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Tasty & Healthy Holiday Tips for Diabetics!

Maintaining adequate blood glucose can be challenging for Diabetics, particularly during the holidays with so many delicious treats to choose from. Simply identify foods to avoid and those to enjoy and you're on your way to healthy eating! Get excited this holiday season for a variety of guiltless mouth-watering food choices!

Foods to “Avoid” In the Holidays & Tasty Alternative Treats:

1. Fatty Foods. Fried foods like chips, French fries, and doughnuts are loaded with calories and saturated fats (unhealthy fats). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends limiting fat intake, particularly saturated or trans fats found in fried foods, whole milk, cookies, pies, salad dressings, lard, stick margarine, and nondairy creamers.

Try This Instead: Baked goodies like sweet potato dishes, oven-roasted meats, and lemon-pepper fish are tasty alternatives. Go for the grill! Grilled meats like chicken and turkey breast have lower fat content than fried meats and burgers.

2. Junk foods. It can be tough to avoid chocolates, cookies, cakes, chips, and ice cream during holiday gatherings. Keep an eye for a rainbow of natural food choices like fruits and veggies. These yummy and healthy foods will leave you thinking twice about considering junk foods in the first place.

Try this instead: Snack on raw veggies, fruits, and nuts for a crunchy and tasty delight! Fiber-rich fruits and veggies like apples, pears, and green leafy vegetables slow the digestion of fats and help maintain adequate blood glucose levels. Try a fruit salad covered with yogurt and sprinkle fresh almonds or granola for a delicious surprise!

3. Alcoholic Beverages. One or two drinks won’t affect blood sugar levels, right? Wrong. Alcohol intake can lead to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends Diabetics who intake alcoholic beverages to check blood glucose before having a drink, while drinking, and for up to 24 hours. The ADA goes on to share, “You should also check your blood glucose before you go to bed to make sure it is at a safe level – between 100 and 140 mg/dL. If your blood glucose is low, eat something to raise it.” Women should consume no more than one drink per day, and men no more than two drinks daily. Be sure to consult with your physician as daily alcohol intake varies depending on health needs.

 Try this instead: Sugar free peppermint mocha with no whip cream, unsweetened low-fat iced low-fat, unsweetened tea, coffee, low-fat milk, or a nice cold glass of fresh water with lemon. 

 Tips on Alcohol Consumptions from the ADA:

1. Do not drink on an empty stomach or when your blood glucose is low. If you choose to drink, follow the guidelines above and have it with food. This is especially important for those on insulin.

2. Do not omit food from your regular meal plan and replace it with alcohol. (If you use carbohydrate counting to plan meals, do not count alcohol in your plan as a carbohydrate choice.)

3. Wear an I.D. noting that you have diabetes.

4. Have a zero calorie beverage by your side to keep yourself hydrated like water, diet soda or iced tea.

5. Try a light beer or wine spritzer made with wine, ice cubes and club soda. Watch out for heavy craft beers, which can have twice the alcohol and calories as a light beer.

6. Do not drive for several hours after you drink alcohol.

To learn more visit the American Diabetes Association.

More Healthy Tips:

1. Eat small portions throughout the day. Having smaller foods portions every 3-4 hours helps maintain adequate blood glucose, preventing a rise of blood sugar caused by large meals, or a fall in blood sugar during periods of fasting.

2. Limit alcohol intake. Monitor blood sugar levels before, during, and after having alcoholic beverages.

3. Avoid sodas and flavored drinks. Many fruit-flavored drinks and sodas are loaded with sugar. Avoid these drinks whenever possible. 

4. Consume fiber-rich foods. Fiber helps slow the absorption of fats and sugars, helping maintain adequate blood sugar levels. Select whole grain foods and brown rice over food products made from refined white flour.

5. Develop a meal plan. It’s best to consume carbohydrates early in the day when you’re more likely to burn the calories. Each person’s meal plan will vary depending on lifestyle, health needs, and practitioner’s discretion. WebMD offers a resourceful article on the best and worst foods for Diabetes. Consult with your physician, nurse, and nutritionist to learn more on Diabetic meal planning. Establishing healthy food choices and portion control is key in maintaining normal blood glucose levels.

* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.


in Nutrition Hits: 4640

Yeneilyn is a Registered Nurse in the state of Florida since 2006. Her nursing practice began in the field of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Hospital and expanded to care for clients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She was provided the opportunity as LPN Instructor, which changed the course of her nursing career. She states, “Teaching nursing students expanded my view on positive influences nurses contribute beyond beside care. Nurses are central leaders in health education, client advocacy, and disease prevention.” Currently, Yeneilyn writes health articles and prepares Continuing Education (C.E.) courses for healthcare professionals. She continues her studies in the field of Nursing Education and evidenced-based nursing practice. In her free time she enjoys sharing time with family and friends.

For questions or topics of interest contact Nurse Yenny at:    




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