The holiday season is approaching. For those living with diabetes, holiday meals can complicate an already careful diet regimen. If you’re looking for ways to help stay on track with your dietary and health goals, here are five tips that may help you navigate the holiday season without feeling as if you’re missing out:
1. Be aware of hidden sugars: It’s no secret pies and cakes include sugar, but so do some side dishes at the holiday table. Cranberry sauce, stuffing/dressing and sweet potato casserole are high in carbohydrates, which turn into sugar. If these items can’t be substituted, eating a limited portion will help keep your blood sugar in check while allowing you to participate in holiday traditions.
2. Maintain portion control: It can be easy to overindulge during the holidays, especially in the company of friends and family. Choose healthier appetizer options such as fresh vegetables before the main meal. Fix your own plate and say “no” to seconds to help keep your blood sugar within a manageable range.
3. Eat your veggies: While the Thanksgiving table is filled with starches, no table is complete without vegetables to round out the meal. Fill your plate with colorful, fiber-rich vegetables like green beans, Brussels sprouts, squash and salad. Filling up on these healthy hunger busters will help ease the craving for starchy carbohydrates.
4. Keep your blood glucose in check: Since foods served during the holidays are more indulgent, it’s important to be diligent about using your glucose monitor to keep track of your level. If on medication to help manage your sugar, take it accordingly.
5. Focus on togetherness: While holidays are usually associated with special foods, focusing on the nonfood aspects of a holiday can help direct your attention to healthier activities. Have a plan to play games or get outside and enjoy being together.