Merry Christmas from the Outpatient Diabetes and Nutrition staff at St. Anthony’s Medical Center. With the Christmas and New Year holidays comes plenty of feasting and merriment. Enjoying the season is important, but if you or a family member have diabetes, it’s also very important to maintain a healthy routine for managing the condition.
Having diabetes doesn’t mean missing out on the festivities. What it does mean is balancing holiday indulgence with healthy diet and exercise choices. The American Diabetes Association has some helpful guidelines to help you keep your diabetes managed well this holiday season and into the New Year:
- Enjoy holiday foods, but don’t overdo it. Instead, spend more time with your family members sharing stories, playing games or heading out to the park for a pickup game of football or basketball. Make the celebration about the people you’re with instead of food.
- Bring something to share. If you count carbohydrates to balance out your medication, offer to bring a dish you like to the celebration. Look up the nutrition information beforehand so you know how many carbohydrates are in a serving.
- Plan to get out. After everyone has enjoyed the meal and the dishes are washed, invite everyone out for a walk around the neighborhood to enjoy the Christmas lights.
- Monitor what you drink. Many holiday cocktails use high-sugar mixers like regular soda and juices. The calories in these drinks can add up quickly. Look for ways you can incorporate sugar-free options to avoid letting your blood glucose levels go out of control. It’s also important to avoid drinking on an empty stomach in order to prevent low blood glucose. If you opt to imbibe, keep in mind that the Association recommends one drink or less per day for women and two drinks or fewer per day for men.
Enjoy this holiday season with your friends and family without losing control of your diabetes management. Sit down around the table to enjoy a delicious orange and walnut salad or spiced sweet potato casserole with these healthy guidelines in mind, and then take a short walk after dinner.
Wishing you the best of health in 2015.
Alison, Cathy, Darla, Denise, Diane, Kim, Kristen, Sue
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the American Diabetes Association