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Sharp Health News

Diabetic-friendly meals come home for the holidays

Dec. 8, 2015

Diabetic Thanksgiving

During the holidays, managing blood sugar levels can be a struggle when constantly surrounded by sugary, high-carbohydrate snacks and desserts. While there are no specific foods you should or should not eat, it is important to know that eating foods high in carbohydrates raises blood sugar.

Those diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes face even greater challenges during the holiday season and must constantly be aware of what they are eating in order to manage their blood sugar levels.

“To help fit in those sweet treats during the season, cut back on less-nutritious ‘empty calorie’ carbohydrates like white rice or pasta and instead replace them with healthy carbohydrates like fresh fruit, yogurt or quinoa,” says Lynne’ Schatzlein, a registered dietitian at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. “The key is to balance carbs, activity and insulin to get blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. That way, you can fit in the occasional holiday treat.”

Manage your blood sugar levels by incorporating these healthy, diabetic-friendly recipes to your Thanksgiving menu, courtesy of the American Diabetes Association’s Recipes for Healthy Living.

Spaghetti Squash with Pine Nuts
Pasta who? This take on a classic helps curb those high-carb cravings.

Ingredients
1 medium (about 2 pounds) spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 large shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons freshly grated Romano cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes or until tender.

While your squash is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, shallot and garlic, and sauté for 4 minutes. Add in the pine nuts and cook for 2 minutes until the pine nuts are lightly browned. Set aside.

When the squash is cooked, turn over squash to cut side up. With a pasta rake or large spoon, scoop the flesh from the squash shell. The flesh will come out like strands of spaghetti. Add the squash to a large serving bowl and rake through the strands to keep them separated.

Add in the pine nut mixture, cheese, sage, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the serving bowl. Toss well and serve.

Mini Pumpkin Tarts
Move aside, pumpkin pie!

Ingredients
30 vanilla wafer cookies
8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup Splenda® sugar blend
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line mini-muffin pan with paper baking cups and place one vanilla wafer in the bottom of each cup. In medium bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix with an electric mixture until smooth. Fill each muffin cup with pumpkin-cream cheese mixture. Place muffin pan in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until done. Serve cool.

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