Six tips for diabetics during the holiday season

Thanksgiving traditions, like everything else, won’t be quite the same in 2020 for many...
Thanksgiving traditions, like everything else, won’t be quite the same in 2020 for many American households.(Source: NerdWallet)
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 2:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The holiday season seems to be filled with pie, candy and sweet treats and for diabetics, daily challenges of managing blood sugar may be even tougher in a season that’s focused on food.

Here are six things you can do to help manage your sugar intake as a diabetic according to the Carondelet Health Network:

  • Plan your day in advance. Determine what time your Thanksgiving meal will be served and plan to keep your blood sugar level by eating at normal times. Start the day with a good breakfast, and if lunch will be delayed, have a protein and carbohydrate paired snack to prevent a blood glucose reaction.
  • Look for alternative recipes. There are an abundance of websites that have recipes to adjust traditional foods without sacrificing flavor. You can also consider alternatives like riced/mashed cauliflower instead of traditional mashed potatoes. Details such as skimming the fat off the top of the gravy can also make a difference. And desserts often don’t need as much sugar as the recipe dictates.
  • Fill up on vegetables. There are delicious side dishes that incorporate vegetables like broccoli, green beans, squash and many more. Vegetables are filled with fiber which helps slow blood sugar absorption and improve glucose levels. You would be surprised how amazing vegetables can taste and fill up your plate.
  • Choose wisely. Consider all the food that’s available, and don’t feel like you have to sample everything. For example, sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes, but not both. Portion control can also help when faced with many carbohydrates that will quickly turn to sugar in your body. Strive for a normal carb intake. Go for the non-starchy vegetables that can be filling. If you’re the guest, take a healthy recipe that you know tastes great and that you will enjoy sharing.
  • Manage dessert. This may be the toughest category. Make diabetic friendly desserts or buy sweets that are made for with artificial sweeteners to prevent hyperglycemia, or at least plan your meal accordingly so that you don’t overdo it. Let a small portion or just a few bites satisfy your desire.
  • Get some exercise. Staying active is an important component of managing diabetes every day. Especially on a day like Thanksgiving, plan activity into your day, like taking a walk after your meal, to compensate for foods that may not typically be on your list. Exercise can lower your blood glucose and improve your A1C.

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