This season of holiday celebrations is the perfect time to spend time with family and friends, but let’s be honest: it’s often also a time for overindulgence in unhealthy meal choices. With a plethora of rich, fatty, and sugary delicacies to choose from at every turn, it’s challenging to abide by a healthy diet, which can lead to serious health problems for diabetics.
These guidelines, however, can help diabetics remain safe during the holiday season while avoiding feeling deprived of enjoyable treats. Be sure to first consult with the doctor for his or her approval on any meal choices that stray from an approved nutrition plan.
- Decide on your top choices. Review choices during a holiday meal, and identify your top two carbs to enjoy. For example, figure out if you’d like to have stuffing or rolls, or select between mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, as opposed to indulging in all of the choices.
- BYO. If attending a holiday gathering at someone’s home, speak with the host about your nutritional constraints, and offer to bring a healthy dish to share, such as a tray of vegetables or a sugar-free dessert.
- Snack first. Enjoying a healthy snack prior to the holiday meal will help keep blood sugar levels consistent and aid in preventing the temptation to go overboard. Good snack choices for diabetics include nuts, veggies with hummus, celery with peanut butter, string or cottage cheese, or an egg.
- Stay hydrated. Having a bottle of water before sitting down to enjoy the meal will help create a sensation of fullness, making it less likely that you’ll be tempted to overindulge.
- Remain active. Following a heavy meal, defy the urge to settle into the recliner and watch TV shows or nap; instead, provide help with washing dishes, play an active game with the children, or take a walk in the brisk fall air.
If in spite of these strategies you end up overindulging or making less-than-healthy selections, be kind and forgiving to yourself. Bear in mind that tomorrow is a new day to pick up healthy habits again. Keep a close watch on your blood sugar to make sure levels stay in the appropriate range and to avoid the potential for a serious problem, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, which could cause a hospitalization and surely put a damper on the holiday spirit.
Reach out to the home health care professionals at Montebello Home Care to learn more diabetic-friendly tips, for assistance with preparing healthy meals, providing medication reminders, support to engage in physical activity programs, and much more! We’re here for you throughout the holiday season and beyond to empower seniors to live their best possible lives. Email or call our care team at 409-276-7576 to learn more about our home care in Orange and the surrounding area, and to request a free in-home consultation today! To learn more about all of the areas that we serve in Texas, please visit our Service Area page.