The holiday season is a time to eat, drink, and be merry. However, the abundance of fat-, sugar-, and sodium-laden tasty treats on every party table presents a serious health pitfall for diabetics. People with diabetes cannot afford to take risks with their health management and thus must plan their holiday diet accordingly.
For diabetics, making a meal plan ahead of time may be the best way to avoid overindulging during the holidays. For example, showing up hungry to a party where fat and frosting are the two main food groups may make choosing the vegetable tray that much harder. Eating a healthy meal full of protein and good fats before heading out to any celebration will make it easier to say no, or at least limit portions of goodies ill-fitted to a diabetic diet.
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Another way for diabetics to manage the holiday splurge is to modify food consumption on the day of a gathering. This way a dessert item, an appetizer or two, or even smaller portions of a full-course meal are less likely to have a negative effect on blood glucose levels. Remember to eat treats slowly and mingle away from the food table to avoid further temptation.
Bring a healthy dish to the party that can be shared. Not only will it be diabetes-friendly, it will offer a healthy option to other partygoers who may also be watching their diets. Diabetes Self-Management recommends lightening up holiday favorites
with substitutions for sugar and fat that still maintain taste.
For diabetics, monitoring blood glucose levels is critical to managing their disease. During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, schedules change, meal times change, and stress levels often go up. "Taking your blood glucose levels on a regular schedule can help you stay on track by giving you important information on how your body is processing the carbohydrates you eat during the holidays," advises Michigan State University
Although it may not make the buffet table less appealing, the American Diabetes Association reminds diabetics
"the holidays are a time to slow down and catch up with your loved ones. Focus on friends and family, not food. Play games, volunteer, or spend time outdoors enjoying the weather together." ADA also recommends exercising caution when it comes to alcohol, which is full of calories and carbohydrates.
This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.
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