I have spoken to many patients, and every one of them was concerned about eating healthy over the holiday season. Here are some tips and ideas so you can literally “have your cake and eat it too.”

 What if you don’t bake?

One way to get healthy treats is a bakery in Sandy Springs that makes low-to no-carb treats! Yes, that means no sugar! They also ship. Zambawango


If you DO bake (or have a baker in your house):

It always helps me to make a plan before any large holiday meal. I decide what I will eat and what to do about the snacks and desserts that may be available. If I’m doing the cooking, I don’t have to worry! But that is not always the case if someone else is supplying the food. If you want to bake this holiday season, I want to give you some tips on using excellent sugar substitutes that make your baked goods taste just as good as usual, but with much less sugar and carbohydrate content. It is easy to cook with sugar substitutes and get rid of that unhealthy refined white sugar. Here are my all-time favorite sugar substitutes to use in your holiday cookies, cakes, pies, and other goodies.

Monk Baking with no sugar Fruit:

You can cook with this cup for cup. I cannot tell (and neither can my family and friends) that this is not real sugar. What is monk fruit? It is a small green melon found in Southeast Asia. It is entirely natural and has been around for decades but has recently become more popular. It contains zero calories, zero sugar and is extracted from the juice of the fruit. It is very sweet, sometimes 100-250 times sweeter than table sugar. Often you can find this fruit in blends with erythritol (an alcohol sugar) to reduce the intensity. If you have a sensitivity to erythritol, use the granulated version of monk fruit. Monk Fruit on Amazon Link

Swerve: Swerve

Swerve is another sweetener that can be used cup for cup just like sugar. It is an erythritol blend and does not contain calories or raise blood sugar. Swerve on Amazon Link Stevia is a fabulous sugar substitute for sweetening food and drinks, but it isn’t very useful for baking. All three of these are safe for people with diabetes. Honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, sucanat, or other natural sweeteners still contain many calories and carbohydrates. Even though these sugars are more in their natural state and contain nutrients like trace minerals, they still raise your blood sugar and negatively affect the immune system. Use monk fruit or swerve for the best cooking and baking results. One of my favorite things is to take a favorite recipe and change it into something that is healthier but tastes as close or exactly like the recipe I am altering. Food is fun, and I enjoy baking during the holidays. I do not, however, enjoy feeling bad after eating holiday sugar. I do not enjoy gaining pounds that I have to get off again! Make a plan: switch out refined sugar for something more healthy and feel good about your cooking and what you are creating for yourself and your friends and family! NOTE: Substituting monk fruit will certainly reduce the sugar, but if you are cooking with flour, you still have the refined carbs that turn to sugar quickly, affecting your blood sugar. For those of you who are gluten sensitive, make sure to use a gluten-free flour mix. I have found many keto recipes that make fabulous chocolate cakes, cheesecakes, and cookies for cooking low-carb. Know what you can eat and have fun making some new holiday favorites.

 Below I have included some helpful websites for baking with substitute sugar sources:

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