With some preparation and effort, persons with diabetes can stay healthy while still enjoying eating during the holidays.
Lynn Leo, a certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian at DeKalb Medical, suggests incorporating activity into your holiday traditions:
park across the parking lot at the mall while you are out shopping
take stairs instead of the escalator
go for a walk with family members after meals to check out the neighborhood’s decorated houses.
Activity will burn the sugar you have consumed. Leo encourages 20 minutes of daily activity regardless of the time of year.
Throughout the day of a gathering that will feature a “big” meal, be sure to drink plenty of water and eat normally. Spreading consumption throughout the day means when it comes time for that “big” meal, you will not be as hungry and overeat. If you are hosting a gathering, be sure to include plenty of vegetables on the menu.
If you are attending, ask what food will be served to determine how it fits your meal plan. Half of your meal plate should include vegetables like green beans or salad, a quarter should be for meat and another quarter for starches such as potatoes, stuffing, rice or a roll.
Leo suggests choosing foods that you know you are only going to eat at this time of year. For example, if macaroni and cheese is an option, then pass on it and instead try something like a spoonful of cranberry sauce.
Choose low-calorie drinks such as sparkling water, unsweetened tea, diet beverages or water. Limit alcohol intake and always have food when drinking an alcoholic beverage.
Dessert such as pies, cakes, cookies and treats are the biggest temptations. If you are hosting, then limit the treats you bake or are brought into your residence. Sometimes, though, we just can not resist sugar, and so Leo offers an alternative.
Use less dough, butter and sugar in recipes — only bake a bottom crust for that apple pie. When eating, scrape most of the frosting off of that piece of cake, do not add toppings and eat from a small plate to limit portion size.