Sweetest time of year

by Deanna Duret MA/RD/LD, CDE

Mille Lacs Health System

For the person with diabetes, the holidays can become very stressful. Trying to juggle the abundance of sweets, staying physically active, checking blood sugars, decorating, wrapping packages, and enjoying this special time of year, can take its toll. Holidays and traditions are important, but they don’t have to take priority over your health and well-being. Here’s a little advice to help maintain some control and enjoy the holidays.

First and foremost, do not take a holiday from checking blood sugars. Ignoring the need to check blood sugars will only make it more difficult to get back on track January 2nd. Life becomes quite hectic this time of year, so it’s inevitable schedules will change and certain tasks will be neglected. If you do miss a check here or there, know that any information is better than none. 

Do not skip meals thinking this will help make up for that larger meal at a holiday get-together. If you skip meals, it only makes it harder to manage your blood sugar level.

Do be carbohydrate-conscious. If you are at a buffet, first look over the entire buffet, including desserts, and recognize which dishes include carbohydrates. Limit yourself to three choices. Decide if you want a little of all three, or more of one and none of the other. However, if you want those two glasses of wine, you will need to limit yourself to one of the other food choices. Fill the rest of your plate with vegetables and a larger slice of the meat.

If it is a celebration that will last more than a few hours, space out the eating time so the majority of calories/carbohydrates are not consumed in a short period of time; all the while balancing the carbohydrate options with non-carbohydrate options to help even out your blood sugar responses.

It is possible to enjoy the holiday season and keep your blood sugar stable with just a little added effort. If you need some help after the Christmas holiday, join us on December 27th at 2:30pm at our Diabetes Support Group, where the topic will be “Resolutions.” For more information on this and other diabetes educational events, call 320-532-2337.