Planning a Successful and Diabetic-Friendly Holiday

healthy christmas tips for diabetics

The holiday season is in full force! While it’s a beautiful time of the year, holiday obligations add up quickly. You have work piling up as the year-end nears – not to mention all the shopping, giftwrapping, cooking, bills, travel arrangements, school events, work-leave, and even more projects, all packed into a few short months.

As your schedule gets busier, small but important things tend to slip your mind, such as picking up prescriptions and checking your blood sugar. With long lines everywhere you go, harsh weathers, and traffic delays that never seem to improve, you’re less likely to remember everything you need to do, let alone actually do them well.

Although it’s easy to get overwhelmed by holiday obligations, those with diabetes MUST focus on themselves above all else. Despite their best intentions, diabetics who become distracted and allow their blood sugar levels to run wild will have more difficulty getting through a workday and completing all of their holiday tasks.

High blood sugar is just that – a high amount of carbohydrate, or sugar, in the blood. Having an elevated blood glucose means that the carbohydrate load consumed hasn’t arrived to the brain and muscle where it needs to be. In order for people with diabetes to think and perform at their fullest capacities, blood sugar levels must be maintained within a reasonable range, usually between 70 and 130.

When blood sugar is well-controlled, the carbohydrate goes to the brain and muscle, enabling you to function adequately in thought and action to carry out every item on your holiday agenda.

The more activities you add to the holiday list, the more important it is to check your blood sugar frequently. If the blood sugar begins to become unstable, STOP everything! Take time out and fix the problem right there and then. The sooner you tend to your health and blood sugar level, the faster you can return to the holiday hustle and bustle.

If the unstable blood sugar isn’t taken care of immediately, the next warning you get might be a trip to the emergency room, which would definitely put a halt to all holiday activities.

Controlling your blood sugar levels is essential for running holiday errands and enjoying the festive season. Always have a low glycemic snack and glucometer with you. This is the season of delays and crowds, so having your glucometer, a bottle of water, and a healthy snack handy can help you avoid a really bad day, and even a trip to the emergency room. To be extra prepared, carry around your next dose of medications with you.

Always be proactive and remember that you’re the one in control of your diabetes, not the other way around. Prioritize your health and keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels so that you can make the most of this holiday season!

Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator


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