The holiday season is now in full swing, and that means food, and a lot of it. Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the most widely celebrated holidays in the United States. But all that celebration comes with big challenges for the diabetic population as they choose what foods to eat and how large their portions should be.
In last month’s article, we discussed the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and the different challenges that come with each. Type 2 is far more common than Type 1 and is much easier to treat. In many cases, a person with Type 2 diabetes doesn’t need to take insulin supplements, and can combat the condition with other methods like a healthy diet and frequent exercise.
Exercise isn’t always a viable option for some people, however, especially among seniors. So a good diet is all the more important. Type 1 — the rarer form of diabetes — can only be treated with insulin supplements. But this doesn’t give Type 1 patients the green light to eat whatever they want; a balanced diet is still important for regulating blood sugar levels.
Tips and Tricks for Eating Healthy this Holiday Season
Eating a healthy diet is extremely difficult in today’s world. Everywhere you look you’ll see sugary treats and fatty foods on all sides. It isn’t impossible, however, and by following these tips and tricks you can make this holiday season one you’ll treasure forever.
One of the most effective techniques for healthy eating is the American Diabetes Association (ADA) create your plate method. This involves dividing up a standard sized dinner plate so that it contains 50 percent non-starchy vegetables, 25 percent protein (from meat such as turkey), and an additional 25 percent grains and starchy foods.
Now, eyeballing this is difficult. So to help, the ADA recommends drawing an imaginary line down the center of your plate with a ruler, then again horizontally on one side of the first line so the plate is divided into three segments. The largest section is for your veggies and the two smaller sections are for your grains and proteins respectively.
Sweets and Other Treats
The method above is fine for the main course, but how can diabetics enjoy those special holiday treats like a slice of pumpkin pie? The answer is very simple, but keep in mind that you must be aware of what you have been eating throughout the day so that you don’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Eating as few carbohydrates as possible during the main course, and maybe skipping out on the dinner rolls altogether, will allow you to have a small piece of pie or a treat with a similar sugar and carb makeup.
This solution is not one-size-fits-all, and unfortunately, many diabetics must forgo dessert entirely for the sake of their health. For more helpful information on how to adjust your diet to suit yours, or a loved one’s individual needs, visit the American Diabetes Association .
Unsure Where to Start?
If you or a loved one live in Arizona, Generations Homecare can provide you with a helping hand. As we age, our fine motor skills begin to deteriorate making the task of working in the kitchen increasingly difficult and potentially dangerous. Our caregivers can help prepare the healthy meals you’ll need this holiday season. To learn more about our services, contact us at 602-595-HOME (4663) or visit our website and fill out our online contact form. Together, we can have a happy, healthy (but still delicious) holiday season.