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Diabetics should take special care at the holidays

 


The holidays present numerous social opportunities for eating and drinking and meeting with friends, but for people with diabetes, holiday parties can be a minefield of difficult food choices, according to Linda Siminerio, Ph.D., executive director of the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute (UPDI).

“It is hard for anyone to make good food choices around the holidays, especially with all of the tempting spreads at holiday parties, but people with diabetes face particular challenges as they head out to the homes of friends and families,” said Dr. Siminerio. “Keeping blood glucose levels in check and not overeating are important for people with diabetes, and by following a few simple suggestions, it is possible to avoid both during the holidays.”

Dr. Siminerio offers the following tips to remember when headed out to holiday gatherings:

Decide what you are going to eat before heading out to the party and stick with it.

• Instead of alcoholic beverages, drink coffee, tea, diet soda or mineral water with lemon. With Type II diabetes, count one mixed drink or one-half cup of dry wine or one light beer as two of your fat servings in your meal plan.

• If you eat dessert, try eating half of a portion or split it with another guest. Count a small serving of dessert as a starch and a fat in your meal plan.

• If you are asked to bring a prepared food to a party, make a healthy dish, such as a veggie tray or low-calorie yogurt dip.

• Avoid overeating by having a small snack before you leave for the party.

• While socializing at a party, try to keep a distance between yourself and the food area, which will help prevent nibbling and overeating.

• When choosing foods from a buffet, choose foods that will fit into your daily meal plan, and watch your portion sizes.

• Choose fresh vegetables or fruit rather than high calorie, high fat foods.

• If you are the person hosting the party, send tempting leftovers home with guests.

• If you do overeat at a party, don't give up, simply get back on your meal plan at your next meal.

For more information, visit the UPDI website at http://diabetesinstitute.upmc.com.

 

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