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Diabetics Must Plan Meals for the Holidays

Beginning with Thanksgiving, the season of merry eating is just around the corner, and everyone, especially diabetics must plan a strategy to maintain their health while enjoying the festivities. Experts from the Harris Health System led by Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam, chief, Endocrinology and Talar L. Glover, MS, RN, director, Diabetes Service Line and Patient Education, recommend simple strategies for diabetics to stay healthy during the holidays. These include planning sensible meals, controlling portions, and engaging in regular exercise.

Balasubramanyam adds that diabetics have to take care of their health by eating right, exercising and maintaining blood sugar levels by regular monitoring and taking medications. During the holidays, Glover says that eating small portions of dessert can be done, but one must take care to avoid eating other rich foods. Diabetics should not skip meals or indulge on foods in one sitting. Instead, they should try to know what is on the holiday menu and spread out eating throughout the day.

Even people who are not suffering from diabetes may feel the effects of temporary spikes in blood sugar levels above the normal fasting range of 70-99. Overeating and increased blood sugar levels can lead to sleepiness and weight gain. Experts advise planning on taking a walk or doing other physical activities after meals.

Balasubramanyam further warns diabetics against increasing prescribed medicine doses to make up for overeating. Drug dosages should be carefully monitored by a doctor because of their potential for side effects. Patients on insulin injections who know how to adjust their doses based on carbohydrate counting and “correction” factors should consider adjusting doses to compensate for overeating during the holidays.


Harris Health System. Planning meals help people with diabetes enjoy the holidays. ScienceDaily.

Posted in: Diabetes Research, Diabetes Treatment, Diet, News Briefs

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