Healthy for the Holidays

With the holiday season in high gear, the temptation of over-indulging at festive gatherings with family and friends can be difficult to overcome.

Finding dietary balance during this time of year can be especially difficult for diabetics, who may suddenly be subjected to the foods they try so hard to abstain from 11 months out of the year.

It is important to know that just although you are diabetic, this does not prohibit you from enjoying holiday treats. It all has to do with planning and finding a balance that works for you and your diet.

Sweets aside, a major factor in overindulgence during the holidays is the intake of carbohydrates. Much like a beloved sugar cookie or candy cane, one scoop of mashed potatoes is enough to throw blood sugar levels past their normal balance.

One of the easiest tricks to avoid overindulgence is to come prepared to a gathering by bringing a favorite dish within your dietary restrictions. For example, if a low-carb lasagna is your dish of choice, fix it up and bring it along for the whole party to enjoy.

Another trick for holiday eating is the art of anticipation. If possible, get a preview of the “menu” of foods to be served at your gathering and plan a medication schedule that will accommodate the whole meal. Knowing what will be served and when could be the difference between dessert and no dessert at the end of the meal and who wants to miss out on cake and pie?

The most important thing here is to not lose track of your food intake. With so many goodies in and around the house, this can be an easy thing to lose track of. Saying no to seconds and avoiding the desserts until after the main is completed are two rules to live by for the next couple of weeks.

While a certain degree of amnesty may be given to our diabetic friends during the holidays to enjoy the foods they are not regularly advised to consume, the access to foods typically forbidden should be cause to remain attentive to one’s blood sugar.  Straying from your diet can have serious repercussions, so stay on top of your levels with regular testing throughout a gathering.

We know that being over conscious of your diet during the holidays can be a bummer, but overdoing it can have severely adverse effects and land you in the doctors office come Boxing Day. If restraint and discipline are applied, the holidays can a joyous and festive time for everyone, even for diabetics.