HealthNotes: Blog Edition

Healthy Holiday Eating

December 1, 2017

Choosing the right foods to eat during the holidays is important for everyone, but especially for people living with diabetes.

If you are living with diabetes, you can take a proactive approach to the holidays when dealing with food. Frisbie’s Center for Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine provides these helpful tips for making healthy food choices:

  • Plan ahead – By planning ahead, people with diabetes will have the freedom to enjoy holiday meals stress free by knowing what will be eaten, how much will be eaten and what time the meal will occur. For example, if your family always eats Thanksgiving at a different time than you usually eat, make sure you plan a snack for your normal meal time to prevent low blood sugar reaction.
  • Consider types of food – Include healthier versions of favorite dishes by utilizing fat-free or low-fat options. Also consider how food is prepared. For example, try baked sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato casserole. You could even go one step further and substitute side dishes high in starch for healthier choices such as salad or steamed vegetables.
  • Watch amount of food consumed – If you don’t want to substitute your family’s favorite holiday dishes, you can decrease the amount you consume. Having healthy snacks, such as raw vegetables, to nibble on while you’re cooking, will help you avoid eating fried or high fat appetizers. You can also be selective of which foods you eat. For example, if homemade mashed potatoes are something you look forward to eating every year, maybe you skip eating dinner rolls or stuffing. This compromise allows you to enjoy your favorite dish while avoiding large quantities of unhealthy foods. A third option is to eat smaller portions if you have too many favorite holiday foods. You can enjoy small, sample size portions of a little bit of everything.
  • Indulge in healthy desserts – For some people, holidays are all about the treats. If you’re one of these people, you can enjoy desserts while staying healthy and monitoring your blood glucose levels. You can volunteer to bring a healthy, homemade dessert. This will ensure there is a good option for you to choose. You can also share a dessert with someone who may also have diabetes or trying to watch their calorie intake. Finally, avoid social pressure to indulge too much during dessert.

Overall, the holidays should be a fun time for you to enjoy your friends and family. Planning and compromising will help you stay healthy and manage your diabetes. Be sure to always work with your healthcare provider when determining what to eat during the holidays.

Want to learn how the power of food could help you live a healthier life? The Diabetes & Endocrine Center’s Recipe of the Month Group is open to anyone in the Rochester area living with diabetes. The monthly cooking demonstrations are held at Frisbie’s Community Education & Conference Center, located on the hospital campus. Download the 2018 Recipe of the Month Group schedule here.

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