Carolinas HealthCare System
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10 Tips People with Type 2 Diabetes Should Know During Holidays
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The holidays are a great time of year to get together with family and friends. Often, these gatherings include sharing meals, which can be a challenge when you’re trying to manage Type 2 diabetes. But, if you are prepared, you can enjoy the holidays and keep your Type 2 diabetes under control. Here are 10 tips to help you stay on track.

1) Have a healthy snack ahead of time to prevent overeating.
It’s easier to make wise choices when you’re not hungry.

2) Bring a dish for yourself and to share with other guests.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, ask your healthcare team for a recipe or check out the Fruits and Veggies website for some ideas.

3) Lower your salt intake.
Choose fresh or frozen vegetables with no added sauces. Instead of microwaving your veggies, try other ways of cooking such as roasting or grilling. You’ll get extra flavor without extra calories. Brussels sprouts and beets are low in sugar and high in vitamins and minerals – both are great when roasted.

4) Focus on visiting with friends and loved ones.
Relax and enjoy the day catching up with people you may not have seen for a while.

5) Don't over do it on the sauces and condiments.
Avoid foods that are loaded with butter, sour cream, cheese, mayonnaise and sugars, such as turkey in gravy or honey-glazed ham. Try skinless turkey without gravy or other lean meats. Plain baked sweet potatoes are delicious and pack a powerful nutritional punch.

6) Ask your healthcare provider if alcohol is safe for you.
Limit to one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men. Drink only with a meal. Try low-calorie beverages such as sparkling water flavored with slices of fresh orange, lemon or lime, unsweetened tea or diet drinks.

7) Reduce portion sizes.
Remember: 3 ounces of fish, lean meat or poultry is the size of a deck of cards; ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta is about the size of an ice cream scoop; and 1 ½ ounces of low fat cheese is equal to four dice.

8) If you are at a buffet, make your plate and move away from the table.
When making your selections, try filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Grains and proteins should make up less than a quarter of the plate.

9) Choose fruit for dessert.
Skip the cookies, ice cream, pies and cakes. Enjoy some of the season’s bounty, such as clementines and pears. Two clementines are only 80 calories and a great source of vitamin C. A medium-sized pear is packed with B vitamins and is also high in fiber (about 6 grams), which can help control blood sugar.

10) Take a walk after eating.
It’s important to keep to your physical activity routine. Try to get 30 to 60 minutes of activity on most days of the week.