If ever there was a holiday that you might look upon with mixed feelings, it’s Thanksgiving. One the one hand, it can be a truly wonderful holiday, with lots of family and friends. But, let’s face it, if you have diabetes there’s nothing that can so thoroughly ruin your glucose control as a table crammed with all that fabulous food—especially holiday desserts!
So, it’s important to approach your Thanksgiving meal with a positive attitude–and to play a role in your food options. Your diabetes diagnosis does not mean that you can’t enjoy some of your favorite holiday foods and successfully manage your blood sugar at the same time. Start by checking out our Tips for Enjoying Thanksgiving with Diabetes (http://www.joslin.org/info/enjoying_thanksgiving_with_diabetes.html)
And while you can’t eat an entire pecan pie, you can healthy and delicious Thanksgiving dessert alternatives.
The best place to start, if you can, is in the kitchen. Using some of the popular sugar alternatives are a great way to make small changes to your Thanksgiving dessert recipes that can make significant impacts on managing your blood sugar.
- Aspartame (Equal): 200 times as sweet as sugar. No effect on blood glucose levels.
- Sucralose (Splenda): 600 times as sweet as sugar. Contains about 1 g carb per packet or teaspoon and could affect blood glucose levels if you consume a large quantity at one time.
- Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low): 300-500 times as sweet as sugar. No effect on blood glucose levels.
- Acesulfame potassium (Sunett or Sweet One): 300 times as sweet as sugar. No effect on blood glucose levels.
Artificial sweeteners each have an acceptable daily intake (ADI). This can help a person determine how much of each sweetener to consume. One of Joslin’s nutrition diabetes educators, Gillian Arathuzik, R.N., L.D.N., C.D.E. recommends using either Aspartame or Sucralose depending on a person’s taste preference, but still using each in moderation.
Happy holidays and we hope everyone has plenty to be thankful for this year.
Photo Credit: AlyssssylA