Don’t let the holidays get you down

Are you dreading the holidays and all of the goodies that tempt us? You may be able to relate to this if you have diabetes. The good news is that you can survive the holidays without giving up your favorite holiday foods by following a few simple ideas.

Most of us look forward to the holiday season and dream about our favorite dessert or side dish. Thoughts of grandma’s sweet potato casserole or mom’s caramel apple pie tempt us to forget those plans to stay healthy during the holidays.

Here are some tips from Michigan State University Extension to help you stay on your healthy track and avoid having blood sugar swings during the holiday season:

  • Plan ahead. When you’re invited to a holiday gathering or are hosting one, plan what you will eat that day and choose what you will eat at that holiday meal. If you want some of Grandma’s sweet potato casserole, plan to make half of your plate low carbohydrate veggies and maybe choose the sweet potatoes over dessert.
  • On days when you know your food plan includes choices high in fat and sugar, plan reduced fat and sugar meals for your other meals of the day. For instance, if you’re attending a holiday brunch, plan to prepare a salad and fruit for dinner.
  • Find recipes for your favorite foods that are lower in fat, sugar and salt than your original recipe. Use sugar replacements for all, or part of the sugar. In place of fats in baked goods, use applesauce. Most foods can be prepared with a cooking oil spray rather than shortening or butter.
  • Include physical activity during the holidays. My family always goes for a walk after the Thanksgiving dinner, rather than collapsing in front of the TV.

Holidays are a special time of the year. For most of us, favorite foods served during the holidays aren’t served other times of the year. With some sensible planning, you can enjoy your holiday favorites and stay on the path to a healthy you.

MSU Extension has more information on how to stay healthy, including nutrition and physical activity ideas. Check your local MSU Extension for classes near you.

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