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Diabetes and Holiday Eating | Naperville NCTV17

Why is it important to be careful what you eat with diabetes?

If you have diabetes, your diet can have a huge impact on your overall health and mood. Fortunately, managing your diet doesn’t have to be complicated. This can be achieved by making simple, sustainable changes to your diet.

Moderation is the key to successful nutrition management. A few additional guidelines should keep it simple; aim for three meals of similar size spread out over the day; Choose complex carbohydrates over refined ones and aim for minimal added sugar in foods.

Is There A Nutrition Plan That Someone With Diabetes Should Follow?

MyPlate – The great thing about this one is the flexibility it offers – it’s easy to adapt to patient preferences and different cultural norms. The method involves using a 9-inch plate and filling half the plate with vegetables, one fourth with lean protein, and one fourth with a complex carbohydrate. It’s a simple visual representation whether you’re on the go or at home.

Mediterranean Diet – This diet is often touted as having a healthy heart. It has the advantage of improving blood sugar metabolism. The diet focuses on the consumption of mainly vegetables and fruits; lean protein such as fish; Whole grain products and extra virgin olive oil.

Counting Carbohydrates – This method is a more advanced way to manage diet, but it can be especially beneficial for someone taking insulin. A general reduction in carbohydrate intake in people with diabetes can lead to significant improvements in blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c over time.

How should someone with diabetes find their way around Christmas parties and dinners?

The holidays are a challenge for everyone when it comes to healthy eating, but especially for diabetics.

The Association of Diabetes Specialists offers these tips for a healthier vacation:

  • Eat a healthy snack before you go
  • Choose low-calorie / low-carb drinks: Look up your favorite drink and pay attention to the calorie and carbohydrate content. You may also want to look for other options that could be healthier. If you want to have a mixed drink, make sure it is mixed into a diet soda. Also, be careful and distribute the drinks over a period of time.
  • Integrate exercise or activity: Park at one end of the mall or mall and walk back and forth. Make multiple trips to the car to unload your packages. Suggest friends get together for activities – skating, bowling, dancing, or cross-country skiing if possible.
  • Practice mindful eating: Pay close attention to how eating makes us feel physically and encourages us to eat for physical hunger rather than emotional needs. Mindful eating encourages one to focus on how good our food is tasting and try to eliminate distractions while eating.
  • Bring the vegetables: A great way to prevent you from overeating is to fill half of your vacation plate with non-starchy vegetables – think green beans, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, carrots, or maybe broccoli. While these tasty foods are nutritional powerhouses, they are very low in calories which will help you offset some of the juicier foods on your plate.
  • Develop some non-food family traditions this year: Often a large part of the holiday revolves around the food – from the big meal to biscuit decorations to Christmas parties with an endless number of starters and goodies! This year, consider taking your family out for a Thanksgiving soccer game or a stroll. Perhaps you start a tradition of games night on Christmas Eve. Find joy in non-food forms of family ties to avoid over-indulgence this year.


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