Diabetic Holidays

The Holidays…Food nightmare, right? It does not have to be! No matter if you have diabetes or not, there are ways to prevent those extra pounds from packing on this holiday season. Despite the large feasts that may be prepared, it is not advised to skip meals to “save room for the feast.” Here are more tips to get you through:

  1. Make sure you continue to consume small meals prior to the feast to continue to maintain blood sugar control.
  2. Limit calorie-dense/sugar-containing beverages as much as possible.  Choose water, unsweetened tea, or sugar-free beverages instead.
  3. If you cannot live without your holiday eggnog, choose low-fat or fat-free eggnog and limit to one small glass. As for other alcoholic beverages, limit to 1 serving.
  4. Prior to the meal, set up a vegetable platter with low fat dip to indulge in; this will provide a satisfying, healthy snack prior to the meal.
  5. As for the meal, portion sizes are key!  If you are one that enjoys trying a little of everything, go ahead and do so, but remember to only take a small portion (aim for the size of a golf ball, depending on how many dishes are available). 

There are many different ways to cut calories during the meal:

Meats: Limit glazed portion of meats; limit gravy topping

Sides/Desserts: If able, use low-fat ingredients if you are preparing the dish. If sugar is used in the ingredients, replace with a sugar substitute, such as Splenda to lower carbohydrate and calorie content

The holidays are a time to enjoy one another’s company and celebrate- stop and enjoy this time and the food along the way. Eat slowly, while enjoying the company of loved ones. By following these simple tips, you can truly have a healthy holiday season!   

By Shelley Carlson, MS, RD, LD

American Diabetes Association website. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/holiday-meal-planning/. Accessed November 15, 2012.

Centers for Disease Control website. http://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesmanagement/. Accessed November 15, 2012

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