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Diabetic Recipes: Healthy Holiday Fare


Holiday Party Eating Plan: Tips to Manage Blood Sugar


Holidays with Hefty Meals:

Eat breakfast or snacks earlier in the day and avoid the idea of saving carbs for the big feast later on. If you skip meals, it may be harder to manage your blood sugar.

Limit the number of servings of starchy foods on your plate. It might be tempting to have some mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and rolls. However, try to choose just one of these items. Or just take a few spoonfuls or bites of each.

Choose fruits and vegetables served raw, grilled or steamed. Avoid vegetables in creams, gravies and butter.

Stick to calorie-free drinks such as water, tea, seltzer or diet sodas instead of punch or mixed drinks. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and have it with food. Talk with your healthcare team about whether alcohol is safe for you. Women should drink no more than one alcoholic beverage a day and men should drink no more than two. A drink is:

  • 12 fluid ounces (fl oz) of beer
  • 5 fl oz of wine
  • 11⁄2 fl oz of 80-proof distilled spirits
  • 1 fl oz of 100-proof distilled spirits

After your meal, take a walk with family and friends. Exercise will also get you moving, keep you focused on your goals and give you a welcome break from being surrounded by treats. Exercise is also a great way to lower blood sugar levels.

If you overindulge, don’t beat yourself up. If you eat more carbs or food than you planned for, don’t think you have failed, just make a plan to get back on track. Enjoy your favorite holiday treats, but take small portions, eat slowly and savor the taste and texture.

Holiday Parties and New Year’s Eve:

Eat a small, balanced meal or snack before you leave home. If you arrive to the party hungry, you’ll be more likely to overindulge (another great reason to NOT skip breakfast and lunch).

Study the food options, and think about what you are going to have before you put anything on your plate. Decide which foods are worth eating and which can be ignored, and then stick to that decision.

Only eat what you like. If you taste something that you don’t enjoy, leave it on your plate — don’t finish it!

Choose vegetables first. Broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower and tomatoes are good choices that are usually on the appetizer table. Take only a small spoonful of dip or skip it entirely.

Eat chips and crackers in moderation, and definitely avoid eating them straight from the bag. Put some on a small plate and don’t load them down with creamy mayo-based dips.

Try not to hang out near the food to avoid grazing. Find a comfortable spot across the room and focus on socializing instead of eating.

Remember to regularly check your blood sugar throughout the holidays. Adding a few extra checks on a party day may help guide your choices.

Sip a large glass of water or mineral water. This will keep you hydrated and provide you with a better option than alcohol.

Take a walk or attend your usual exercise session the day of a party. Make it a priority rather than saying there isn’t time. It is probably more important than the party!

Tips courtesy of the AADE


Published November 13, 2012. 


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