10 Christmas Meals for Better BGL Control – Type 1 Diabetes

Christmas meals become the focal point of celebration as the holiday season brings along a lot of flavors and culinary delights. However, navigating this culinary landscape can present special challenges for those who are managing type 1 diabetes. 

To refute the myth that people with T1D can’t enjoy the holiday spread, we’ve carefully created 10 Christmas meals to support blood glucose control. The goal is to show that festive joy and health can coexist harmoniously on the Christmas table.

10 Diabetes-Friendly Christmas Dishes to Try This Year

To reduce blood sugar spikes, people with T1D should prioritize nutrient-dense, low-glycemic foods at every meal. 

These recipes, which range from fiber-filled sides to protein-rich main courses and delicious desserts, offer a pleasing combination of flavors while controlling blood glucose levels. 

Note that the nutritional information of each recipe may change according to portion size and actual ingredients used.

1. Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

Ingredients

  • Boneless turkey breast – 2 piece
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp
  • Dried thyme, rosemary, and sage – 1 tsp of each
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Season turkey with salt, pepper, herbs, and olive oil.
  2. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes at 375°f (190°c).

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 180 kcal
  • Protein: 25g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 8g

2. Grilled Lemon Garlic Shrimp Skewers

Ingredients

  • Shrimp, peeled and deveined – 1 cup 
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp
  • Lemon juice & zest – 2 tbsp
  • Garlic, minced – 1 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Toss the shrimp, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper together.
  2. Get the shrimp into skewers and grill each skewer for 4–5 minutes on each side.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 150 kcal
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fat: 7g

3. Spinach and Cranberry Salad

Ingredients

  • Fresh baby spinach – 6 cups
  • Dried cranberries – 1/2 cup
  • Feta cheese, crumbled – 1/4 cup
  • Red onion, thinly sliced – 1/4 cup
  • Walnuts, chopped -1/4 cup
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp
  • Balsamic vinegar – 1 tbsp
  • Dijon mustard – 1 tsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and put aside.
  2. Add sliced red onion, chopped walnuts, crumbled feta cheese, dried cranberries, and fresh baby spinach to a big bowl.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and gently toss to evenly coat the ingredients.
  4. Serve the salad right away after plating it.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 200 Kcal
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Fat: 14g
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4. Salmon and Avocado Salad

Ingredients

  • Salmon filets – 4
  • Mixed salad greens – 4 cups
  • Avocado, sliced – 1
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp
  • Lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Grill the salmon.
  2. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper with salad greens.
  3. Serve with avocado slices and grilled salmon on top.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 250 kcal
  • Protein: 25g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Fat: 20g

5. Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

  • Large Sweet Potatoes, Peeled & Cut – 2
  • Olive Oil – 2 Tbsp
  • Paprika – 1 Tsp
  • Garlic Powder – 1/2 Tsp
  • Onion Powder – 1/2 Tsp
  • Cumin – 1/2 Tsp
  • Salt And Pepper to Taste

Preparation

  1. Set a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into fries.
  3. Mix the olive oil, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder and salt and pepper with the sweet potato fries in a big bowl. Make sure the fries have a uniform coating.
  4. On the prepared baking sheet, arrange the seasoned sweet potato fries in a single layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the fries are crisp and golden brown.
  5. Before serving, take them out of the oven and allow them to cool slightly.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories:  180 Kcal
  • Protein: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Fat: 6g

6. Vegetarian Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients

  • Medium zucchini – 4
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp
  • Garlic, minced – 3 cloves
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved – 1 cup
  • Baby spinach – 1 cup
  • Grated parmesan cheese – 1/4 cup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes (optional, for added spice)

Preparation

  1. Using a spiralizer, slice the zucchini into noodles and put aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the minced garlic. Cook for a minute or two.
  3. Add the zucchini noodles to the pan. Stir and cook for one to two minutes.
  4. Add the cherry tomatoes and baby spinach to the pan and cook for a further one to two minutes. 
  5. Add some salt and pepper and some extra spice by sprinkling on some red pepper flakes, if you’d like, and mix everything together.
  6. Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese and toss.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 120 kcal
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fat: 7g

7. Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken

Ingredients

  • Mixed salad greens – 2 cups
  • Cucumber, sliced – 1
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved – 1 cup
  • Feta cheese, crumbled – 1/2 cup
  • Grilled chicken breasts, sliced – 2
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  • Oregano – 1 tsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Combine feta, tomatoes, cucumber, and salad greens.
  2. Grill the chicken and add on top of the greens.
  3. Add a drizzle of lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 250 Kcal
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fat: 15g

8. Baked Apples with Cinnamon

Ingredients

  • Medium-sized apples – 4
  • Unsalted butter, melted – 2 tbsp
  • Maple syrup – 2 tbsp
  • Ground cinnamon – 1 tsp
  • Chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans, optional) – 1/4 cup

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Wash the apples and make a hole in the middle with an apple corer, if you have one. If not, the core can be carefully removed with a knife.
  3. Melt butter, maple syrup, and ground cinnamon in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
  4. Put the cored apples in a baking dish and brush the cinnamon mixture on the apples. 
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top of the apples if you’d like.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 200 Kcal
  • Protein: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fat: 8g

9. Eggplant Lasagna

Ingredients

  • Large eggplant, sliced – 1
  • Ricotta cheese – 2 cup
  • Tomato sauce (low sugar) – 1 cup
  • Shredded mozzarella – 1 cup
  • Fresh basil, salt, and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Bake or grill slices of eggplant until they are soft.
  2. Arrange mozzarella, tomato sauce, ricotta, and eggplant in layers.
  3. Bake for thirty minutes at 375°F (190°C).

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 150 Kcal
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fat: 18g

10. Gingerbread Spiced Plum Cake

Ingredients

  • Almond Flour – 1 Cup
  • Coconut Flour – 1/2 Cup
  • Flaxseed Meal – 1/4 Cup
  • Unsweetened Applesauce – 1/2 Cup
  • Olive Oil – 1/4 Cup
  • Eggs – 3
  • Baking Powder – 1 Tsp
  • Baking Soda – 1/2 Tsp
  • Ground Cinnamon – 1 Tsp
  • Ground Nutmeg – 1/2 Tsp
  • Ground Ginger – 1./2 Tsp
  • Ground Cloves – 1/4 Tsp
  • Salt – 1/4 Tsp
  • Chopped Dried Plums (Unsweetened) – 1/2 Cup
  • Brandy Or Unsweetened Apple Juice – 1/4 Cup

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven temperature to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Soak the chopped dried plums in brandy or unsweetened apple juice in a small bowl and put aside.
  3. Combine almond flour, coconut flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and ground cinnamon in a big bowl with some salt.
  4. Mix the eggs, olive oil, and applesauce thoroughly in a separate bowl.
  5. To create a smooth batter, gradually combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  6. Stir in soaked dried plums and chopped walnuts, if using.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the ready-made cake pan.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Let the cake cool and serve.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 180 Kcal
  • Protein: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fat: 14g

Final Thoughts

Making smart food choices is essential to managing type 1 diabetes over the holidays. To promote slower absorption of carbohydrates and more stable blood sugar levels, a festive plate should feature a balance of lean proteins, fiber-rich vegetables, and whole grains.

Controlling portion sizes is also essential to avoid consuming too many carbohydrates. People can maintain energy levels and promote overall metabolic health by choosing complex carbs and including healthy fats. 

Desserts high in sugar should be avoided or consumed in moderation. Instead, natural sweeteners or sugar substitutes should be used. 

Just keep in mind that regular monitoring and consistent portion control are crucial habits for a healthier festive season.

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