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Karen Chapman Novakofski

Professor of Nutrition

Marilyn Csernus

Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness


October-November 2018

[Open as PDF]

In This Issue
  • Diabetes - the Medical Perspective
  • Diabetes and Food
  • Recipes to Try
  • Menu Suggestions

Tips for Managing Diabetes during the Holidays

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be a distraction from your diabetes care routine. This may result in harder blood glucose management. Make a commitment to prioritize your personal diabetes care. With a little extra planning you can enjoy the taste and activities of the season while maintaining glucose control.

Tis the season for big meals and tempting treats. The following strategies can help you plan for a large holiday meal.

  1. It may be appropriate to eat a lighter breakfast and lunch, but don’t skip meals. This may make it harder to manage your blood glucose.
  2. If you over-indulge, just get back on track the next day. Don’t be too hard on yourself!
  3. Physical activity is a great way to help lower blood glucose. Take a walk after your meal. Try to stay on track with your usual physical activity. If the business of the season interferes, remember any activity is better than none.
  4. Maintain your usual blood glucose monitoring.
  5. Talk with your diabetes educator or doctor if you need help making adjustments in your insulin or carbohydrate intake.

Diabetes and Food

This is the time of year that thoughts and taste of the holidays fill our thoughts. Hosting a holiday gathering is a lot of work, but on the positive side you have more control of the menu. Keep the basics of a healthy diet in mind by planning the menu around lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid frying foods. Save the majority of recipe sampling for mealtime. Sampling food during cooking can be tempting, but may contribute to extra carbohydrate intake that can affect blood glucose. After the meal is finished, promptly put food away to keep yourself and guest from grazing.

If you are a guest rather than the host these tips can help prevent overindulgence.

  1. Take a healthy dish to the gathering to assure you have a healthy option to enjoy.
  2. Don’t allow yourself to become overly hungry. It may be wise to have a small snack prior to leaving home if the holiday meal time is in question.
  3. Glance at all the meal options and decide which foods you prefer. Enjoy a small serving of foods unique to the holiday, rather than filling up on ever day foods. Slow down and savor your favorite holiday recipes.
  4. Fill up on non-starchy vegetables and other low carb foods first.
  5. Enjoy socializing rather than sitting around the buffet table where you may be tempted to keep eating.
  6. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Your health care provider can let you know whether alcohol is safe for you. Alcohol can lower your inhibition, and a best laid plan for        healthy eating may be a lost cause after a few drinks. Alcohol can also interact with some medications and cause a delayed hypoglycemia.
  7. Remember, moderate alcohol intake is one alcoholic drink per day for women and two for men. One alcoholic beverage serving size is:
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 5 ounces of beer
  • 1 ½ ounces of distilled spirits


Recipes to Try

Roasted Turkey with Apricot Glaze

6-4 ounce servings/p>


  • 1 ½ pound turkey breast
  • Olive oil spray
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground sage
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
Apricot Glaze
  • ½ cup apricot Simply Fruit
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon country mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 350 ° F.
    2. Spray small roasting pan with cooking spray.
    3. Spray turkey breast on both sides with olive oil.
    4. Rub turkey breast with herbs, salt and pepper.
    5. Add chicken broth to roasting pan.
    6. Cover roasting pan and roast turkey breast for about 50 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 ° F.
    7. Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low.
    8. Uncover turkey breast during the last ten minutes and brush lightly with apricot glaze.
    9. Set aside the remainder of glaze to serve with turkey breast.
    10. Slice turkey breast. With a spoon drizzle apricot glaze over sliced turkey and serve remaining glaze on the side.
Nutrition Facts per serving
Calories 199
Fat 1 grams
Protein 28 grams
Calories from fat 8
Carbohydrate 18 grams
Cholesterol 74 mg
Fiber  0 grams
Sodium 463 mg
This and other recipes available at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/diabetesrecipes/intro.cfm

Beet and Orange Salad with Walnuts and Feta

4-1 1/2 cup servings


  • 4 cups mixed baby lettuce
  • 1 - 15 ounce can sliced beets
  • 1 small fresh orange, peeled, divided into segments and cut in half
  • 2 ounces low fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roasted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry blush vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Splenda
  • 1 tablespoon non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 ° Fahrenheit. Place walnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake about 8 minutes.
  2. Arrange lettuce onto 4 serving plates.
  3. Next layer beets, orange segments and feta and walnuts
  4. Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake or whisk together until ingredients are well mixed.
  5. Drizzle dressing evenly over salad.
Nutrition Facts per serving
Calories 200
Fat 14 grams
Protein 6 grams
Calories from fat 122
Carbohydrate 15 grams
Cholesterol 4 mg
Fiber 3 gram
Sodium 323 mg
This and other recipes available at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/diabetesrecipes/intro.cfm

Sample Menu


Amount/ Portion

Banana walnut muffin

1 muffin

Hard cooked egg

1 egg

Soft tub margarine

2 teaspoons

Vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt

6 ounces

Fresh blueberries

¾ cup

538 Calories; 54 Grams Carbohydrates; 3.5 Carb choices





Lentil soup

1 serving

Tangy Tuna Salad Sandwich

1 serving

Whole wheat bread (for sandwich)

2 slices

Lettuce slice

1 slice

Apple crisp

1 serving

Skim milk

1 cup

616 Calories;  69 Grams Carbohydrates; 4.5  Carb Choices




Roasted Turkey Breast with Apricot Glaze

1 serving

Beet and orange salad with walnuts and feta

1 serving

Baked potato

1 small ~ 4 ounces

Soft tub margarine

2 teaspoons

Skim milk

1 cup

613 Calories; 75 Grams Carbohydrates; 5  Carbohydrate Choices


Total: 1767 Calories,  198 Grams Carbohydrates, 13 Carb Choices


†Recipes from Recipes for Diabetes at extension.illinois.edu/diabetesrecipes/ or this newsletter

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