The holiday season is a wonderful time to enjoy time with loved ones and close friends, but let’s be realistic: it’s also a time for overindulgence in unhealthy food choices. With numerous rich, fatty, and sugary delicacies to choose from at every turn, it’s difficult to stick to a healthy diabetic diet, which can result in major health problems for individuals with diabetes.
These guidelines, however, can help diabetics remain safe through the holidays while avoiding feeling deprived of enjoyable goodies. Be sure to first consult with the physician for his or her approval on any meal decisions that stray from an approved diabetic diet plan.
- Pick your favorites. Consider options during a holiday meal, and determine your two favorite carbs to enjoy. For example, figure out if you’d like to have stuffing or rolls, or pick between mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, versus indulging in all of the choices.
- BYO. If attending a holiday gathering at someone’s home, consult with the host regarding your dietary restrictions, and offer to bring a healthy dish to share, like a tray of vegetables or a sugar-free dessert.
- Have a snack first. Enjoying a healthy snack prior to the holiday meal will help keep blood sugar levels in line and assist in reducing the temptation to go overboard. Good snack choices for diabetics include nuts, veggies with hummus, celery with peanut butter, string or cottage cheese, or an egg.
- Stay hydrated. Having a glass of water before sitting down to enjoy the meal will help give a sensation of fullness, making it less likely that you’ll be inclined to overindulge.
- Remain active. After a heavy meal, ignore the urge to settle into the recliner and watch TV shows or snooze; instead, provide help with kitchen clean-up chores, play an active game with the children, or take a walk in the brisk fall air.
If in spite of these tips you end up over-eating or making unhealthy meal selections, be kind and forgiving to yourself. Bear in mind that tomorrow is a new day to resume healthy habits again. Keep a close eye on your blood sugar to ensure levels stay in the proper range and to avoid the potential for a serious problem, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, which could lead to a hospitalization and certainly put a damper on the holiday spirit.
Contact New Horizons In-Home Care, providers of home care Eugene and the surrounding areas depend on, to learn more diabetic-friendly tips, for help preparing healthy meals, providing medication reminders and support to engage in exercise programs, and much more! We’re available throughout the holiday season and beyond to empower seniors to live their best possible lives. Call us in Eugene: 541-687-8851, Corvallis: 541-752-9059, Salem: 503-400-3000, or Florence: 541-997-8115 to request an in-home consultation today!