by Grace Rivers, RDN, CDCES
This holiday season, sink your teeth into some of the delightful foods that nature has made available with the season change. They provide different textures, bright colors, crunch, and an array of flavors.
These antioxidant-filled foods fit nicely into a healthy eating pattern for diabetes to keep your immune system strong and help you enjoy the season.
Delightful foods worth including
- Pecans deliver magnesium, potassium, fiber, healthy fats, and manganese for only 4 grams of carbs an ounce. A gentle crunch contributes a seasonal flair as a topping on sweet potatoes or in a salad. When it’s cold out, roast a few and take delight in the warmth and aroma that heating them brings.
- A ruby red pomegranate is rich in potassium and fiber. Claims are that it protects and treats medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes. However, the National Institutes of Health would like more substantial studies to support these contentions.
In the meantime, you can experience the flavor. Be mindful. Like many other fruit juices four ounces contain 16 grams of carbs and negligible fiber. Take pleasure in a half-cup of arils (the seeds with the juicy red sacs) for crunch and 3.5 grams of fiber and 16 carb grams. You can eat them alone, in a salad or with yogurt.
- Pears are versatile, with many different varieties available. Serve them hot or cold. Pears go well with oatmeal or oat bran for a warm breakfast or snack. Or you might like them with your favorite cheese or thinly sliced on a sandwich.
A medium pear provides nearly 6 grams of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.
- Acorn and butternut squash enhances a meal while contributing iron, magnesium, potassium, fiber, calcium, and vitamins A and C. Either of these squash pair well with pork loin and a few fresh cranberries sprinkled in while cooking. Onion and pumpkin seeds also complement the squash flavors.
- Cranberries jazz up a dish and offer fiber and vitamin C. Dried cranberries are available all year long, but the fresh ones are only around for a few months. Revel in a handful if you long for tartness. Of course, they make a delectable sauce too, and you may like them added to an apple that you are baking.
These foods are winners, but no one food is a cure-all. Following a healthy eating pattern while practicing other good health care rituals contributes to our overall well-being.
Other nutrition-related tips for the holiday season
Staying well hydrated and avoiding meal skipping protects you from dehydration, low blood sugar, and overeating. Include plenty of water to quench your thirst and prevent dehydration from the cold outside air and central heating inside. Keep snacks handy for tempting moments and to prevent overeating.