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Plan your Hanukkah treats and make healthy swaps

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Jewish people with diabetes should plan when they will be eating traditional foods during Hanukkah, but even donuts and latkes can be enjoyed in moderation.

Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, runs from the evening of Sunday 6 December to the evening of Monday 14 December and is typically celebrated with oil-based food.

Douglas Twenefour, senior clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, said: “Hanukkah poses a challenge for people with diabetes, but you don’t have to deny yourself traditional festive foods. Moderation is key. After all, whether you have diabetes or not, eight days of deep-fried donuts and latkes is not a healthy option.

"The key is to plan, watch your portions and be aware of how a treat may affect your diabetes management. Plan when you will be having them during Hanukkah and fit them around eating healthier recipes and snacks.

Baked latkes and soured cream replacements

“There are some easy swaps you can make too. It is easy to bake latkes rather than frying them. Instead of soured cream, try 0% Greek yoghurt or reduced fat fromage frais.

“Traditional Hanukkah foods are all about oil, but if you have to use oil in cooking remember that not all fats are the same. It is preferable to use unsaturated fats like olive, rapeseed or sunflower oil than products with more saturated fat like butter, ghee and lard. 

"The other important thing to remember is to stay active, as this will help you to manage your blood glucose levels. One or two high blood glucose readings should not affect your long-term diabetes control, but people should aim to avoid persistently high readings.”

For more information speak to your healthcare professional or call theDiabetes UK Carelineon 0345 123 2399, or visit ourEnjoy Food pages.

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