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Holiday Health Reminders for Diabetics

Experts suggest ways to enjoy festive foods while keeping blood sugar under control

THURSDAY, Dec. 16, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Holiday meals and parties can pose a special challenge for people with diabetes because of potential problems with blood glucose levels.

The Joslin Diabetes Center Education Affiliate at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle offers advice on how people with diabetes can enjoy the holidays without straying too far from their target blood glucose levels:

  • Plan ahead by thinking about what you want to eat and how the calories and carbohydrates fit into your meal plan. Write it down or talk it over with a spouse or friend.
  • When you go to a party, take a food that you can eat in larger amounts, such as a salad or a vegetable platter with a low-fat dip. That way, you can share with others and still load your plate up with lots of vegetables.
  • Don't sample all the foods. Just take small portions of your favorite foods.
  • Have a snack before you go to a party or before a meal. That way, you won't be too hungry and you'll be better able to control your portions.
  • Get plenty of exercise. Walk the dog, go for a hike, play with the kids in the park.
  • Modify your traditional holiday recipes. The sugar and fat content of most recipes can be cut by a third without affecting quality or taste. Look for healthier recipes for your favorite foods.

More information

The National Diabetes Education Program has more about diabetes control.

SOURCE: Joslin Diabetes Center, news release, December 2004
Consumer News