Sunday, December 24, 2006

Your Diabetes Diet and the Holidays: Six Tips to Stay In Control

Your Diabetes Diet and the Holidays: Six Tips to Stay In Control
Written by Diabetes Expert, Cydne Kaelin

Controlling diabetes with diet is never more important than during the holidays. November, December and January are challenging for anyone who is watching what they eat, but more so for diabetics and pre-diabetics. The rich carbohydrate- and fat-laden treats so loved and served in abundance at parties and get-togethers generally tend to drive up blood glucose readings and are exactly what the doctor does not order for those at risk for diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or slowed significantly with diet, weight loss and lifestyle changes.

If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, here are six tips to help control your diabetes with diet while enjoying the holidays:

Planning Makes Perfect

Face it. You will eat some of those delicious treats this season. Don't stress over it. And don't even think about trying to lose weight during the holidays. Have a strategy in place to stay in control of your diabetes diet BEFORE you indulge. Your diabetes takes no holidays or vacations. If you want more of your fave holiday treat, maybe you eat less of something else, or increase your physical activity; do something to balance the intake. Your diabetes educator or dietician can help you develop or fine-tune a plan.

Forewarned is Forearmed

If possible, call up your host and ask what’s on the menu. There’s no shame in admitting you have a special diet plan. Maybe you can influence the final offerings.

Be Conscious of Your Food

So often we eat while distracted, or mesmerized by good conversation, we don't know just how much we ate. If this starts to happen to you (and I'll bet it will), put the food down, and give your companions your full attention. You’ll enjoy your food more completely, stay mindfully in control of your diet, and your health will thank you.

Make Smart Food Choices

Start by eating the healthy stuff –- veggies, fresh salads –- first, before noshing on the fried, creamed, cheese-filled, chocolate-covered, overprocessed, high-fat goodies and desserts.

Test, Test, Test...

You cannot control diabetes with diet without testing your blood sugars. You can’t always know exactly what went into that dish you ate. So it's important to test more often this holiday season to make sure that your blood sugars stay in check.

Get Steppin'!

A brisk walk around your neighborhood or park about one hour after you eat will help lower blood glucose levels and control your diabetes. Walking after your meal is perhaps the most important thing you can do to maintain your diabetes diet plan. Invite your loved ones along and enjoy their company.

If you slip up, don’t beat yourself over it. Life's too short for that guilt. Just return to the strategy. If you still feel stressed about it, take another walk. It'll improve your mood and your glucose levels.

I hope you find these tips helpful as you enjoy your holidays. Controlling diabetes with diet is not hard, it just takes smart planning. Resolve now to eat better for the new year. Happy feasting!

About The Author

Cydne Kaelin is a writer living in Northeastern Georgia, USA. As a wife, niece and grandaughter of diabetics she is keenly interested in the disease and treatments that emphasize natural remedies whenever possible. She blogs regularly on health issues. Read more tips, articles and news at

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