The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with family and friends, but let’s be realistic: it’s often also a time for overindulgence in unhealthy eating. With numerous rich, fatty, and sugary delicacies to choose from at every turn, it’s difficult to stick to a healthy diet, which can result in major health concerns for individuals with diabetes.
These tips, however, can help diabetics remain safe during the holidays while avoiding feeling deprived of enjoyable treats. Be sure to first consult with the physician for his or her approval on any meal choices that stray from an approved nutrition plan.
- Pick your top choices. Consider choices during a holiday meal, and select your two favorite carbs to enjoy. For instance, decide if you’d like to have dressing or rolls, or choose between mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, rather than indulging in all of the selections.
- Bring your own. When attending a holiday get-together at someone’s home, speak with the host concerning your dietary limitations, and offer to bring a healthy dish to share, such as a tray of vegetables or a sugar-free dessert.
- Snack first. Enjoying a healthy snack prior to the holiday meal will help keep blood sugar levels steady and aid in avoiding the temptation to go overboard. Ideal snack choices for those with diabetes include nuts, vegetables with hummus, celery with peanut butter, string or cottage cheese, or an egg.
- Hydrate. Having a cup of water before sitting down to the meal will help give a sensation of fullness, making it unlikely that you’ll be tempted to overindulge.
- Stay active. After a heavy meal, overcome the urge to settle into the recliner and watch TV or fall asleep; instead, provide help with cleaning up the kitchen, play an active game with the kids, or take a walk in the brisk fall air.
If despite these pointers you end up bingeing or making unhealthy meal choices, be kind and forgiving to yourself. Keep in mind that tomorrow is a new day to reinstate healthy habits again. Keep a close eye on your blood sugar to ensure levels stay in the ideal range and to avoid the potential for a serious problem, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, which could trigger a hospitalization and definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit.
Reach out to the top providers of home care in Lincoln, CA and the surrounding areas at Live Well at Home to learn more diabetic-friendly tips, for help fixing nutritious meals, providing medication reminders and motivation to engage in physical activity 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 800-478-1209 to request a free in-home consultation!