November marks the start of the holiday season and it is also Diabetes Awareness Month. Managing your diabetes during this time of year can be difficult and stressful. Being around homemade treats, holiday beverages and high-calorie foods is hard for anyone to resist.
We are here to help! Check out these tips to help you prepare for and manage your diabetes during this coming holiday season. They are approved by Lisa Joliat, MD, a Mercy Health primary care provider in our Cincinnati market.
Eat a healthy breakfast before a big meal
You might be tempted to skip breakfast to save your appetite for that big holiday dinner. However, if you eat a healthier, filling breakfast, you will be less likely to indulge in unhealthy options during the evening.
Watch your portion sizes
Portion control is critical for people with diabetes. Eating too much of certain items can affect your blood sugar. Thus, it’s important to focus on balancing your meals.
When filling your plate, keep these guidelines in mind:
One-fourth plate for lean protein: turkey, chicken, lean beef, fish
One-fourth plate for carbohydrates: grains, pasta, potatoes, bread
One-half plate for green vegetables: non-starchy veggies like salad, green beans, asparagus
Take a walk after you eat
Taking a quick walk after you eat is beneficial in many ways, so grab a family member and stroll around the block! You’ll be able to burn some calories while giving yourself time to digest before you dive into the dessert table.
Use healthier alternatives
Almost all your favorite holiday foods have easy, healthier alternatives. For example, simply swapping cauliflower mashed potatoes for regular mashed potatoes will help you avoid a lot of carbohydrates and it tastes just as good. Research some other healthy food alternatives, you can find them everywhere.
Remember the reason for the season
It’s easy to get caught up in all the delicious holiday food around you. However, don’t forget that the whole idea of the holiday season is to be thankful and celebrate. Try not to get too caught up in the stress of what you shouldn’t eat. Simply enjoy the leisure time with your immediate family and make little decisions along the way for a more balanced diet.
Learn about the diabetes management and care services we provide at Mercy Health.