This season of holiday celebrations is an excellent opportunity to spend time with family and close friends, but let’s be honest: it’s often also a time for overindulgence in less-than-healthy meals. With a multitude of rich, fatty, and sugary special treats to pick from at every turn, it’s difficult to stick to a healthy diet, which can result in serious health problems for individuals with diabetes. So, what is the key to managing diabetes during the holidays?
Follow these diabetic diet suggestions to help yourself or a loved one with diabetes remain safe for the duration of the holiday season without being deprived of special treats. Be sure to first talk with the physician for his or her approval on any meal choices that digress from an approved meal plan.
- Determine your preferences. Consider choices during a holiday meal, and choose your top two carbs to enjoy. For example, determine if you would prefer to have stuffing or bread, or pick between mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, rather than indulging in all of the options.
- Provide your own. When going to a holiday gathering at someone’s residence, check with the host about your nutritional limitations, and offer to bring a nutritious dish to share, like a tray of vegetables and fruits or a sugarless dessert.
- Have a healthy snack first. Eating a healthy snack prior to the holiday meal will help with keeping blood sugar levels consistent and aid in steering clear of the urge to go overboard. Healthy snack choices for people with diabetes include nuts, veggies and hummus, celery and peanut butter, cottage or string cheese, or an egg.
- Stay hydrated. Having a glass of water prior to sitting down to the meal will help give a feeling of fullness, reducing the chance that you’ll be inclined to overindulge.
- Stay physically active. Following a heavy meal, defy the urge to sink into the recliner and watch TV or nap; instead, provide help with cleaning up the kitchen, play a lively game with the children, or go for a walk in the crisp fall air.
If despite these strategies you end up overeating or making less-than-healthy selections, be kind and forgiving to yourself. Keep in mind that tomorrow is a new day to pick up healthy choices again. Pay attention to your blood sugar to be sure levels stay in the right range and to prevent the potential for a serious complication, like diabetic ketoacidosis, which could cause a hospitalization and most definitely put a damper on the holiday festivities.
Contact the aging care professionals at Effraim Home Care to learn more diabetic diet friendly suggestions, for assistance with preparing healthy meals, providing medication reminders and support to engage in exercise programs, and much more! Our home and respite care in Horsham and the nearby areas is available throughout the holiday season and beyond to help seniors live their best possible lives. Contact us at (215) 826-7422 to arrange for a free in-home consultation today!