Easy guide to entertaining with low GI food on the menu
Entertaining during this festive season? Why not surprise your guests this Christmas with a healthy platter full of special festive treats that everyone can share, irrespective of whether they’re counting their carbs or their calories?
By making a conscious choice to replace traditional sugary treats or preservative-laden snacks with a menu that includes healthy, low glycaemic index (low GI) food, you’ll be giving your guests food that helps them to feel fuller for longer – perfect for keeping that tendency to overindulge in check.
For your family and friends with diabetes, taking a low GI approach will help control their blood glucose levels and provide a positive social experience – a welcome change to the negative judgement research suggests some people with diabetes receive when it comes to their food choices.
In this article, we wanted to share ways you can have your cake and eat it too – so to speak. Here’s your easy guide to entertaining with healthy and delicious Christmas treats everyone can enjoy – irrespective of their health or dietary focus.
Get into the spirit of sharing healthier food
‘Tis the season for eating. If you’re planning to throw a party (or two), what will you be serving? Do you start out with grand ideas of preparing healthier treats – and end up resorting to unhealthy options as time becomes the enemy in the lead-up to Christmas?
We know there are lots of reasons to eat well all-year-round. However, surviving the festive season without sidelining your healthy eating habits is no mean feat! Take the lead this Christmas by creating healthy share platters to remember. It’s not as hard as you think.
By getting into the spirit of entertaining with healthier share food, it’s a chance to change-up family food traditions and introduce some new and delicious signature dishes to your repertoire – food that is as good as it tastes. Better still, your loved ones will leave your get-togethers feeling great, not guilty.
Why put low GI foods on the menu?
About 1.7 million Australians have diabetes – one of the fastest-growing chronic health conditions in Australia. The glycaemic index (GI) is a useful guide to help choose foods that help to control blood glucose levels in people living with diabetes. A low GI food has a GI of 55 or less. Keep this in mind when you’re catering for family and friends living with diabetes. Low GI foods also stop you from feeling as hungry, which is helpful if you’re keen to beat the bulge at Christmas.
Low GI foods are those that are digested slowly. High GI foods, for example potatoes and white bread, cause your blood glucose to peak quickly – and crash shortly after. When you swap high GI for low GI foods, it benefits your health and appetite control.
According to Nutrition Australia
, healthy, low GI food choices, include:
- Milk and dairy foods. Choose low or reduced-fat varieties
- Bread. Choose wholegrain, fruit loaf and sourdough
- Breakfast cereals. Choose traditional porridge, natural muesli and high-fibre options
- Pasta and noodles. All varieties
- Some varieties of rice. ‘Basmati’ and ‘Doongara’ varieties are moderate to low GI
- Grains. Choose barley, bulgur and semolina
- Legumes. Choose beans (eg baked beans, kidney beans, soy beans), peas and lentils
- Fruit. Choose apples, oranges, pears, peaches, grapes, kiwi fruit, bananas and plums
- Vegetables. Most vegetables have low levels of carbohydrate and therefore have little effect on your blood glucose levels. Orange sweet potato, yams and sweet corn are the lower GI choices.
Delicious and healthy Christmas treats to share
Ready to give it a go? Banish the belief that healthy food is bland and boring with these delicious and healthy share food ideas to impress your family and friends this Christmas.
#1. No-bake sweet treats
Who said healthy share food has to be complicated to prepare? Nothing says share platter more than a fuss-free, no-bake sweet treat. It’s the ideal finger food for every occasion – they’re easy to eat and won’t make a mess. We’ve all had traditional rum balls at Christmas. Get the party started with a healthier option this festive season. Bursting with flavour and goodness, give this nutritious Apricot and Chocolate Balls recipe a try.
#2. Super simple slices
Everybody loves a slice. It’s perfectly portable and looks amazing on a beautiful Christmas platter. Break out of your slice-making comfort zone this festive season with a Healthier White Christmas slice. It brings together just the right combination of sweetness and crunch that young and young-at-heart will be sneaking in seconds!
#3. Craving savoury
We’ve all been there – getting too carried away in conversation to eat enough good food. Most of us crave bite-size savoury finger food to keep us going at social functions. These Spinach, Sweet Potato and Sun-dried Tomato Muffins are a great share food because they’re cost-effective, colourful and easy to plate. They’re also a great contrast to the sweet treats on the menu.
Have we convinced you to celebrate with healthier Christmas treats this festive season? Tell us about your favourite show stopping share recipes in the comments section, below, or over at our Facebook page.
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