone who will voluntarily skip dessert with you? Sometimes just having moral support can help you avoid temptation. Do something healthy after dinner with this person, like taking a walk or playing a board game.

Source: American Diabetes Association

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