Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | November 16, 2012

Diabetics Nutritional Navigation System for the Holidays

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and it is also usually filled with holiday gatherings, feasts, and leftovers! You might ask yourself why the American Diabetes Association didn’t pick May or June; but what better time to encourage healthy food choices, when you are spending more time around food!

With the help of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, we have put together a guide to help steer you and your blood sugar in the right direction; while still enjoying the season!

Heading Out:

– Kick off your day right with breakfast or snacks, and avoid the idea of saving those carbs for the feast later. Skipping meals makes it harder to manage your blood sugar.

-Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butter rolls; oh my! Map out your plate, and limit the number of servings of starchy foods.  While it might be tempting to pile up all of them, try to choose just one of the items or take just a few bites of each.

-Pure, raw, goodness. Choose your fruits and veggies served raw, grilled or steamed. Vegetables in creamy sauces, gravies or butter are NOT our friend.

Drinking Responsibly with Diabetes:

-Drink it in…as long as it’s calorie-free! When headed to the cooler, go for a water, tea, seltzer, or diet soda instead of punch or mixed drinks.

-If you choose to drink alcohol (and are of age), limit the amount and have it with food. However, you should talk with your dietician beforehand to determine if alcohol is safe for you.

After Your Meal:

-Take a walk with your family, and friends! It’s a great way to keep you moving, and give you a break away from the food! Exercise is also a great way to lower blood sugar levels.


If you overindulged, don’t beat yourself up! If you ate more carbs or food than planned, don’t consider it a failure. Just re-write your map to get you back on track!

Hmmmm, it seems like we forgot something…


Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the best last part of the meal! What better way to ensure that you have a diabetes-friendly-dessert option than to make it yourself? With our delicious “Inside Out Pumpkin Pie” recipe, you can indulge; and we won’t even tell your family and friends that it’s a no-bake-recipe!

Inside Out Pumpkin Pie recipe

Nutritional Information

Serving Size 1/8
Calories 152
Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 2 mg
Sodium 85 mg
Carbohydrates 32.1 g
Fiber 1.7 g
Protein 5.4 g

Serves 8.

Ingredients Measures
Water ¼ cup
Evaporated skim milk 2 cups, divided
Canned pumpkin puree 1 (15-oz) can
Ground ginger ½ tsp.
Cloves 1/8 tsp.
Unflavored gelatin 2 (1-oz.) envelopes
Splenda brown sugar blend ¾ cup
Cinnamon 1 tsp.
Nutmeg ¼ tsp.
Vanilla extract 1 tsp.


1.      Spray a 9-inch pie dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2.      In a large bowl, sprinkle gelatin in water. Let stand for 5 minutes.

3.      Pour 1 cup of non-fat evaporated milk into a small saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Remove from heat and whisk into gelatin. Don’t worry if gelatin has hardened, the hot milk will liquefy it.

4.      Stir in remaining cup of evaporated milk, brown sugar blend, canned pumpkin, spices and vanilla extract. Stir until well blended.

5.      Pour pumpkin pie mixture into pie plate. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Adapted from Low Fat Cooking

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