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Hosting Diabetes or Heart Disease for the Holidays

Even if you don’t have diabetes or heart disease, chances are you will have a loved one or family member at your home for the holidays who does.  As a good host, you can make simple accommodations to ensure that everyone has a happy, healthy holiday. Start new traditions by modifying old-standbys to make them healthier.


  • Serve healthy appetizers like raw veggies and house-toasted pita points with hummus. 

Main Dishes

  • Try roasted sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato casserole.
  • Replace green bean casserole with different green vegetables like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or broccolini. 
  • Make a vegetable-laden stuffing recipe that incorporates onions, celery, carrots and walnuts.
  • Choose healthier cooking methods such as roasting, broiling or grilling for your meats.  Avoid frying or adding extra fat during cooking.
  • Do not add salt or sugar while cooking. Instead allow guests to add these at the table.


  • Offer a mixed fruit salad or baked apples for dessert to reduce fat and sugar consumption.  Pumpkin pie is another healthier dessert option and there are many recipes online for sugarless pumpkin pies.

Unfortunately, diabetes and heart disease do not take holidays.  Your body, your family and your loved ones will thank you for offering healthier options on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even the Fourth of July for that matter.

Amy Saccoccia, RD, is a diabetes educator with WakeMed Adult Diabetes.  WakeMed Adult Diabetes offers classes to diabetics and prediabetics manage their disease.