Feasting with Diabetes: A Guide to Healthy Holiday Eating
Eating during the holidays can be a challenging time for those with diabetes, but with some careful planning and self-control, it is possible to enjoy the festive season without compromising your health.
Here are a few tips to help you navigate the holiday season as a diabetic:
Chew your food: It may seem like a small detail, but taking the time to thoroughly chew your food can have a big impact on your blood sugar. When you chew your food well, it is easier for your body to break down the carbohydrates and absorb them slowly, which helps to prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar. So, take the time to sit down and enjoy your meals, rather than rushing through them.
Eat to enjoy and nourish: It can be tempting to indulge in all the rich and delicious foods that come with the holiday season, but it's important to remember that the goal is not just to consume as much as possible. Instead, try to focus on nourishing your body with healthy, balanced meals that include protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. This will help you feel satisfied and energized, rather than sluggish and overfull. And don't forget to appreciate who you share your meal with too!
Use the extended bolus (Extend, Dual-Wave etc) feature for pumpers: If you use an insulin pump, consider using the extended bolus feature to help manage your blood sugar during meals. This feature allows you to spread out the delivery of insulin over a longer period of time, which can be particularly useful if you are eating a large or carb-heavy meal. For holiday parties or events where I know I'll be nibbling, I always use the extend feature to take the worry out of having to bolus every time I put something in my mouth. It also avoids a sudden rush of a big-time bolus in the event you don't eat immediately.
Relax and enjoy your food: Finally, don't forget to relax and enjoy your food! It's okay to indulge in a few holiday treats, as long as you do so in moderation and balance them with healthy meals and snacks. Remember, the holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and family, so don't let diabetes get in the way of your enjoyment.
Overall, the key to managing diabetes during the holidays is to plan ahead and make mindful choices about what you eat. By following these tips and paying attention to your body's needs, you can enjoy the holiday season without sacrificing your health.