CDE Tips: Healthy Holiday Tips

CDE Tips: Healthy Holiday Reminders

Halle Elbling, MS, RDN, CDE
Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator

The holiday season is here! Here are some tips to manage your diabetes during the holidays and how to stay in good control of your blood sugar levels.

1. Portion Control, take a smaller plate to the table. By doing so, you’ll automatically eat a little less during each sitting. Also, do not go to any holiday meals without eating all day. Eat a small snack with complex carbohydrates and a lean protein before the party then you will not be starving and overeat. An example would be apple slices with natural peanut butter.

2. Enjoy your food. Take the time to eat your food slowly and truly enjoy those food favorites. Be sure to savor each bite!

3. Focus on socializing. Greet people you know- conversation is calorie free! Take time to catch up. Get a low sugar beverage, and settle into the festivities before eating. You may eat less.

4. Check your blood sugar frequently. Take your medications.
If you are taking insulin or medications that lower your blood sugar, check your blood sugar more frequently during the holidays, especially before driving a car or adjusting your insulin doses.

5. Limit alcohol, drink more water. For those living with diabetes, alcohol will cause your blood sugar to go up! However, moderate alcohol intake can have a blood sugar-lowering effect, so don’t drink on an empty stomach. The amounts of calories and sugars vary significantly among beverages so it can be useful to search nutrition information about your favorite drinks. Limit the amount of alcohol you consume. Recommendations for alcohol are no more than one drink per day for women, and no more than two drinks for men. (One drink equals 4 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, 1 ounce of distilled spirits).

6. Burn it up! Be sure to exercise. After a holiday meal take a walk. Walking burns calories, lowers blood sugars and helps to deal with holiday stress.

The amounts of calories and sugars vary significantly among beverages so it can be useful to search nutrition information about your favorite drinks. Limit the amount of alcohol you consume.

Also, try these great ideas for healthy food substitutions:

• Replace butter with unsaturated oils, such as olive or canola.
• Use non-fat/reduced fat dairy or dairy substitutes like soy.
• Use lean cuts of meat, remove skin on poultry.
• Bake/broil/steam instead of frying.
• Leave out the egg yolks to cut fat and cholesterol.
• Season with herbs, spices, and tangy vegetables instead of fat.
• Serve roasted vegetables, fruits, and reduced fat cheeses for appetizers.
• Serve grains like quinoa or wild rice instead of stuffing.
• Bake sweet potatoes in their skins. Season with roasted garlic and herbs instead of butter.
• Try winter squash, like butternut for an alternative to potatoes.
• Choose puree and broth-based instead of cream-based soups.
• Cut the sugar in your holiday recipes.
• Avoid extra sauces and gravies- there can be hidden sugars and fat.
• Fill up on salads and vegetables.

Do not forget-the holidays will only be great if you’re in good health to enjoy them.

For any diabetes health questions regarding nutrition, medication and continuous glucose monitoring, please Connect With Our CDE Halle Elbling and use the form for any question or concern regarding your diabetes health management.