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Stay Healthy During the Holidays while Living with Diabetes

Posted: Nov 13, 2019 / 04:00 PM CST / Updated: Nov 13, 2019 / 05:13 PM CST

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR) — It is National Diabetes Month and a perfect time to think about how to enjoy your favorite holiday foods while keeping your blood glucose in check.


  • Stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, fresh rolls, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are some traditional thanksgiving favorites, which are often high in carbohydrates. If we eat a lot of carbohydrates all at once, then it requires a lot more insulin to transport the glucose out of the blood. Unfortunately for diabetic patients, their insulin isn’t performing like it should, which results in an elevated level of glucose.

  • Many holiday favorites such as stuffing, rolls, potatoes and desserts are special indulgences and your serving size should be controlled in order to keep your blood glucose in check.

  • If you overeat all of your favorite indulgences in one day chance are you will not feel great, but don’t dwell on it, simply put it behind you and get right back to your normal eating habits and schedule the next day.

  • Make some of your favorite recipes to be lower carb to help manage blood glucose.

  • When making desserts, try to substitute out half of sugar for a non-sugar sweetener.

  • Be sure to maintain your regular exercise schedule. Actually, it is even better to increase your physical activity during the holidays.

  • Plan ahead and choose your carbohydrates well to feel well and enjoy the holiday!

  • If you are going to someone else’s home for dinner prepare one to two dishes that you enjoy that are low in carbohydrates such as a beautiful tossed salad and low carbohydrate stuffing or dessert (whichever is your favorite!).

  • Stay on schedule planning ahead and filling your plate with the food options that will help you stick to your normal eating plan will help you maintain your energy and make you proud at the end of the day.

  • Don’t forget to watch for carbs in your favorite drinks!

  • Punch, spiced apple cider, hot chocolate and alcoholic beverages often make their debut at many holiday events. Make a drinking plan before you go. Remember drinks can be much higher in carbohydrates than you might think and if you can drink it that typically means it will cause your blood sugar to spike even quicker.

  • Many diabetic patients often fear they will never get to enjoy their favorite foods again, but the truth is you can if you get to know your carbohydrates and choose them well.

  • For instance, if your absolute favorite thing about Thanksgiving is pumpkin pie then you want to focus on protein and non-starchy veggies to fill your plate for you main course and save your carbohydrate allowance for that piece of pie.

  • Or, perhaps your favorite is the stuffing and the mashed potatoes, so in that case you select a controlled portion of those foods (which is about ½ c. each) and with low carb desert.

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