Diabetic Christmas Holiday Eating Tips
The mere mention of Christmas sends shudders down the spines of diabetic working hard to manage their diabetes. Christmas functions can be intimidating for someone who has done so well throughout the year to control their blood sugar level. Good preparation and planning ahead can help avoid many of the pitfalls and reduce the stress involved with Christmas.
A good way for diabetic to go through Christmas holiday without any complications is to plan ahead. Think about what you’ll be doing and where you’ll be going to eat and drink, and check out the options beforehand. Here is some diabetic Christmas tips that might come in handy for you.
- Serve food on a smaller plate – it will look full with less food
- Clear the table as soon as everyone has finished eating rather than being tempted by leftovers
- Try something different – how about a BBQ rather than a full roast meal?
- Use herbs and spices to flavor food rather than fat or oil
- Nibbles before a meal aren't necessary. However, if you do serve them, put them out when you need them rather than having them sit out all day to tempt you and others.
Tips To Eating Out
If eating out, choose a restaurant or café that serves a good variety of healthy options. You can also:
- Ask for your salad with dressing served on the side, so that you can control the amount you put on
- Ask for your coffee to be made with trim milk
- Eat slowly - allow time to enjoy the taste of your food.
- Never swap alcohol for food
- Don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach
- Drink artificially sweetened drinks such as diet lemonade
- When drinking spirits, have them with water, diet drinks or soda water
- When drinking beer, choose a low alcohol, ‘lite’, or low calorie variety
- Try a shandy – beer with diet lemonade – as an alternative.
Tips On Christmas Treats
Christmas treats are one of the hardest to resist during Christmas. Christmas pudding, Christmas fruit cakes, pudding, pie and other sweet temptations can test those with the strongest of resolve!
The general advice for a healthy balanced diet is that it’s best to limit treats and high fat takeaways to no more than once a fortnight.
During the Christmas and New Year period, eating more sweets could result in higher blood glucose levels as well as you gaining some extra weight.
A good thing to remember during the festive season is to check your blood glucose level before you decide to have a treat. If your blood sugar is already high, delay eating something sweet. You may also find that a sweet treat eaten with a meal in place of a dessert won’t upset your blood glucose levels too much.
The most effective way to avoid unhealthy treat is to enjoy some healthy Christmas treats with your family and friends. Try these:
- Raw fruit platter
- Fruit kebabs
- Fruit loaf
- Wholegrain bread, fresh or toasted
- Low fat, high fibre crackers
- Popcorn - made without added butter
- Club sandwiches
- Raw vegetable sticks served with salsa or yoghurt dip. See recipes for dips ...
Christmas is a great chance for some extra physical activity
With the best of intentions, the excitement of Christmas can cause stress. Physical activity can help to manage this:
- Have a game of cricket with the family
- Go for a walk along the beach
- Take a ball to the park
- Give Christmas presents with physical activity in mind such as a ball, cricket set, volley ball net, paddling pool or new golf clubs.
Don’t despair and Enjoy Your Christmas Holidays
In the stress of Christmas, remember to take your medication as directed and continue with your physical activity routine.
If you do overeat, remember it is only one day. Jump back to your healthy eating habits the following day.
During your holidays, remember to keep active. Balance your eating, reading and relaxing time with a good walk or other activity each day to get the blood pumping.
If you don’t quite manage to follow through with your good intentions for healthy eating and being active, don’t be fooled by going on a fad diet after Christmas.
Here’s to a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year!
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