While the holiday season may be a time of carefree indulgence for some, it can also be a time of distress for those on restrictive diets, whether sugar, sodium, cholesterol or fat is at issue. This time of year can wreak havoc with a special diet. Foods that are loaded with one or all of these troublemakers appear as requisites on holiday menus and are thus omitted by the calorie conscious.
Betty Wedman, registered dietitian and member of the American Diabetic Assn., has authored a new "Holiday Cookbook" (Prentice Hall: $14.95) with these people in mind. Her book is designed for those who want to enjoy the holidays but fear the items that are part of the festivities. It is also ideal for today's health watchers who want to slenderize some of the holiday season's most popular pleasures.
"People with diabetes need not be deprived of the pleasures that holiday cooking can bring," Wedman says in her book. "If you or a member of your family has diabetes, you may need to control calories, strictly limit sugar and reduce salt, fat and cholesterol in your diet. But you can still enjoy traditional holiday meals without abandoning the basics of good nutrition or prudent meal planning."
Overall, the book is a good reference for persons interested in slim holiday cooking. In addition to providing information about types of diabetes and the newly revised exchange lists for persons on diets of this type, it offers a section on basic nutrition--the principles of which can be applied to everyone in the family.
Wedman lists the seven basic nutritional guidelines designed by the federal government: eat a variety of foods; adjust calorie intake and exercise for proper weight; limit fats and consumption of high-fat foods; increase intake of unrefined carbohydrates and limit intake of refined carbohydrates; increase consumption of fiber-rich foods; reduce intake of sodium, and use alcohol sparingly, if at all. She also gives guidelines for diabetics on how they can make substitutions in their holiday menu plan, and she stresses moderation.
"Holiday eating does require some self-discipline. . . . Don't be fooled into thinking that you can consume large quantities of these foods just because they are low in sugar and fat. One or two cookies can be incorporated into a meal plan as a special treat. Four cookies or an extra piece of pie can wreak havoc with your diabetes control . . . carefully plan your day's meals to include some holiday treats," she said.
The second chapter of the book focuses on adjusting favorite recipes such as cookies, muffins and pancakes to meet the needs of the diabetic patient. Wedman explains that reducing the salt or omitting it completely is the least noticeable change in recipes that can be made. She provides examples of how recipes can be modified to prepare with less sugar and less fat and she offers a standard recipe for each for you to make your own comparison.
The meal-planning section offers menu suggestions and provides the food exchanges the menus might include. One menu option, for example, includes two appetizers--salmon dip with celery sticks and potato hors d'oeuvre--three ounces roast turkey, sweet potatoes a l'orange, Brussels sprouts with walnuts and, for dessert, a pumpkin bran muffin.
There are recipes for Christmas stollen, fruitcake, low-calorie eggnog and pecan-corn bread stuffing. Each recipe contains nutritional information, including calorie, carbohydrate, protein, fat, sodium, potassium and cholesterol counts per serving. There are meal plans for vegetarians and meals tailored for Jewish holidays. An entire chapter is devoted to recipes that use up turkey leftovers. HOT WASSAIL 1 quart unsweetened apple juice 3 cups unsweetened pineapple juice 2 cups cranberry juice cocktail 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 stick cinnamon 3 whole cloves 2 lemons, thinly sliced Combine apple and pineapple juices, cranberry juice cocktail, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves in large kettle and simmer 10 minutes. Serve hot with lemon slice in each serving. Makes 18 (1/2-cup) servings.
PER SERVING: 69 calories; 0 gm protein; 17 gm carbohydrate; 0 gm fat; 1 mg sodium; 132 mg potassium. USRDA Protein 01% Riboflavin 01% Vitamin A 00% Niacin 01% Vitamin C 22% Calcium 01% Thiamine 02% Iron 03% WHOLE-WHEAT PECAN ROLLS 1 package dry yeast 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees) 1/3 cup skim milk 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons oil 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, about 1/4 cup raisins 1 tablespoon margarine 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons honey 1/4 cup chopped pecans Soften yeast in warm water in large bowl. Add milk, sugar, salt and 4 tablespoons oil. Stir to blend. Add flours and raisins and beat well. (May add up to 1/4 cup more whole-wheat flour to make stiff dough.)
Transfer dough to lightly floured board and knead 2 to 3 minutes. Place dough in bowl oiled with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, cover with damp towel and let rise in warm place 40 minutes or until doubled.
Remove to lightly floured surface and roll into 16x6-inch rectangle. Spread with margarine and sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up dough.
Spread honey and nuts evenly over bottom of oiled 9-inch square pan and cut dough into 1-inch slices. Place each slice in pan. Let rise 20 minutes or until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees 20 to 25 minutes. Turn out of pan upside down. Makes 16 servings.
Note: Nutrient data is based on 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour.
PER SERVING: 146 calories; 3 gm protein; 20 gm carbohydrate; 7 gm fat; 80 mg sodium; 99 mg potassium. USRDA Protein 05% Riboflavin 05% Vitamin A 01% Niacin 06% Vitamin C 00% Calcium 02% Thiamine 10% Iron 05%