Five Seasonal Drinks to Avoid

Ph. D., Health Writer

Beverages can be sneakily high in sugar and calories and seasonal drinks are some of the worst offenders. This holiday season, do your best to avoid the following in order to help keep your diabetes in check.

1. Eggnog

Even though eggnog is a holiday tradition, it is not something that you want to drink. In just one cup, eggnog can have over 340 calories and 20 grams of fat. If eggnog is something you cannot resist this time of year, consider making it yourself using skim milk instead of heavy cream.

2. Pumpkin Spice Lattes

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You may be tempted to think that since pumpkin is a veggie this drink is good for you. It is not. At most coffee houses, these drinks come in at about 500 calories and 50 grams of sugar (and some do not even have real pumpkin in them). If you want a pumpkin drink for the holidays, try a pumpkin smoothie made with one cup of real pumpkin, a frozen banana, a dash of pumpkin pie spice and a dash of vanilla.

Related: Pumpkin Protein Smoothie Recipe** 3. “Signature” Hot Chocolates**

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Some coffee houses have a “house” hot chocolate featured for the holidays. Unfortunately, this simple drink can come in at around 600 calories and be made from whole milk, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup along with other hidden sugars. Try instead to order a “skinny” latte or hot coffee with cocoa powder added.

4. Rum Punch

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Just from the name, it is obvious that this drink should be avoided. Alcohol is notorious for adding empty calories and most punches are sugary syrups disguised as fruit. You would do better by ordering a cocktail that is made with 100% juice and no sugary syrup.

6. Caramel Anything

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Even though caramel can conjure up thoughts of happy children, it should be avoided if you have diabetes. Caramel is a confectionary made from a variety of sugars. The “caramelization” is the removal of the water from the sugar, leaving just the sugar. Caramel sauce is made from that process and then the addition of cream. Even though real caramel requires sugar, there are plenty of recipes that allow you to make a sugar free caramel substitute.

Thoughtful decisions and simple substitutions can make your holiday season both healthy and happy!

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