Christmas can wreak havoc on our bodies over Christmas, especially if you’re a type 2 Diabetic. We have top tips from expert Dr. Sarah Brewer on 10 do’s & dont’s for type 2 diabetics this festive season.
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, working in association with CuraLin the type-2 diabetes supplement.
GET YOUR GREENS
Piling high the turkey and festive trimmings? Make sure you load up on dark green vegetables. “Dark green veggies, such as spinach, kale, rocket and watercress are super-low in carbohydrates and calories and high in fibre, meaning they have a very low glycaemic index and help to keep blood sugar levels stable. They’re rich in antioxidant nutrients, too, such as flavonoids and carotenoids – these may help to protect against some of the complications of diabetes, such as heart disease,” explains nutritionist and fitness trainer Cassandra Barns.
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, working in association with CuraLin the type-2 diabetes supplement.
OPT IN FOR OILY FISH
Throwing a festive dinner party? Treat your guests to a delicious omega 3 rich meal. “Opt for oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and herring. They’re a source of omega-3 fats, which can help bring down inflammation and support heart health – which are both important for those with type 2 diabetes. Also, they can be a great source of vitamin B12, which is depleted by some diabetes medications and is vital for our brain and nervous system, energy and immunity,” explains Cassandra.
SWITCH IT UP
“Making 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,” advises Dr. Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin the type-2 diabetes supplement.
GO FOR A CHRISTMAS STROLL
“If you have eaten a heavy meal, go for a walk afterwards to help burn off the extra energy so blood glucose levels do not rise excessively. Walking off Christmas lunch is a tradition the whole family can enjoy,” suggests Dr. Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin the type-2 diabetes supplement.
GO NUTS THIS CRIMBO
“Nuts are a popular Christmas snack that, as well as being nice, are also good for you and can help to lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure control and can have beneficial effects on glucose control. Dark chocolate coated Brazils or Macadamias are an ideal after dinner treat,” suggests Dr. Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin the type-2 diabetes supplement.
CHECK FOOD ARRANGEMENTS
“Going out to a party? You may eat later than normal, if a meal is provided, or you may need to eat earlier, before you leave, if only a few nibbles or snacks are on offer. If you are using insulin, check what food arrangements are in place so you know whether to expect a meal and if so, when,” suggests Dr. Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin the type-2 diabetes supplement.
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,” suggests Dr. Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin the type-2 diabetes supplement.
A huge thanks you to Dr. Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin, for sending us through this fantastic advice.