Tips For Managing Diabetes During The Holidays

December 17, 2018

NORTH CONWAY, NH – The holiday season can be a tough time of year for those managing diabetes. There are plenty of temptations when it comes to food and drink that can raise your blood sugar levels. Here are some tips from the team at MaineHealth’s National Diabetes Prevention Program to keep your sugar and your weight under control.

If you have type 1 diabetes:

  1. Take your insulin
    Politely excusing yourself to take insulin before eating is nothing to be embarrassed about. You don’t want your insulin to become high because your timing is off.
  2. Listen to your body
    Don’t ignore symptoms of low blood sugar, even if it means you need to eat before others.

If you have type 2 diabetes:

  1. Stick to a routine
    Holiday travel and parties can throw off your schedule. Make an effort to take your medication about the same time every day, enjoy daily exercise and keep a consistent bedtime. Try to eat at your regular time as well.
  2. Make a plan
    There may be some foods you just can’t resist. If pie is a must, then make sure it’s a part of your carbohydrate budget, not an addition to it. If you need a snack between meals, choose raw vegetables and low-calorie dips. And if you’re heading to a party, try to eat something healthy before you leave, drink plenty of water and do your best to avoid the food table.
  3. Limit alcohol
    Drinking alcohol can reduce your willpower, and it can cause swings in blood sugar. If you do drink alcohol, try to have just one or two drinks, spaced out over a couple of hours, on special occasions. Check your blood sugar before you go to bed, too. Alcohol’s effect on blood sugar isn’t always immediate.
  4. Test your blood sugar more often
    We all tend to eat more during the holiday season, so be diligent about checking your blood sugar levels.

While many of us have fond memories of holiday meals, there is so much more to celebrate during the holiday season than food and drink. Make your holidays a little happier by ensuring your health is a priority.

Memorial Hospital’s registered dietitian Brenda McKay had this to share, “Holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friend, but much of the holiday season is focused on food, in particular sweets. These foods can be included into a healthy lifestyle with preplanning and mindful eating. You can have that cookie or cake, but remember to eliminate a carbohydrate food that is already in your meal plan, not just adding more carbohydrates to your meal or snack.”

Memorial Hospital offers many classes on healthy nutrition, wellness and exercise which you can find at Consultations with a dietitian can be arranged by referring from a primary care physician. For more information, call 603-356-5461 ext. 2131.

About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, imaging services, cardiopulmonary care, family birthing center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Practices include primary care and family medicine, and the Miranda Center for Diabetes, behavioral health services, women's health, and orthopedics. The Merriman House, a 45-bed nursing home specializing in Alzheimer's and other memory disorders, is also located on the hospital campus.