Holiday Tips for Diabetics to Bring Joy and Good Health

Good company and indulgent food options readily available around the holidays can make those with diabetes vulnerable to serious health problems.

This season of holiday celebrations is a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends, but let’s be honest: it’s often also a time for overindulgence in less-than-healthy meals. With a wide range of fatty, rich, and sugary special treats to pick from at every turn, it’s hard to follow a nutritious diet, which can bring about serious health problems for people with diabetes.

These diabetic diet guidelines, however, can help those with diabetes remain safe during the holiday season without feeling deprived of special treats. Make sure to consult with a physician for his or her approval on any meal choices that stray from an approved nutrition plan, and then try these holiday tips for diabetics:

  • Determine your top picks. Consider choices during a holiday meal, and select your favorite two carbs to enjoy. For example, figure out if you’d prefer to have dressing or bread, or choose between sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes, as opposed to indulging in all of the food choices.
  • Provide your own. When attending a holiday get-together at someone’s house, check with the host concerning accommodation of your dietary restrictions so you know what to expect, and offer to bring a healthy dish to share, such as a tray of vegetables and fruits or a sugarless dessert.
  • Have a snack first. Enjoying a healthy snack in advance of the holiday meal will help keep blood sugar levels consistent and aid in reducing the urge to go overboard. Healthy snack options for individuals with diabetes include nuts, veggies with hummus, celery and peanut butter, cottage or string cheese, or an egg.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking a glass of water before sitting down to the meal will help give a sense of fullness, reducing the chance that you’ll be tempted to overindulge. 
  • Remain physically active. After a heavy meal, resist the urge to settle into the recliner and watch television or snooze; instead, offer to help with cleaning up the kitchen, play a lively game with the kids, or take a walk in the cooler fall air. 

If you find that you overate or made less-than-healthy choices, be kind and forgiving to yourself. Bear in mind that tomorrow is a new day to pick up healthy behaviors again. Pay attention to your blood sugar to make sure levels stay in a healthy range and to reduce the risk for a serious complication, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, which could lead to a hospitalization and would most definitely put a damper on the holiday festivities.

Contact the home care professionals at Dakota Home Care to learn more about effective strategies to help manage a diabetic diet, for assistance with preparing nutritious meals, providing medication reminders and support to engage in exercise programs, and much more! A compassionate at-home caregiver from Dakota Home Care is available to assist you throughout the holiday season and beyond. You can reach us at (877) 691-0015 to request a free in-home consultation and to learn more about our home care services. Visit our website to see the North Dakota metropolitan areas we serve.

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