November is Diabetes Awareness month and an important time to talk about healthier food choices. During this holiday season, you can manage your diabetes while enjoying your family, friends and festivities.
What is Diabetes?
At its very basic, diabetes is a chronic disease where your body’s blood glucose is too high. When blood sugar increases, your pancreas releases insulin to manage the excess sugar. For those living with diabetes, their body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use the insulin as well as it should. For more information on the types of diabetes, check out our blog here.
How can I manage my diabetes during the holidays?
We all celebrate the holiday season in different ways, but it is likely that we all celebrate with food! To enjoy this time without overextending yourself, try to follow some of these tips:
- Avoid or limit alcohol. If you have a drink, enjoy it with food to help balance blood sugar levels.
- Consider carbs. If you want to have dessert, be careful with how many carbs you eat before the sweets such as bread, stuffing, and potatoes.
- Don’t skip meals. Also, try to eat at the same times every day.
- And don’t skip your favorites! ’Tis the season for family recipes and seasonal favorites. Have a slice of pumpkin pie or glass of eggnog and savor it! As long as you are mindful about the other food choices you’ve made throughout the day.
- Keep exercising.Walks, stretching, and simple workouts approved by your doctor can help manage stress as well as your mood.
- Prioritize sleep. The holidays can be both enjoyable and exhausting. When the body doesn’t rest properly, it has a harder time managing blood sugar.
Simple Swaps to Manage Blood Sugar
Just because you’re living with diabetes, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy delicious, rich foods! However, you do need to be deliberate with your food choices. For those moments where you may want a healthier option, try one of the healthier swaps below.
Chips and Dip for Veggies and Hummus
You’ll get at least one serving of vegetables and some protein from the hummus. Protein aids in regulating your blood sugar.
Mashed Potatoes for Mashed Cauliflower
You’ll get another serving of low-carb vegetables—just be sure to watch added butter or cream.
Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes for Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins and beta-carotene and are sweet enough without added sugar.
Green Bean Casserole for Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Rich in fiber, Brussels sprouts are a better option than the creamy, salty, deep-fried onion casserole.
Fried Turkey for Roasted Turkey
Deep-fried turkeys are trending, but they’re very heavy in fat. Keep your proteins as lean and clean as possible and opt for lean poultry or healthy fat filled fish such as salmon.
Pecan Pie for Pumpkin Pie
Still sweet and filled with festive spices, pumpkin pie has less sugar, less fat and more vitamins from the pumpkin puree.
One in three Americans do not know that they have diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that may have been present at birth, developed during adulthood or during pregnancy. It should be carefully monitored and managed as it could lead to injury or further illness if mismanaged.
If you think you may have diabetes or need help in managing your diabetes diagnosis, DFD is here to help. Reach out to your primary healthcare provider to discuss your options.