Managing diabetes during the holidays can be hard, especially since many American holiday traditions revolve around food. If you have holiday meals with your friends and family coming up, here are a few tips to help you manage your diabetes while still having fun.
- Plan ahead. If you’re eating in a restaurant, try to find a menu online and pick out your entrée ahead of time. This will also help you stick to healthier food options.
- Carry healthy snacks. Unsure about what time your big holiday meal will be? Pack some snacks like nuts, veggies, or low-fat yogurt to tide you over until the meal. This helps keep your blood sugar levels stable while encouraging you to make better food choices once you get around to eating.
- Stay healthy. Keep your immune system healthy by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, taking vitamins and probiotics, staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and washing your hands frequently if you’re in public or around sick people. Blood sugar levels tend to fluctuate if you get sick, so staying healthy is key.
- Load up on veggies. Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, carrots, green beans, and cauliflower are a great way to fill up without spiking your blood sugar later. These vegetables take longer to digest, so you’ll stay full longer, too.
- Drink in moderation. Alcohol can spike your blood sugar and make you have extreme lows later on, so it’s best to go easy on alcohol while you’re celebrating. Stick to liquors with sugar-free mixers and dry white wines.
- Check your blood sugar frequently. If you plan on eating extra during your holiday gatherings, check your blood sugar more frequently than you normally do. This will help you decide if you need to adjust your medication to make up for the extra calories.
- Take a walk. If you do indulge in big holiday meals, taking a short walk afterwards can lower your blood sugar almost immediately and make you more sensitive to insulin.
Having diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying holiday meals. Just be sure to be smart about it, plan ahead, and listen to your body so you get the most out of your holidays.