It’s been a challenging year, but the upcoming holidays spent with family and friends are a great reminder that we have a lot to be thankful for. With American Diabetes Month® upon us and the holiday frenzy fast approaching, it’s time to think smart, healthy and simple without completely sacrificing the holiday comfort foods we know and love. Let the goodness of blueberries add sweetness to your festivities and a pop of vibrant color to your family favorites, all while keeping your blood sugar in check!
Get the Scoop
The CDC estimates that 34.2 million Americans (10.5% of the U.S. population) have diabetes and 88 million people aged 18+ years have prediabetes (34.5% of the U.S. adult population; “National Diabetes Statistics Report,” 2020). According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, prediabetes typically occurs in people who already have some insulin resistance or whose pancreatic beta cells aren’t making enough insulin to keep blood glucose within a normal range (“Insulin Resistance & Prediabetes,” 2018).
As a result, cellular uptake of glucose is impaired and blood glucose levels become abnormally high. Insulin resistance is commonly seen in obese individuals and can lead to type 2 or adult-onset diabetes, the most common form of diabetes in the United States, which continues to rise at a rapid rate (“National Diabetes Statistics Report,” 2020).
Love the Benefits of Blue
Though miniature in size, blueberries pack bold and delicious taste, making them infinitely snackable between holiday meals and a refreshing, sweet addition to seasonal salads, charcuterie boards and traditional family desserts.
Blueberries are super-versatile, and pair well with a variety of savory and sweet dishes. Besides washing, they require zero preparation, which makes them an ideal snack – especially for guests who are known as the family “munchers.”
Blueberries are nutrient-rich and a good source of Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Not only can dietary fiber help you feel full between meals, but it can also help keep you “regular” during this festive time when eating is more sporadic and unpredictable.
What the Science Says
Recent research shows that men with type 2 diabetes who consumed the equivalent of one cup of blueberries per day demonstrated lower HgbA1c values compared to those who did not consume blueberries (Stote, 2020). While these results apply specifically to men with type 2 diabetes, and don’t extend to the general population, they are promising. Additional research is needed to examine the effects of blueberry consumption in people with type 2 diabetes.
Wow Your Holiday Crew with Blue!
Living with diabetes doesn’t mean you need to avoid your holiday favorites. Impress your family and friends (and yourself!) and get inspired with these blueberry recipes that are sure to make the “traditional spread” in years to come:
- Charcuterie Board with Blueberry Almond Butter
- Pork Tenderloin with Blueberry Compote
- Blueberry Brie Tartlets
- Blueberry, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Flatbread
- Blueberry Ginger Cocktail