8 Tips for Diabetes Care During the Holidays
The holiday season is a special time to gather with friends and family and take some time out to enjoy ourselves. In keeping with the season, I thought we should spend a few minutes discussing taking care of your diabetes during the holidays.
First and foremost, remember to enjoy yourself! Get caught up in the festivities - the decorations, the music, the gatherings. Too often, we focus simply on the food- and there's so much more. Consider starting a new tradition in your family- one that involves arts and crafts, or supporting a charity organization. Do something you've never done before - something involving physical activity. Maybe try snow shoeing, or cross country skiing (of course this will depend on your underlying health), or taking a late night walk around your neighborhood to see the lights. These simple and wonderful things help to keep the holidays simply wonderful!
OK, so you make some changes and realize that there are ways to stay fit and active during the holidays. But, let's face it, everywhere you go there's food. What do you do? Well, remember the golden rule - "Everything in Moderation."
One thing I advise my patients to do is to check their blood sugars regularly during the holiday season. The feedback this gives is invaluable and the data provides a lot of insight into what an individual's personal limits are. The ideal goals, regardless of the season, are fasting values of 80-120 mg/dl before eating and about 140mg/dl 2 hours after eating. Values higher than these indicate that there may be a little too much holiday cheer going on!
Finally, eating healthy is good for everyone, not just those with diabetes. If you are bringing food to a party, make it healthy. If you plan on baking, use a diabetes-friendly recipe. There are great recipe books on the market that focus on cooking for those with diabetes.
With a little bit of planning, the holidays can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of diabetes. And, with a little bit of moderation, you can help to ensure that there are many more holiday seasons to be enjoyed in the future.
All the best to you and yours.
Last Editorial Review: 12/15/2011
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