Christmas and the festive season are generally full of eating, drinking and being merry, but it is important for diabetics (and everyone else!) to keep an eye on what they consume (with the occasional treat of course!).

When it comes to food here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Remove skin from turkey and chicken to reduce unhealthy fats. Turkey and chicken meat are actually a good choice of white meat and low in fat (without skin) and high in protein.
  2. Avoid deep fried foods.
  3. Choose dishes with minimal sauces and dressings as they often contain large amounts of sugar or salt. Be wary of gravies and stuffing as they are usually filled with nasties and high in calories.
  4. Choose salads and vegetables instead of pastas, potato bakes and breads as your sides. Try this Christmas Curried Broccoli Salad. It’s easy to prepare and is delicious!
  5. If possible, offer to take a dish so that you know there will be at least one healthy thing for you to eat on the day.
  6. Try to only eat as much as you need – many of us are guilty of overindulging at Christmas time. Eating regularly is important for diabetics in keeping blood sugar levels stable so try to eat small amounts throughout the day instead of just one big meal.
  7. Choose sparkling water with lemon or lime to drink instead of sugary soft drinks.
  8. Limit alcohol to a few standard drinks and replace spirit mixers with sparkling water.
  9. Choose the lower Glycaemic Index fruits such as cherries, apples, oranges and kiwi fruit. Perhaps you can offer to take the fruit platter?

Exercise is also vital for those with diabetes. Most people are less active at this time of year so trying to get a short walk or swim in each day will help keep your blood sugar levels stable.

It is possible to still enjoy the day and indulge a little if you keep the above tips in mind.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and safe and happy new year.


B. HSc (Nutrition)

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