With the holiday season in full swing, there are delicious appetizers and desserts everywhere you look, but if you have diabetes, you need to be aware of what you should and shouldn’t eat. After all, your diet is an important part of managing your disease. We’re not just talking about passing over Santa’s cookies and other sweets, either. You should limit fat, packaged, and processed foods, while eating plenty of fruits, veggies and whole grains. If we’re being honest, this type of diet plan is something everyone should follow – diabetes or not! Here are some specific guidelines to keep in mind the next time you arrive at a party or gather at the dinner table with friends and family:
- Scope out the good fat. Yes, there is such a thing! The best sources are nuts, low-fat dairy products, avocados, flax seeds, and fish or olive oils. Warning: make sure that low-fat options have not replaced fat with sugar!
- Keep it fresh. Indulge in plenty of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Think lean protein. Fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, beans, and cheese are good choices.
- Keep whole grain on the brain. Choose breads, cereals, and pasta with whole grains and high fiber.
- Avoid partially hydrogenated, trans and saturated fats, as well as deep-fried foods.
- Stay away from packaged and fast foods, like chips and high sugar baked goods and desserts.
- Say no to white breads and refined rice and pasta.
- Reduce the amount of processed and red meats including beef, hot dogs, sausage and bacon.
- Keep high sodium products at arm’s length.
- Limit sugary drink intake.
Keeping these do’s and don’ts in mind will eventually become second nature and your diet will be easy to follow – trust us! It’s also good to adhere to a regular meal plan which will help keep blood sugar steady throughout the day. In addition, some people with diabetes find a Glycemic Index helpful. This ranks food by its effect on your glucose levels.
If you’re feeling a little apprehensive, rest assured that you don’t have to do it all alone. We are here for you to help set up a plan and see it through so you can have a healthy holiday season and beyond!
If you’d like more tips or help managing your diabetes, call (609) 924-8333 for our Princeton, NJ office, or dial (908) 687-5757 to reach our Roselle Park location.
Here’s to your health. Now dig in!