Give Diabetes a Holiday by Putting Prevention at the Top of Your List

At many holiday celebration, sweet treats and big eats traditionally come into play – a contributing factor for diabetes and a minefield for those already dealing with the disease. Healthy eating is one of the most important prevention steps in lowering your risk for diabetes, a challenge any time of the year that’s made even more difficult during the holidays.

As with any food choices, moderation is key. Try these simple tips to prevent sabotaging yourself during the holiday season:

  • Prevent overeating by eating a healthy snack before the event.
  • Potluck? Bring a better-for-you option – many delicious recipes are out there!
  • Check the menu ahead of time so you can make your choices before you go.
  • Make a one-trip limit, especially at buffets.
  • Make healthy choices – water and unsweetened or diet drinks; limit heavy holiday traditions like glazed ham, turkey with gravy, etc.
  • Watch out for butter-laden side dishes, fried foods or marshmallow toppings.
  • Look for low sugar or carb options.
  • Minimize alcohol intake.
  • Manage your portion sizes.

One of the best ways to keep both temptation and diabetes at bay? Keep moving. Staying active for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week offers benefits for your heart and bones, lowers stress, improves circulation – and that’s on top of reducing your risk for diabetes. Don’t let chilly weather and gray skies be an excuse for being a couch potato. Enjoy a brisk fall walk or run, and when it’s too cold to be outside, look for other options like a mall or health club. Do stretches or other exercises at home and consider incorporating strength training or light weights into your routine for bone building and other benefits.

By incorporating these and other tips into your lifestyle, you can prevent diabetes – and live longer and healthier! For more ideas on how to prevent diabetes, talk to your doctor or visit www.diabetes.org.