Dietitian's Dish: Surviving the holidays with diabetes
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By Loretta CordesThe holiday season is fast approaching, and all the preparation begins. There are always plenty of things to get done. The thoughts that come to mind are what presents to buy and what to prepare for the holiday meals.
As the holiday activities and parties are being planned, stress can become a problem as the list of to-dos becomes longer and longer.
The holiday season can be especially challenging if you have diabetes. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with managing your diabetes during this busy time of year. You can get through the holidays successfully with some planning.
Here are some tips on how to get through the holidays:
Keep your meals consistent and balanced with protein, carbohydrate (starch, fruit, milk or yogurt) and vegetables.
Eat every three to four hours.
Scan the buffet table, and see what is offered. Go for the vegetables first and then meat and carbohydrates. Keep portion sizes for desserts small. Do not allow the buffet to put portion control to the test.
Spread carbohydrates throughout the day. Do not fill your plate with large portions of carbohydrates, such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and bread, all at the same meal. Eating large amounts of carbohydrates at one meal can raise your blood sugar. For example try limiting yourself to 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes and 1/4 cup of stuffing. Do not forget to add protein and vegetables to complete your meal.
Avoid going to a party hungry. Have a small snack before you go, so you do not allow yourself to get so hungry that you end up making bad choices.
Bring a healthy dish to the party, such as a salad or fresh fruit tray.
Be smart about the alcoholic beverages you drink. Talk to your physician about alcohol consumption. If you have an alcoholic beverage, then make your next choice a diet soda or water. Realize that drinks, such as margaritas and pina coladas, are loaded with sugar and calories. Eggnog is also high in fat, sugar and calories. Try soy eggnog as an alternative.
Remember to exercise and monitor your blood sugar. Exercise can help manage blood sugar and keep you from gaining weight.
Have a safe, healthy holiday season.
Loretta Cordes is a registered and licensed dietitian with a Master's of Science Degree in Human Sciences, and she is a certified diabetes educator. Send questions or comments to email@example.com.