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diabetes home health providerFor people struggling to manage and control their diabetes, dealing with all the sweet temptations of the holidays can be very stressful.  However, by taking several simple steps to prepare, holiday meals and parties can be enjoyable and not derail diabetes control.  .

Home health provider and health care experts recommend the following:

Know your needs and risks

Before the holidays, establish guidelines of what foods you need, and what foods to avoid entirely or limit.  Diabetics need to keep track of the amount of carbohydrates they consume.  Carbohydrates include sweets, rice, pasta, bread and starchy vegetables. When counting carbohydrates, make sure to know what a portion is, reading the label if necessary. Combining a protein with any carbohydrates can help to keep blood sugar levels in check.  Proteins include eggs, cheese, milk, beans, nuts, fish and meat.  Check with a doctor or home health provider if you have questions as to proper diet for your condition.

Plan your menu

Try to determine what is on the menu at a restaurant or holiday party before you go so you can plan your day’s eating, medication and activity schedule accordingly. Before you go, make sure you fill up on low carb and nutritious food and know your blood sugar level.  If you are not sure there will be healthy alternatives, bring your own low carb foods to snack on so you are not tempted by unhealthy choices. During the party or event, drink plenty of calorie free and carbohydrate free drinks.  If you are going to consume alcohol, make sure to have no more than 1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men and avoid high calorie mixers like margarita mix, soda, tonic or juice.  For dessert, limit your portion to a small cookie or small piece of cake instead of a full piece.  

Stay active

Although it is easy to have exercise routines go by the wayside during the holidays, physical activity helps your body use insulin, which is important to controlling blood sugar.  Even if you have to cut back your activity during the holidays, make sure to keep as much activity as possible throughout the holiday season.

After the holidays

Make sure to get back into your routine after the holidays. Once the holiday festivities have come to an end, make sure to get back to your regular levels physical activity.  If you went a bit overboard with sweets or other treats, make the New Year a time to return to healthy practices.  If you got entirely off track or have serious concerns, you should check with a doctor or home health provider about how to best improve your health.

By taking care of your health during the holidays, you can have a more enjoyable holiday and celebrate your health in the New Year.