LiveWell Louisiana

Have Yourself a Healthy Little Christmas

Manage your diabetes during the holidays.
December 3rd, 2015 by: Valerie Burton, RN

The holidays are a time of celebration, thanksgiving, reflection … and eating. For many, a little bit of overindulgence here and there Valerie Burton, RN won’t hurt, but,for those with diabetes, bad eating habits can lead to long-term damage — such as high blood sugars and weight gain.

Valerie Burton, Certified Diabetes Educator and RN, program coordinator at the Touro Diabetes Center, has a few tips for controlling diabetes, and your cravings, when when your social calendar is full. 

Eat Before You Eat!
“Many people think that, to budget calories, they will skip a meal before a party, but that’s a bad idea,” Burton says. “Stick to your regularly planned, healthy, balanced meals and snacks before you head to a party. This will help keep blood sugar levels in check and prevent you from overeating.”

Change Your Chip
Instead of plain potato chips, conserve your calories by serving sliced vegetables with favorite party dips. 

Sub it Out
Opt for healthier substitutes when cooking or baking, like whole grain pastas instead of enriched pastas, evaporated skim milk or fat free half and half instead of heavy cream,or Greek yogurt instead of sour cream in dips.  

Take a Walk
Don’t forget your normal exercise routine. It’s important to make time and stay active. Work exercise into a busy schedule by making it a social event. Go for a walk to see the lights after dinner, or take a stroll with a friend instead of meeting for coffee or cocktails. 

Order Wisely
“Most popular restaurants will have a low-carb or low-calorie menu, and they are often able to accommodate special diets if you just ask nicely,” Burton says. Substituting sides, like asking for a baked potato, or fresh, steamed or stir-fried veggies instead of mashed potatoes, is another way to cut calories when dining out.

Moderation is Key
Drink alcohol in moderation, and remember to eat whenever you drink. Daily recommendations for alcohol for those with diabetes are no more than one drink for women and no more than two drinks for men. 

Remember the Reason for the Season
The holidays are a time to appreciate being with family and friends, not just a time for endless buffets! Focus on spending time with loved ones, and slow down at each meal, making sure to savor each bite of those special, seasonal treats.