During this festive time of year many of us find it hard to resist all the delicious food that is in front of us while at work, at home and at social gatherings throughout the holidays. These situations can be very challenging for those with diabetes. Below you will find some useful information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how diabetics can enjoy the celebrations and stay healthy.
The following is from CDC.gov:
Having diabetes shouldn’t stop you from enjoying holiday celebrations and travel. With some planning and a little work, you can stay healthy on the road and at holiday gatherings with friends and family.
The most important step in managing diabetes during holiday travel and festivities is preparing. Know what you’ll be eating, how to enjoy a few traditional favorites while sticking with a healthy meal plan, and how to pack necessary supplies for a trip, and you’re all set to celebrate!
Feasts and Parties
Before you go, take these steps to make sure you stick to your healthy meal plan.
- Eat a healthy snack to avoid overeating at the party.
- Ask what food will be served, so you can see how it fits into your meal plan.
- Bring a nutritious snack or dish for yourself and others.
You don’t have to give up all of your holiday favorites if you make healthy choices and limit portion sizes. At a party or holiday gathering, follow these tips to avoid overeating and to choose healthy foods.
- If you’re at a buffet, fix your plate and move to another room away from the food, if possible.
- Choose smaller portions.
- Choose low-calorie drinks such as sparkling water, unsweetened tea or diet beverages. If you select an alcoholic beverage, limit it to one drink a day for women, two for men, and drink only with a meal.
- Watch out for heavy holiday favorites such as hams coated with a honey glaze, turkey swimming in gravy and side dishes loaded with butter, sour cream, cheese or mayonnaise. Instead, choose turkey without gravy and trim off the skin, or other lean meats.
- Look for side dishes and vegetables that are light on butter, dressing and other extra fats and sugars, such as marshmallows or fried vegetable toppings.
- Watch the salt. Some holiday favorites are made with prepared foods high in sodium. Choose fresh or frozen vegetables that are low in sodium.
- Select fruit instead of pies, cakes and other desserts high in fat, cholesterol and sugar.
- Focus on friends, family and activities instead of food. Take a walk after a meal, or join in the dancing at a party.
Traveling for the Holidays
Leaving home to visit friends and family means changing routines. Make sure you remember to take care of your diabetes while traveling. Check blood glucose (sugar) more often than usual, because a changing schedule can affect levels.
Remember Your Medication
- Pack twice the amount of diabetes supplies you expect to need, in case of travel delays.
- Keep snacks, glucose gel, or tablets with you in case your blood glucose drops. (continue reading…)