Managing high blood sugar during the holidays

Published 10:35 am Friday, November 9, 2018

From Rita Stewart

Lincoln County Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

It can be overwhelming when thinking about holiday foods and managing blood sugar. Some people may even feel isolated when they sacrifice sweets and holiday drinks, when everyone else seems to be indulging. Luckily, planning ahead and following these tips may help keep your blood sugar steady and within the normal range, allowing you to participate in the holiday fun.

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• Know what foods can cause your blood sugar to quickly rise. These include but aren’t limited to grains such as bread, pasta and crackers, high-starch vegetables like potatoes and corn, juice, soda, cakes, cookies and other sweets.

• Bring your own dish to a party or potluck. This ensures there will be a low-sugar food available for you to eat. Cauliflower Mushroom Poppers would be a perfect holiday finger food for a party or potluck.

• Scout out the buffet line. Start with salad and non-starchy vegetables to take away that initial hunger that can lead to over-eating high sugar foods.

• Don’t forget about the effects of adult beverages on blood sugar. Stick to the recommendations of one alcoholic drink/day for women and two drinks/day for men. It is best to sip your beverage with a snack or enjoy with a meal to minimize very low blood sugar, especially if you are on insulin.

• Don’t skip meals. Don’t “save up” throughout the day to overindulge at the holiday meal. It is best to keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. It may also help to eat your holiday meal as close to your regular meal time as possible.

• Go for a walk after the meal. Not only can this be fun for family and friends, but can help keep blood sugar levels in the normal range.

• Celebrations can be more than food. Make new traditions for the holidays. For example, go ice-skating, host a craft party or volunteer with friends and family.

By following all of these tips and tricks, you can still enjoy the holidays and all the delicious food. It is important to be aware of your blood sugar and know what works for you as well as staying active, even with all of the big events coming up.

Cauliflower Mushroom Poppers

1 head cauliflower, chopped
60 whole baby portabella mushrooms
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup crushed bran flakes
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Steam the cauliflower by placing in a saucepan in 1/2-inch of boiling water, cover with lid and cook for five minutes. Drain. Place cooked cauliflower in a bowl and mash using a potato masher. Remove the stems and scoop out the caps of mushrooms. Chop stems for later use. Combine yogurt, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, bran flakes, bell peppers, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Stir in cauliflower and ½ cup of the reserved chopped mushroom stems. Stuff the cauliflower mixture into the hollowed mushroom caps. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis:
45 calories; 1.5 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 200 mg sodium; 5 g carbohydrate; 1 g sugars; 4 g protein