Simple Advice to Help You Control Your Blood Sugar Through the Holidays
The holidays are right around the corner! That means you’re probably starting to think about all the delicious food that comes with Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and probably a few family get-togethers in between. Usually, after fantasizing about all the tasty meals on the horizon, a feeling of guilt or need for discipline follows, because as we all know, most of the holiday food is not very healthy.
A person with diabetes may already be used to the extra time and consideration it takes to prepare or order food in order to keep their sugar levels in check. But during the holidays, that preparation may feel overwhelming; so many starches, sweets, and drinks can throw a diabetic’s sugar out of level easily. It is possible to indulge a little and enjoy holiday eating as long as you do it mindfully.
Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind this season that can help keep everyone healthier and happier through the holidays.
For example, the American Association of Diabetes Educators encourages you to be conscious of your carb ratios. They suggest limiting the number of servings of starchy foods on your plate as well.
“It might be tempting to have some mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and rolls, however, try to choose just one of these items,” the organization advises. The ideal amount of carbs is 30-60 grams per main meal and 15-30 grams per snack.
Also, remember to eat breakfast and snacks during the day. This is crucial to maintaining a healthy balanced blood sugar level. Skipping meals in order to prepare for the huge carb load later on in the afternoon or early evening is a guaranteed way to get blood sugar off track, so try having small snacks or a light lunch before you eat a large dinner later.
Substituting cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh ginger, or vanilla in place of some of the sugar in a recipe can cut sugar and carbs where it counts as well and still leave you with an enjoyable treat. Alternatively, you can use reduced fat cream cheese, mayonnaise, or even plain Greek yogurt as substitutes in place of their less healthy counterparts and you can get away with about half the calories and fat content.
Another helpful method to help promote a healthy blood sugar level over the holidays, and definitely a good idea regardless of your blood sugar level after all that extra food, is to take a short walk. Bring some family members with you and get out of the house for a few minutes; everyone can benefit. As always, drinking water is always the best choice of beverage. Be smart – don’t waste your allowed sugar and calories on your drink when you’ve got pies and cookies to try!