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People with diabetes can enjoy festive foods and still stay healthy

Watch the amount of alcohol you consume. Picture: Pexels/Charlotte May

Watch the amount of alcohol you consume. Picture: Pexels/Charlotte May

Published Oct 26, 2023


The holiday season is a wonderful time to celebrate traditions with family and friends. But if you or any of your loved ones are among the millions of people who have diabetes, navigating holiday parties, meals, and sweet treats can be challenging. #

If you are living with diabetes, know that you can enjoy the food-filled festivities and stay healthy as possible. All it takes is some planning.

Here are four tips to help you enjoy a diabetes-friendly holiday season.

Do plan your meals in advance. Picture: Pexels/Ella Olsson

Do plan your meals in advance

Festivities often tempt people to neglect their health and dietary needs, but diabetics cannot afford such negligence. While it may seem restrictive, having a well-defined meal plan is essential for diabetics.

The more they know about what and how much they consume, the better they can manage their blood sugar levels.

Seek the guidance of an expert if necessary to understand what to include or exclude from your diet.

Be mindful of portion sizes

You can enjoy your Christmas favourites and keep your glucose levels mostly within range by keeping to the right portion sizes, choosing sensible serving sizes, and having smaller amounts of high carbohydrate and sweet treats.

Try to stick to one portion of your favourite dessert.

Be smart about carbs. Picture: Pexels/Tima Miroshnichenko

Be smart about carbs

According to reports, foods rich in carbohydrates can provide a lot of good nutrients. Yet compared with fats and protein, carbs have the biggest impact on blood sugar. This is why it is important to choose your carbs wisely and go with low-glycemic foods.

Make diabetes-friendly recipes

One way to ensure you have a healthy dish available is to offer to make one yourself. Substitute monounsaturated-fat ingredients for saturated-fat versions, and artificial sweeteners for sugar.

Be careful about using fruit purée instead of oil as this adds carbohydrates.

Watch the amount of alcohol you consume. Picture: Pexels/Charlotte May

Monitor the amount of alcohol you consume

Holiday celebrations often involve excessive drinking, which can send blood glucose levels soaring with an inevitable crash in the early hours of the morning.

Be sensible and opt for alternatives like light beer or light wine, and watch how much you drink: the recommended amount is two alcoholic drinks per day for men and one per day for women.

And, never drink on an empty stomach.

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