National Diabetes Month: Eating Healthy During The Holidays

Eating healthy during the Holidays can be done!

The Holiday season is right around the corner and what comes with the Holidays? …Food. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and is the perfect time to start practicing healthy holiday eating strategies, especially if you have diabetes. You don’t want the holiday spirit to take over your body (and your blood sugar level) for that month and a half stretch between Thanksgiving and the New Years. 

Eating during the holiday with diabetes can be challenging. What foods should you avoid or eat less? How will the foods you eat affect your blood sugar level? Enjoy all the typical menu items of a Holiday dinner. Just plan accordingly and understand the importance of balance. Here are some tips to help stay festive and healthy without being stressed over every nibble.

Think ahead. Try to anticipate the kind of food that you’ll encounter at a party or dinner. For instance, if you know that your mom is making a favorite pie for dessert, plan your meals and medication during the day accordingly so that you can have a slice. You don’t have to deny yourself if you think ahead. If you’re really concerned that there won’t be food at a party that you can eat, consider eating a snack beforehand.

Another good alternative is to bring a dish with you that you know you can eat. In general, consider reducing sugar or using a sugar replacement in sweets and use pureed fruit as a substitute for fat in baked goods. Your host will surely appreciate the gesture, and you’ll be able to relax knowing that you won’t go hungry

Strategize. Eat before you go to dinner. That way, you’re not famished and ready to grab the first unhealthy thing you see. You can count on your favorite staples to be on the table – macaroni and cheese, stuffing, mashed potatoes, buttered rolls, all high-carb foods that will affect your sugar level. Be prepared to know what you will eat before you grab a plate. Roasted turkey breast is a great, low-fat protein.

Handle the sweets. This is where it may be a good idea to bring your own dessert. There’s bound to be holiday cookies, cupcakes and pies, goodies that may be too rich and sugary for you, even in small portions. Carry such healthy desserts as angel food cake and fruit cups to fulfill your cravings. Unsweetened cranberry sauce is also an option.

Exercise. After stuffing yourself plan to go for a walk to burn off the extra calories. In fact, fit in as much physical activity as possible during the holiday season. Make it a family activity and make it fun. Exercise helps stabilize your blood sugar level.

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