This season of holiday celebrations is a perfect occasion to reconnect with friends and family, but let’s face it: holiday eating with diabetes can be difficult as the holidays are often a time for overindulgence in unhealthy food choices. With so many rich, fatty, and sugary delicacies to choose from at every turn, it’s difficult to follow a healthy diet, which can result in significant health problems for those with diabetes.
These guidelines, however, can help diabetics remain safe throughout the holidays while avoiding feeling deprived of special goodies. Be sure to first contact the doctor for his or her approval on any meal decisions that stray from an approved nutrition plan.
- Pick your favorites. Review options during a holiday meal, and determine your top two carbs to enjoy. For example, decide if you’d like to have stuffing or bread, or choose between mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, as opposed to indulging in all of the options.
- Bring your own. When attending a holiday get-together at someone’s home, talk with the host concerning your dietary constraints, and offer to bring a healthy dish to share, like a tray of fruits and vegetables or a sugarless dessert.
- Snack first. Enjoying a healthy snack before the holiday meal will help keep blood sugar levels consistent and assist in averting the temptation to go overboard. Healthy snack choices for those with diabetes include nuts, vegetables with hummus, celery with peanut butter, string or cottage cheese, or an egg.
- Stay hydrated. Having a bottle of water before sitting down to the meal will help create a sense of fullness, making it unlikely that you’ll be inclined to overindulge.
- Remain active. After a heavy meal, defy the urge to settle into the recliner and watch TV or fall asleep; instead, provide help with kitchen clean-up chores, play an active game with the children, or take a walk outside.
If in spite of these techniques you end up bingeing or making unhealthy meal selections, be kind and forgiving to yourself. Remember that tomorrow is a new day to resume healthy habits again. Keep a close eye on your blood sugar to guarantee levels stay in the proper range and to avoid the potential for a serious problem, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, which could result in a hospitalization and definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit.
Reach out to the top-rated providers of elder care in San Diego at San Diego Home Caregivers to learn more diabetic-friendly tips, for assistance with preparing healthy meals, providing medication reminders and support to engage in exercise programs, and much more! We’re available to help throughout the holiday season and beyond to empower seniors to live their best possible lives. Call us at (619) 487-9000 to request a free in-home consultation today!