Balancing Diabetes During the Holidays

The holiday season is a special time of year where we get to enjoy parties and gatherings with the people that we love the most.  These festive get-togethers often include a wide and flavorful variety of foods, desserts and beverages.  From the travel, change of routine and large quantity of food, this time of year can create some unique challenges for a person who has diabetes.  However, there is no reason a person with diabetes can’t enjoy the party just as much as everyone else.

There are a few things that can help you or someone in your care to maximize his/her experience and minimize any negative reactions due to diabetes.  Here are a few pointers:

  • Eat a light, healthy snack before attending a party, this will help curb appetite to avoid overeating
  • Avoiding desserts is obvious because of the high sugar content, but also watch out for sugar items that are not so obvious like ham with a sweet glaze or sugary beverages like punch or lemonade
  • Remain active throughout the party:  help decorate, take a walk, or sing Christmas carols to keep the body moving, but not overdoing it
  • When traveling, it is always good to bring twice the amount of diabetic supplies; just in case of any travel delays or change in plans
  • Bring healthy snacks and make sure they are readily available in case blood sugar drops during a long car ride or flight
  • Eat small portions.  The tradition is to load up your plate with lots of turkey, gravy, potatoes, etc.  Select smaller portions;  enjoy the variety of food, but not to the point to where you can’t move when the meal is finished

This is just a few tips to help persons with diabetes enjoy the holidays while avoiding negative fluctuations in blood sugar levels.  A quick internet search can give you more helpful advice from packing and storing insulin supplies, to food and recipe ideas.  The most important thing is for those with diabetes to participate in the wonderful parties and gatherings during the holiday season while remaining safe and worry-free.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Adapted from

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