You already know it’s important to watch what you eat to help keep your blood sugar under control. And you do a pretty good job making smart food choices most of the time. But when you’re staring down a selection of delectable desserts, or get invited to a holiday party where carbs dominate the dinner table, then what? Keep these six tips for healthy eating in mind to enjoy the holidays.
1. Enjoy Time with Family and Friends
Food is at the center of many holiday gatherings. But the real reason you show up is the chance to catch-up, visit, and spend time with family and friends. Go ahead a have a bite to eat while you’re there, but don’t make food the focus.
2. Practice Portion Control
Do your best to treat the holiday meal like any other day. Pay attention to the amount of food you eat. Watch out for foods high in carbohydrates like breads, pizza, pasta, and potatoes. If you do decide to eat dessert, plan ahead and eat fewer carbs at dinner. And pay attention to portion sizes. When you’re eating out, or go to a party hungry, it’s easy eat more than you really need to. Our Diabetic-Friendly Meals can help, because they’re all low in sodium and carbohydrates.
3. Bring a Healthy Dish
Got an invite to a holiday party with an assignment to bring a dish? A pot-luck-style party is pretty popular during the holidays. Don’t worry too much about what others will bring. Just bring a dish you like, and one that won’t cause a spike in blood sugar. Check out the selection of Diabetic-Friendly Meals.
4. Avoid or Limit Alcohol
If you drink alcohol and have diabetes, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, if you drink on an empty stomach, it can cause your blood sugar level to drop. The solution: eat something before you drink. Second, alcoholic drinks are high in calories. Many are also high in sugar and carbs like mixed drinks made with alcohol and soda, juice, or margarita mix. Find out if a sugar-free option is available. And if you do plan to drink, health experts recommend no more than one drink per day for women, and no more than two drinks per day for men. Another option, avoid alcohol all together and drink water instead.
5. Make Time for Exercise
A great way to combat eating excess calories during the holidays is regular exercise. It’s a good way to keep your weight in check, burn calories and fat, and help control blood sugar levels. You don’t have to run a marathon, but aiming to get 30 to 60 minutes a day of exercise can help. Take walk. Ride a bike. Or use the treadmill you got for Christmas last year.
6. Get Back on Track
If you eat more than you should at a party, it’s no reason to give up on eating healthy to control your diabetes. Just get back on track. Plan your meals ahead of time for a week or more. When you’re pressed for time, or don’t want to cook during the holidays, just pick out your favorite dishes from our Diabetic-Friendly Meals.