People with type 2 diabetes have the arduous task of managing their diets and trying to steer clear of foods high in fat and sugar — something that can be even more challenging around the holidays. And travel to see friends and family may leave these individuals stranded without their medication.
But with a little planning and attentiveness, those with diabetes can stay safe and healthy in the coming weeks.
Here are tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for controlling diabetes during the holidays.
Tips for the party buffet:
- Ask what food will be served, so you can see how it fits into your meal plan.
- Eat a healthy snack to avoid overeating at the party.
- Fix your plate and move to another room away from the food.
- Choose smaller portions.
- Choose low-calorie drinks, such as sparkling water, unsweetened tea, or diet beverages. Limit alcoholic beverages to one drink a day for women, two for men, and drink only with a meal.
- Choose turkey without gravy and trim off the skin, or try other lean meats.
- Look for side dishes and vegetables that are light on butter, dressing and other extra fats and sugars, such as marshmallows or fried vegetable toppings.
- Watch the salt. Prepackaged or canned foods can be high in sodium. Choose fresh or frozen vegetables that are low in sodium.
- For dessert, select fruit instead of pies, cakes and other foods high in fat, cholesterol and sugar.
Tips for holiday travel:
- Pack twice the amount of diabetes' supplies you expect to need, in case of travel delays.
- Carry medical identification that says you have diabetes.
- Keep time zone changes in mind so you'll know when to take medication.
- Pack a small cooler of foods that may be difficult to find while traveling, such as fresh fruit, sliced raw vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat yogurt.
- If you're flying and do not want to walk through the metal detector with your insulin pump, tell a security officer that you are wearing an insulin pump and ask them to visually inspect the pump and do a full-body pat-down.
- Place all diabetes supplies in carry-on luggage. Keep medications and snacks at your seat for easy access. Don't store them in overhead bins.
- If you're flying and a meal will be served on your flight, call ahead for a diabetic, low-fat, or low-cholesterol meal. Wait until your food is about to be served before you take your insulin.
- If the airline doesn't offer a meal, bring a nutritious meal yourself.
- Stick with your routine for staying active. Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week.
Pass it on: Planning ahead can help you manage diabetes this holiday season.
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