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Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Appetizers and Snacks

Brooke Marsal, MS, RD
3
September 2, 2021

If you have diabetes, it can be tricky to manage the holidays. Celebrations are usually filled with carbohydrate-rich foods and more frequent drinking that can easily throw your blood sugar out of whack. This holiday season may cause more fluctuations between high and low blood sugar than you would like.

By following some simple tips, you can reduce fluctuations in blood sugar and still enjoy your favorite treats for the holiday season!

Alcohol and Blood Sugar

Alcohol’s effect on blood sugar can vary depending on what you are drinking. It is important to make sure that you check your blood sugar more frequently than normal during a night of drinking. Some sugary drinks can send your blood sugar skyrocketing, while most other alcohol will cause your blood sugar levels to drop. That is why you must have healthy diabetes-friendly snacks available for munching on throughout the night.

Here is a list of some quick easy snacks and treats that can help keep blood sugar levels stable.

Roasted and Salted Nuts or Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a wonderful diabetes-friendly snack. They are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats and low in carbohydrates. For a fun holiday treat, you can roast pumpkin or squash seeds with olive oil and salt. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium and zinc. Magnesium assists with blood glucose control while zinc is a powerful ally to the immune system. Here is a quick easy recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds.

Crostini

Crostini is a wonderful lower-carb appetizer choice to help control blood sugar levels while drinking. The key to keeping blood sugar levels stable while enjoying alcohol is to take your insulin or medications as usual and to eat small amounts of carbohydrate consistently throughout the night. 2 small slices of crostini will provide you with about 15 grams of carbohydrate, the recommended amount to keep blood sugar levels stable. Try this goat cheese crostini recipe.

Veggies and Bean Dip

Bean dips are a great food choice for blood sugar control. Beans are high in fiber, which slows the rate at which the carbohydrates in the beans are absorbed. They also contain a nice balance of carbs and protein. Another advantage of bean dips is that they are made with heart-healthy fats such as olive oil and tahini. These fats can help regulate cholesterol levels and further slow down the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed, leading to better blood sugar control. Try pairing the bean dip with veggies to avoid unnecessary carbohydrates and get an extra bite of nutrients.

Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a great diabetes-friendly holiday appetizer. Although they don’t contain any carbohydrates (which are important to make sure your blood sugar doesn’t drop too low), the healthy protein and fat help slow the absorption of any other carbs you might be eating along with your eggs. Just make sure that deviled eggs aren’t the only thing you snack on throughout the evening by eating some form of carbs as well.

The holidays are a time of celebration, which means enjoying your favorite foods and drinks with the ones you love. Following these tips will help you keep your blood sugars stable while having fun!