“The holidays should be a fun time and not a time to stress over what decisions to make to manage your diabetes,” said Lucille Hughes, Catholic Health Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist. “From treats at your office or meals with family and friends—many opportunities exist to overindulge. Use the following tips to enjoy the holiday season without undoing your efforts to keep your diabetes in check.”
Tip 1: Time your meals
Eat your breakfast or snacks earlier in the day before a holiday gathering. Do not skip meals! Skipping meals makes it harder to manage your blood sugar.
Tip 2: Limit starchy foods
If your holiday meals have multiple carbohydrate-heavy options like potato or pasta dishes, bread, and crackers, choose one or eat a small amount of several. Use a smaller plate for dinner and place vegetables or salad on it first.
Tip 3: Eat vegetables and fruits
Raw, grilled or steamed fruits and vegetables are the healthiest options. Avoid foods made with cream, butter, syrup or gravy. Eat fresh fruit in moderation.
Tip 4: Avoid sugary drinks
Choose water, seltzer, tea and coffee without sugar. If you drink alcohol, remember to eat something first to prevent low blood glucose levels later. Limit yourself to one drink for women and two drinks for men. Never drink and drive.
Tip 5: Choose healthier snacks
If you work in an office, bring healthy snacks from home to resist holiday treats left in the breakroom.
Tip 6: Make food to share
Making a diabetic-friendly snack, appetizer or dessert for a holiday gathering—or diabetic-friendly treats for the office—assures you have healthier options and can share with friends, family and co-workers.
Tip 7: Socialize instead of graze
Standing near where food is served makes it harder to resist. Instead, find a place away from the food and socialize with friends and family.
Tip 8: Remember to exercise
Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels. Consider working out earlier in the day. Or, after your meal, take a walk with family and friends. You can also ask your co-workers to walk with you at lunchtime.
Tip 9: Do not feel bad if you overindulge
Holidays are a time when it is easy to overindulge. If you eat more food than usual, including foods you do not normally eat, like sweets or carbs, you can get back on track the next day with healthier options and exercise.
Tip 10: Talk to your diabetes care and education specialist
“Talking to a specialist can help you plan for the holiday season in advance,” said Hughes. “You can make good decisions while still enjoying yourself.”
Find Care at Catholic Health
Diabetes Education Centers at Catholic Health hospitals and locations across Long Island offer personalized care for managing diabetes. Call 855-908-8989 to find a location near you. View our diabetes services.
Call 866-MY-LI-DOC (866-695-4362) to find a Catholic Health physician near you.
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