With Christmas on the horizon and the likelihood of prosecco, mince pies and gingerbread being in full flow, how can you make sure to keep your blood sugar levels stable? Our experts share their top tips…
There are 3.8 million people in the UK who have been diagnosed with diabetes and 90% of those have type 2, according to Diabetes UK. If you are one of them, there are several things you can do to stay healthy over the festivities.
Stressmass – no more!
“Christmas can be a stressful time. Plan well in advance rather than leaving things to the last minute, as excess stress can cause glucose levels to rise as part of the ‘fight or flight’ stress response,” explains Dr. Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin, the Type 2 diabetes supplement.
Keep on track
“Check you have enough medication and blood glucose monitoring supplies to see you through the holiday period. Also, if you are eating more, being less active and experiencing a change in routine, you may need to check your glucose levels more often than usual,” advises Dr. Sarah Brewer.
Try CuraLin (£59, www.curalife.com), a nutritional supplement that can be taken alongside medication, once approved by your doctor or nutritional therapist. It is made from a mixture of ten natural ingredients, which are derived from Ayurvedic medicine, that work with the body to help balance blood sugar levels of those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. It can also help reduce cravings for sugar and processed carbohydrates, which could come in handy over the festive period in particular.
Everything in moderation is key
“Traditional Christmas foods such as Christmas Cake, mince pies and chocolates can be enjoyed if you have diabetes, as long as you don’t eat too much in one go. Spread them out rather than overindulging in one sitting – graze rather than gorge. For example, wait a couple of hours after your Christmas main course before having dessert,” advises Dr. Sarah Brewer.
Be wary of your beverage
“Drinking alcohol can mean you are less aware of the symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). Alternate an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic beverage; instead of drinking wine on its own, add soda water to make a spritzer. When drinking spirits always add a low calorie or diet mixer rather than one containing sugar, and remember that fruit juice can be high in sugar, too.”
Switch it up
“Making creative ingredient swaps means you can still enjoy healthy versions of traditional favourites when you have diabetes. Instead of figgy pudding have a fresh fig compote for example. Instead of double cream use low-fat crème fraiche or unsweetened Greek yogurt.”