sugar cookies_3Eat, drink, be happy and be healthy this holiday season. My favorite holidays are just around the corner. It is an exciting time to be with family and friends. There is usually lots of food that may come with lots of calories and carbohydrates. Are you wondering how to survive this holiday season without adding more calories and carbohydrates to your diet?

The first thing to keep in mind is to plan your meals to help keep your diabetes management on track. Persons with diabetes should space out their carbohydrate intake throughout the day. Fruits, starchy vegetables, dairy foods, and grain foods all contain carbohydrates. Eating the right amount of carbohydrates throughout the day will help you control your blood glucose levels. The Idaho Plate method of meal planning is one of many tools to help control carbohydrates while recommending at least one-half your plate consist of vegetables. More information on the Idaho Plate can be found at .

If you going to a party or eating at a friend or relative’s home and the meal time is around your normal dinner time, try to eat the same amount of carbohydrate that you normally would eat. You may ask your host if you can bring a covered dish. If so, take your favorite low carbohydrate dish to share.

Avoid or limit the amount of sugary drinks like soda, fruit punch or drinks, sweet tea and eggnog. These drinks raises blood glucose and can provide lots of calories in one serving. For example, one cup of fruit punch contains 100 calories or more and at least 30 grams of carbohydrate; and, one cup of eggnog may have as many as 344 calories and more than 34 grams of carbohydrates. A much better choice is to choose diet or other low-calorie drinks that are available in several flavors. Remember, water is a much healthier choice and has no calories.

Fill up on salad first. Filling up on salad or other raw veggies will fill you up without lots of calories.

Don’t forget to focus on conversation. Make an effort to meet new friends or circulate with those you know instead of eyeing the food.

Stay active this holiday season. Put yourself on your gift list by treating yourself to a personal trainer, fitness class series or membership to a gym.

Learn more about how you can enjoy eating healthy as a diabetic this holiday season by contacting your local UF/IFAS Extension Office .


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