3 Tips for Holiday Eating with Diabetes

diabetes managment eating habits holiday food meal planning Nov 14, 2023

The holidays are fraught with difficulty, arguments and sometimes out and out fights. It's not necessarily comfortable to get together with certain people. Lots of issues can come up around the holidays. Some of these issues are rooted deeply in the past.

Add on top of that having diabetes. You can't really eat the same types of foods or as much of the food everyone else is eating. You might need to check your blood sugar. People are asking a lot of questions about what you’re eating or not eating. Some people can be very dismissive of what you need to do to take care of yourself. This attitude can make it really tough for you to manage all of this.

Here are three tips to help with eating during the holidays.

First, If you are eating at your home, you have more control especially with the menu. Have a plan for the cooking and baking process. Keep your tasting to a minimum and try to avoid licking the spatula. Eat before you cook so you are not hungry or keep healthy snacks handy if needed. Have others in the kitchen with you. Company and conversation can help keep your attention on cooking rather than eating!

Second, if you are eating at someone else’s home or at a restaurant, plan out your meals before, during and after the holiday meal. Call the host and see what is on the menu. Decide what you can eat and what you need to avoid. Can you substitute something that's available during the meal for something that you bring from home? Try as much as you can to eat on your regular schedule. Keep food with you – as much as needed so you have some control over when you eat. What's important is for you to keep your blood sugar stable as best you can with the meal, the condiments, the desserts and the leftovers! If you expect to have something sweet, plan to eliminate other carbs in your meal. You can also bring something that you can eat and share with others.

Third, if there is special holiday food that is not available any other time of the year, have a small amount of it. Best to do this after you’ve eaten so not on an empty stomach. Take a walk after your meal – even just 15 or 20 minutes will help bring your blood sugar down. Make sure you are getting good sleep. Being tired or exhausted can make you reach for caffeine and sugar.

Finally, focus on the company, enjoying the meaning of the day and being grateful for all the good in your life.

Dr Elaine


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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.


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