Healthhealthy foods

Healthy holiday meals that won’t affect your blood sugar

Healthy holiday meals that won’t affect your blood sugar

The holidays are approaching, and you are probably thinking about how to please your loved ones with a wonderful festive table at the same time and at the same time not harm their health. This is especially important if you or your loved ones have problems with blood sugar levels, because some traditional festive dishes can cause it to rise sharply and thereby spoil the impression of the celebration.

Let me share some of my favorite holiday meal recipes that are low in artificial sugars, formulated with the latest science on macronutrients, fiber, glycemic index, and glycemic load to help keep insulin levels stable after a holiday meal.

Why is blood sugar important
If you or your loved ones are having a hard time keeping your blood sugar levels stable, you may conclude that any sugar is bad, including fruit sugars and vegetable starches, but that simply isn’t true! Not all sugars are bad. To make it clearer, let’s look at some of the basic mechanisms of human biology and dietary principles. And then on to the recipes!

Cells run on sugar
If cells are deprived of glucose, they will not be able to generate the energy necessary for more than 500 biochemical reactions that constantly occur in the body. As a result, symptoms of hypoglycemia and loss of energy may develop: fatigue, confusion, weakness, trembling, and even emotional symptoms such as sadness and irritability. Let’s just say it’s not good!

The examples above show that sugar is essential for survival and wellness. Why is it necessary to control its level in the blood? Hormones (insulin, leptin, ghrelin and others)

Hormones, Habits, and Their Link to Unhealthy Blood Sugar
With insulin resistance or its insufficient production by the body (respectively, diabetes of the second and first types), the cells receive less sugar even if they consume enough of it daily. Without insulin, cells cannot absorb glucose from the blood, which is why a person experiences symptoms of hypoglycemia even with a normal diet. So it’s not so much the sugar that’s the problem, it’s the insulin.

Insulin is a hormone. Its production and effectiveness may decrease over time due to certain diseases and lifestyle. Type 1 diabetes is incurable. In this case, continuous insulin intake is required. Later in this article, we will look at lifestyle and dietary changes that can help with normal or elevated insulin production.

If you have any type of diabetes, check with your GP, endocrinologist, or other doctors before making any major dietary changes. If your doctor has told you that you have high blood sugar and you want to fix it, the recipes and ideas below can help.

The most important thing is the glycemic index and glycemic load
Did you know about the secret indicator that allows you to eat sugar and starch without a serious impact on blood sugar levels? The glycemic index measures the relative effect of a food on blood sugar compared to glucose.

The meals and snacks below are mostly made up of low glycemic foods, which will allow you to fill up without raising your blood sugar!

Healthy holiday meals that won’t affect your blood sugar
Healthy snacks: fried vegetables
But it’s not uncommon for people to focus on the main course and forget to prepare these appetizers. Try silicone baking mats for no oil frying at all.

Try the following food combinations as snacks. As soon as they are on the table, they are usually immediately snapped up:

Brussels sprouts and bacon slices;
carrots fried with thyme and/or fennel;
potatoes fried in Italian herbs (usually include oregano, thyme and basil);
corn fried with hot red pepper;
asparagus fried with garlic and lemon.
Small snacks, crunches, snack board
Many people like to serve small snacks, crunches and a snack board before the main course. Thanks to this, guests can pay attention to relatively healthy snacks while waiting for the main course and have a pleasant conversation not on an empty stomach. The snack board usually includes low glycemic foods:

fresh vegetables;
meat cutting;
fried peppers with pickled vegetables, such as onions or garlic;
bean and lentil sauces.
I always advise putting these foods on the board first and adding fresh (not dried) fruit. At the same time, dairy products, crackers, cheeses and spreads should be avoided, as they are very high in calories and increase blood sugar levels. For some, it comes as a surprise that dairy products can increase blood sugar levels. This is true – according to studies, cow’s milk can increase insulin levels more than cane sugar, and therefore it has a higher glycemic index. That is why some of my friends with sugar problems limit their consumption of dairy products or completely refuse them.

Meat and vegetables
All of these recipes are great for those who love meat and want to keep their blood sugar under control during the holidays. Meat itself has a low glycemic index. It may increase with the addition of bread, toppings or sauces containing carbohydrates and sugar. This is why I advise adding vegetables when you grill or pan fry meat. This way you can keep the sugar content of the dish low.

Healthy desserts
Cinnamon Sweet Potato Puree: This easy-to-make meal contains just five grams of sugar and 14 grams of net carbs per serving. Just wash 4-5 small potatoes and bake them in the oven. Make some holes for air to escape. Do not peel potatoes to preserve fiber and nutrients. I usually bake them at 230ºC for about 45 minutes. If you find the dish not sweet enough, you can add a calorie-free sweetener to taste, such as stevia. Serve hot or cold. The dish is always a success at parties, it is enough for 8-10 people.

Chia Seed Coconut Pudding: Chia seed puddings are a great choice if you’re looking for a delicious dessert that’s rich in nutrients rather than sugar. The main ingredients are versatile: a few tablespoons of chia seeds, one to two cups of alternative milk, some stevia and fruit. You can add vanilla, cocoa powder, cinnamon and other ingredients to give the dish the desired taste (the base itself does not have a pronounced taste). You can even add a dash of peppermint to cocoa-flavoured pudding for a flavor similar to chocolate chip mint ice cream—but without the sugar.

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