Comment: Tips for managing your nutrition this holiday season

(NC) Everyone gets excited by mouth-watering, sweet, savoury and decadent holiday foods. If you’re living with a chronic condition like diabetes, the holidays may feel overwhelming when it comes to eating habits and self-care.

The good news is that by finding balance, you can still have treats that you really enjoy by pairing them with lean proteins like turkey, salmon or chicken, Seasonal veggies, like roasted cauliflower and eggplant and complex carbs, like brown rice or roasted potatoes. As you start heading out to festive gatherings, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be mindful of your appetite, hunger and fullness cues and let those guide your choices. A common misconception is that you can skip meals because you may be consuming heavier, sweeter foods later in the day. Research shows that restriction leads to overeating – even bingeing – later in the day. For those with diabetes, it could lead to unwanted spikes in glucose levels.
  • Engage your senses to appreciate the colours, aromas and flavours of your favourite foods.
  • Don’t go to a holiday meal unprepared. Set limits and stick to them. Choose one or two treat foods that you will really enjoy and savour them.
  • If you live with a chronic condition such as diabetes, it can be extra tricky to manage holiday eating and your glucose levels. A quick and easy way to check glucose levels throughout the day is to use a digital health tool, such as a flash glucose monitoring system.For example, Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 system, lets you access your glucose levels on your smartphone. This will help tack your levels as you eat. Real-time glucose data can help you decide if you should have a slice of grandma’s pie after dinner.
  • A failproof way to ensure there will be healthy options for you at a potluck is to bring veggies, crackers and dip, hearty salad or fruit salad yourself, and share the health with everyone.

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