The festive season can be a tough time of the year for people with diabetes, but it doesn’t have to be bad news. You can have fun without allowing blood-sugar levels to spiral out of control – it just takes a bit of planning and some good recipes.
Here are 6 practical tips to help make it a good, good day:
- Choose wisely, where you can. Give pastries, deep-fried foods and too much salt a miss – which means a little less stuffing, dressing or sauce on your plate! Remember the easy guideline for portion sizes: 1/4 meat, 1/4 low-GI starch and 1/2 vegetables and/or salads.
- Stick to a normal meal schedule, which means that you shouldn’t miss breakfast or nibble all day. If you watch your portion sizes, you don’t have to eat differently to the rest of the family. Where you can, choose the lower GI options on offer.
- Timing is everything. If the family is sitting down to eat later than usual, make sure you have a healthy snack to keep your blood glucose levels steady. If you take insulin injections, speak to your doctor before changing your injection times.
- Be mindful of what you drink. Steer clear of sweet, non-alcoholic drinks and remember: alcohol is high in kilojoules, so stick to a little dry wine with your meal. Make sure that you have some iced water flavoured with lemon slices on hand, and artificially-sweetened cold drinks in the fridge
- Add some delicious vegetable dishes to your festive table – think about lightly-dressed salads or grilled non-starchy vegetables. They’re full of nutrients, low-GI and filling.
- Get some exercise between meals – this is the perfect time to take a walk with the family, to have one of those back-lawn cricket matches, or to shoot some hoops in the drive. Just get everyone moving before the next course!
Here are some recipes to add to your menu for a diabetes-friendly Christmas: