Delicious holiday dining with Type 2 diabetes

Planning holiday meals and snacks can be a challenge for everyone. Persons with Type 2 diabetes will need to take extra care during the holidays because healthy eating is one of the best ways to manage Type 2 diabetes. Cutting calories and getting the right combination of nutrients will help improve your health. That doesn’t mean you can never have a piece of cake or some cookies. But controlling portions and knowing when to eat desserts will help you control your diabetes.

In order to balance blood sugars it’s important to eat meals with the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Another step is to make wise choices among the foods that can help you manage your Type 2 diabetes. As an example, choose foods that are high in fiber and low in fat, salt, and sugar.

Tips on foods to eat or avoid in order to balance blood sugars:

Drink low-fat milk which has as much calcium and vitamin D as other types

Use herbs and spices (like cinnamon, thyme, or basil) to flavor food instead of salt and sugar

Eat a variety of non-starchy fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens like spinach

Choose brown rice over white rice to help avoid blood sugar spikes

Avoid foods like doughnuts, sodas, and white bread that are high in carbohydrates and can cause blood glucose levels to get too high.

It’s also smart to watch saturated fat intake when you are living with diabetes. High fat foods promote inflammation in the body for both healthy people and people with Type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that this inflammation may be more damaging for people with diabetes. Because people with diabetes have an increased risk for heart disease it is especially important. Managing Type 2 diabetes requires close attention to what you eat. If you plan your diet around foods that are good for you, a healthy diet will be much easier.

Purdue Extension Service in Floyd County offers a Dining with Diabetes Program to help you understand more about Type 2 diabetes and how to plan tasty, healthy meals, snacks and desserts. Classes begin on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the Purdue Extension Office. A registered dietitian will provide four one-hour lessons on diabetes and meal planning and a diabetic-friendly cooking school will follow each lesson. Call the Purdue Extension Office at 812-948-5470 for more information or to register.

For more information about Dining with Diabetes contact Janet Steffens, Extension Educator in Floyd County, at 812-948-5470.


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 Light Pumpkin Pie

Following is a holiday recipe from the Purdue Extension Service Dining with Diabetes class.


2 cups canned pumpkin

2 eggs or ½ cup egg substitute

3 T brown sugar

12 packets aspartame or sucralose

(Equal, Splenda)

¼ t salt (optional)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ginger

12 oz. evaporated skim milk

10 inch unbaked pie crust


Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine first 8 ingredients beginning with pumpkin and ending with evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake at 425° for 15 minutes.

Reduce oven to 350° and continue baking for another 45 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Refrigerate pie. Enjoy!


Published in the October/November issue of Southern Indiana Fitness Source

// Janet Steffens, M.ED.