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Healthy Seasonal Eating and Drinking
A guide for people living with diabetes at Christmas
Dec 2019
Healthy Seasonal Eating and Drinking
Healthy Seasonal Eating and Drinking

A guide for people living with diabetes at Christmas

It’s that magical time of year again. The holidays are all about spending quality time with friends and family. Plan ahead and you will be able to relax and enjoy the festivities.

Our top tips to help you enjoy the holidays and manage your diabetes:

1. Enjoy festive eating

It’s easy to over eat during the holiday season with lots of temptation all around. Planning ahead and keeping to a healthy eating plan during festivities will help you. As you know you do not need a special diet. It is about making sensible choices.

Our top tip is to remember to love your veggies. Vegetables are low in carbohydrate (carbs) and high in fibre and will help to fill you up, not to mention they are full of vitamins and minerals.

2. Spread your carbs

Spread carbs throughout the day and be mindful of your portion size. Slow acting carbs release energy slowly and are less sugary and starchy. Examples would be sweet potatoes mixed with your white potatoes, all those lovely root vegetables like carrots and parsnips, beans, lentils, sweetcorn, and wholemeal breads and pasta.

3. Take your time

It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register you are full and if you eat too quickly you are more likely to overeat. Try to take your time and eat slowly. A little tip is to put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls. But most of all enjoy your food, even the odd treat, and the company of your friends and family.

4. Never skip a meal

Busy, busy, busy! Keeping track of meals when we are busy doing the last minute Christmas shopping and having fun can be a challenge. Take time to plan ahead and make sure you have something to eat at regular intervals.

5. Keep hydrated

We would recommend drinking 8-10 cups of sugar-free fluids a day. It’s important to stay hydrated but be mindful that fruit juices and smoothies may contain a lot of sugar and calories.
Water is fine! You can also drink alcohol in moderation but remember not to drink alcohol on an empty stomach. The best time to drink alcohol is with a meal.

And one more thing… go for a walk if you are able to

Did you know that when you exercise it helps your body use the insulin more efficiently, therefore lowering your blood sugar faster?
This doesn’t mean that you need to run a half marathon after the big meal. Even moderate activity can help to lower blood sugar. If you are able to, why not go for a walk after a big meal to take away that completely ‘full feeling’. Nothing better on a nice crisp winter’s day.

Frequently asked questions

  • Q: Are there any ways to make traditional holiday foods healthier?
    You can always recreate any recipe and make it healthier. Think about the type of fat you are using. Think about what you use to cook food, some simple swaps include swapping saturated fats for unsaturated fats, (e.g. butter for coconut oil or vegetable oils), and substitute sugar with artificial sweeteners to reduce calories.
  • Q: How can I stay motivated?
    Find ways to stay motivated. Whether it's setting new goals, exercising more frequently or something else.
    This time of year, can make you feel low in mood so remember to talk to your close ones. There is always someone there to listen and help you enjoy the holidays.
    Did you know that a few minutes of laughter a day triggers the release of mood-boosting endorphins? Worth a try!
  • Q: Should I go on a "detox" after eating holiday meals?
    Just get back on track after the holidays. Give leftovers away and get back to your healthy diet.

Everyone can enjoy the holiday season, just remember it is only a few days. The main ingredient is planning and laughter.
Enjoy your time celebrating by keeping these tips in mind.
Happy holidays!

What other tips do you recommend? Let us know at hello@spirit-pharmacy.co.uk

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