All holidays have something in common – food! Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or New Year’s all have traditions that include food.
While this can be one of the best parts of the holidays, for people that are trying to stabilize their blood sugar this can be a stress or a concern.
Many of my pre-diabetic or diabetic patients ask what can they do to have a fun holiday and eat well at the same time.
Here are some suggestions that can help you enjoy your holiday meals and keep your blood sugar balanced at the same time.
The most important concept you can remember is to eat whole foods whenever possible. Focus on vegetables and protein-based dishes. These are the best foods for stabilizing blood sugar.
When you think about dinner, think of proteins like poultry, fish, red meat, white meats, beans, nuts, or seeds. Vegetables are also a big part of many holiday dinner traditions.
Limit the processed foods, sugary beverages, desserts and alcohol.
Grab a salad plate instead of a regular-size plate. It will reduce the amount food you take in during a holiday party or dinner party.
Do not skip meals thinking you will save up for the dinner or cocktail party. One of the best ways to keep your blood sugar levels stabilized is to eat small meals several times per day.
When you are at a holiday gathering don’t overindulge or overeat. Overeating increases your blood sugar levels no matter how healthy the food is, so remember to eat in moderation.
Before you eat, check out the menu and decide what are the best foods to maintain your blood sugar levels.
Consider eating before you go out to your holiday event so you have control over what you will be eating. This also allows you to focus on enjoying the social aspects instead of worrying about your food choices.
If you are going to drink alcohol make sure that you eat food first, and preferably protein-based foods, before you eat.
During the holidays you can celebrate and enjoy dinners and parties and stabilize your blood sugar by taking a few minutes to plan how you eat.