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Healthy holiday eating for people with diabetes
The holiday season offers plenty of perils to healthy eating, especially for people with diabetes. Here are some tips to help you stick to your healthy meal plan:
- Plan ahead. If you’re headed to a party or restaurant, it’s a good idea to check what’s on the menu so you can decide what you will eat ahead of time and plan the rest of your day accordingly. Don’t skip meals to allow yourself to save up for a feast. You’ll be more likely to overeat, and it will be harder to control your blood sugar.
- Stay active. Make physical activity a priority throughout the busy holiday season to help reduce stress and stave off the effects of eating more than your usual amount of food.
- Be smart at the buffet. Use a small plate to control your portions, and only visit the buffet table one time. Start with vegetable appetizers to help fill you up. Eat slowly and savor your food to allow your brain time to signal when you are full.
- Get enough sleep. A busy holiday schedule may cause you to get less sleep than usual. Sleep deprivation can make it more difficult to regulate your blood sugar, and make you more likely to indulge in high-fat foods. Try to get eight hours of sleep each night.
- Lighten up your favorites. Try swapping ingredients or using alternate cooking techniques to transform your favorite traditional foods into healthy holiday dishes.
- Keep your portions small. If you can’t help wanting to try all of the food options available to you, try taking just a small “taste” of each to prevent yourself from overindulging.
- Watch your alcohol intake. Alcohol can lower blood sugar. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Sip water before you eat, and wait until after your meal to enjoy an alcoholic beverage.
“CDC Features.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Nov. 2016, www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesmanagement/index.html.
“Planning Ahead.” American Diabetes Association, 11 July 2014, www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/holiday-meal-planning/planning-ahead.html.