Dilemmas for Diabetic Patients during the Holidays

The irony of the moment is that November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Or was it genius planning? One thing is for sure; November has many temptations and treats. Coming on the heels of Halloween, there is Thanksgiving followed closely by Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve and Day. With all these holidays, there is sure to be lots of parties and eating. Since diabetes and food choices are closely related, it is important to consider what you are eating during all these holidays. Let’s take a look at some tips for eating healthier and better for your diabetic lifestyle.

A major risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes is obesity and being overweight. Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and there are another 79 million are pre-diabetic. With that high number, it’s important to watch your eating during the holiday season. Holiday eating can cause many issues with blood sugar for your diabetic system.

Ensure that each bite is important: For parties with buffets, look at the whole buffet and find items that you want to eat. Keep your portion sizes small of those sugary foods and try to eat those “special occasion” foods that you cannot get every day. You do not have to eat everything on the buffet, just your favorites and proper portions on those items.

Focus on the fun not the food: It is important to remember why you are celebrating the holidays. It’s not all about food, it’s about family and friends and just enjoying your special time with them. Take that fun out and share it with others. Go to shelters and offer your help. Take food to people in need.

Healthy for all: If you are the host of a party for a diabetic individual and want to ensure they eat healthy. But it’s important for everyone to eat healthy during the year and during the holiday. Ensure that you serve plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits along with lean meats and food with whole grains. Studies show that overeating can be a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. So if your plate is nicely balanced with half veggies, one quarter lean protein and one quarter whole grains.

Serve lighter: It is hard to expect you to avoid all the holiday treats, so make some of your favorite desserts healthier with lighter substitutes. You can use applesauce as a healthier alternative for some ingredients. Or you can use Splenda, Truvia, Sweet n Low, Purevia, or Sugar Twin. Another idea is to use egg substitute or egg whites.

The holiday season is closely connected to many temptations that are high calorie and high sugar content. Take these tips with you during the holiday season to various parties and buffets. Eat the items that you can’t get all year round but control your portions. If you are hosting a party, make sure there are plenty of healthy foods for people to eat. It’s important to control your eating during the holiday season so your blood sugar is also in control.

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