Healthy Holiday Eating

The holidays: (Sing it) “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

When you have diabetes, sometimes it might not seem so wonderful. You’re surrounded by your favorite family recipes, cookies, candy and desserts. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas revolve around a “feast.” It can be hard to manage temptation and stick to your nutrition goals, but you can survive and still enjoy yourself.

It’s okay to veer a little outside of your normal routine on holidays, but it’s important to do the best you can. A typical holiday meal can add up to hundreds of carbs and thousands of calories! That can really send blood sugar soaring. Try some of these tips to help keep carbs and blood sugar under control:

  • Don’t save all your carbs for one meal. Eat breakfast and snacks throughout the day as you normally would, but in smaller amounts.
  • Limit yourself to 1-2 starches on your dinner plate. Aim for 1/2-cup servings of potatoes, stuffing and corn or take a smaller spoonful of each.
  • Skip the bread. You can eat bread any time of year!
  • Limit yourself to a small serving of a single dessert.
  • Choose fruits and vegetables to fill half your plate, preferably not ones that are in creams, gravies and butter.
  • Stick to calorie-free beverages such as water, tea and diet soda.
  • If you drink alcohol, limit the quantity you consume and have it with food. Women should drink no more than one alcoholic beverage per day and men should drink no more than two.

If you’re hosting the party or charged with bringing a dish, make it as healthy as possible! See the link below or check out last week’s blog post on recipe substitutions.

Download more of these Holiday Season Eating Tips (recipes included) from the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Remember that the real joy of the holidays is being with the ones we love. If you keep your holiday dining in check, you’re blood sugars will stay better controlled and you will stay healthier.

Happy Thanksgiving from your Diabetes Education team at St. Anthony’s!

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