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How To Manage Diabetes During the Holidays!

November 18, 2019

Having to deal with Type 2 Diabetes is not pleasant, especially during the holidays when you are surrounded by sweets and abundant amounts of food. Self-control is expected but it’s not as easy as it seems. Here are 5 tips to help you stay healthy while you celebrate. These tips are suggested by Steven Rothschild, MD. He is a family medicine doctor and the founder of Rush University Family Physicians. 

1. Lighten up holiday recipes

Reducing the amount of sugar and carbohydrates, like white flour, white rice and other processed grains, in your meal may be helpful. Trim the amount of fat in baking recipes. For instance, if a recipe suggests using oil, use half that amount and replace it with something else such as unsweetened apple sauce.

2. Let the plate be your guide when making choices

Keeping an eye out on the amount of food you eat is helpful because eating too much can affect your blood sugar levels. An interesting measurement to keep in mind for your lean meat portion is that it be about the size of a deck of cards. Carbohydrate servings , such as pasta or rice, should be equal to the size of a fist.

An easy strategy for portion control is to think of your plate being cut into four sections:

  • Lean protein — should take up one quarter of your plate
  • Carbohydrates (such as grains, pasta and some vegetables like potatoes and corn) — should occupy another quarter of your plate
  • Green vegetables and other non-starch vegetables (such as salads, broccoli, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, etc.) — should take up the remaining half your plate. Just make sure not to cook those veggies in oil or butter, or drown them in heavy dressings, dips or sauces.

And make mindful choices when preparing your plate.

Pick your favorite high carbohydrate or high fat food and have a reasonable serving of that, but then cut back in other areas. For example, you could decide that you’d like to have a serving of sweet potatoes instead of a serving of bread or mashed potatoes. So you’re substituting one carbohydrate for another, not eating both.

3. Exercising

Going out for at least 30 minutes a day can be very beneficial. It can improve blood sugars, decrease the risk of heart disease, and help you lose weight. Although, realistically, it’s difficult to exercise 30 minutes a day especially if you aren’t used to the routine. If you start doing some at home exercises more frequently or joining a program, it might be easier to continue in the log run. If you find yourself tied up during the holidays to exercise, try doing a 15 minute workout or three 10-minute stints a few times per week.

4. Managing Stress

Experiencing stress during the holidays is normal, but can be managed with patience, relaxing activities such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.

5. Try to quit smoking

If you are a frequent smoker, try to make your new years resolution to quit. While smoking is bad for everyone’s health, it is especially harmful for people with diabetes. Nicotine in cigarette smoke causes large and small blood vessels to harden and narrow, resulting in reduced blood flow to the rest of your body.

These tips aren’t just for diabetics — they’re good advice for anyone who’s trying to lead a healthier lifestyle and prevent serious health problems, including diabetes, down the road. It’s important to start taking steps now to keep yourself and your family healthy for life.

 

 

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