Diabetic Friendly Food Tips
by Stephanie Olzinski, RDN and Rhyan Geiger, RDN
Food choices can feel difficult to make during the holiday season, especially if you are diabetic. Especially when you’re trying to enjoy parties and get-togethers while still managing blood sugars.
Below are some quick tips for staying on track with food and beverages as you navigate the tables of dishes and desserts:
Be a picky eater when picking your foods at a dinner or a party. Scan the food options first before choosing and find a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables.
Choose a smaller dinner plate. Use a plate that is 9” in diameter or smaller to combat overeating for better portion control. Avoid going back for extra helpings of carbohydrate foods like potatoes, stuffing, desserts, and casseroles.
Serve yourself non-starchy, low carbohydrate foods first as these foods won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar. Vegetables like asparagus, green beans, carrots, leafy greens, mushrooms, and broccoli are all great low carbohydrate options.
Watch the drinks which can contain hidden calories and sugar. Opt for water, zero-calorie sparkling water, or only one glass of something special!
Stay active by taking time to walk around shopping, playing with family members, or helping to cook and prepare food.
Find substitutions for ingredients when you are preparing any food. Try to make a dessert that you enjoy and know will fit into your other choices (sugar-free pudding and cool whip, baked apples, oatmeal bars).
Don’t skip meals in anticipation of a feast! Although we want to save up our calories for a great dinner, make sure that meals or snacks are still included during the day to avoid spikes in blood sugar.
Although the holiday season might seem challenging, use the tips above to make it more manageable. The holidays are more than food – they’re about seeing family and friends, playing games, and enjoying good company. Don’t get down on yourself. Making small changes is a great first step, and we’re here to help!
Learn how to manage your diabetes with the help of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. Call to schedule your appointment at 480-882-4545.