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Enjoying Special Occasions With Diabetes

Special occasions, especially those that center around food, can present challenges if you have diabetes.  But by planning ahead, there is no reason you can’t enjoy yourself.

“We want you to enjoy special occasions without sacrificing taste or tradition to stay on track,” says Tracey Lucier, Nutrition Educator at Joslin Diabetes Center.  “It’s hard enough to have diabetes day to day.”

Whether it’s office parties, family celebrations, or holiday feasts, Joslin nutritionists offer the following tips to maintain blood glucose control and weight:

  • Plan Ahead.  Bring your own recipes to events rather than depend on what’s there.  Bring a dessert baked with Splenda or a low-fat dip, for example.  “And make sure you’re not hungry when you go,” adds Lucier.
  • Be Realistic.  Oftentimes people with type 2 diabetes have a weight issue.  But because it is difficult to try to lose weight at holiday times,  Lucier says that it is more realistic to maintain weight.
  • Limit Alcohol.  Set your alcohol limit ahead of time (usually one or two drinks) and stick to it.  Drink club soda or sparkling water with a slice of lime or lemon or splash of juice.
  • Be Mindful of Food Choices.  Instead of fried food, try steamed, baked or broiled.  Avoid overeating, take smaller portions, eat plenty of veggies, and don’t go back for seconds.  Share meals or a dessert.

Plan to do some physical activity, such as a walk, after eating, Lucier suggests.  “Bring along a friend or family member and make it fun.”

To make an appointment with a nutrition educator, please call (617) 732-2440.

Page last updated: April 25, 2014