Health and Lifestyle for the over 50s

How to Enjoy Festive Foods with Diabetes

Posted by The Best of Health
Categories: Diet & Nutrition /

How to Enjoy Festive Foods with DiabetesWhen it comes to food, Christmas can be a bit of a nightmare for those of us with diabetes. The traditional Christmas dinner may seem like a minefield, those tempting trays of nibbles, constantly circulating the family gathering, can be tricky, to say the least, while buffet spreads are often the gastronomic equivalent of shark-infested waters. But, if you have diabetes, there are ways you can enjoy Christmas, without denying yourself completely of those festive treats. Here are a few tips to help not just survive, but enjoy Christmas and the foods of the season.

Enjoy Food in Small Amounts

When eating over Christmas the key is to think about how a treat may affect your blood sugar levels. It is important to think about not just what you’re eating, but how much you’re eating and what you are eating that food with.

Douglas Twenefour, clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, says: “We want everyone with diabetes to enjoy their Christmas and that doesn’t mean denying yourself your favourite festive treats or missing out on Christmas drinks. The key is to plan and be mindful of how a treat may affect your blood glucose. Enjoy small amounts of ordinary festive foods and balance this with healthier recipes and snacks,” he says.

Don’t Drink on an Empty Stomach

The alcohol can be free-flowing over the Christmas period, but it is important to remember not to drink on an empty stomach. This can send your blood glucose level low and put you at risk of a hypo (hypoglycaemia), says Twenefour.

“If you’re having a drink then make sure you have something to eat with it,” he says. “Try not to drink too excessively, however freely the drink is flowing. Alternating between alcoholic and soft drinks will help to reduce the amount of alcohol you consume and keep you hydrated at the same time.”

How to Enjoy Festive Foods with DiabetesStay Active with Wintery Walks

With the daily family gatherings, the cold temperatures and the temptation to spend all day in front of the telly, it can be easy not to stay active. But Twenefour says staying active is crucial in managing your blood sugar levels, so try to make time for some nice wintery walks.

“An important thing to remember is to stay active, as this will help you to manage your blood glucose levels, so take a wintery walk to a local park or landmark,” he says. “One or two high blood glucose readings shouldn’t affect long-term diabetes control, but people should aim to avoid persistently high readings.”

Festive Alternatives to Christmas Classics

Diabetes UK suggests a variety of healthier alternatives to those traditional Christmas dinner favourites, which will save calories and some great grams of fat too. Here are some suggestions.

Christmas Day Starter

For your starter, rather than Pâté on toast, go for a pumpkin and chestnut soup. It will save you over 220 calories and 11g of fat. Starting your Christmas dinner with a smoked marcel salad can also be a healthier alternative to prawn cocktail, saving you over 130 calories and 11g of fat.

Christmas Day Main Course

You can still enjoy your turkey with all the trimmings, just with a different selection of err, trimmings. Leave the sausage rolls and Yorkshire pudding, swap your roast spuds for sweet potatoes and the stuffing for apple sauce. Such food alternatives can reduce calories by more than 365 calories and 29g of fat.

Christmas Day Desserts

For your dessert, if you can’t find a diabetic Christmas cake, try swapping your calorie-heavy pudding and brandy cream for fruit salad with crème fraiche. It will save you over 585 calories and a whopping 25g of fat. Alternatively, leave out the mince pies this year and try a chocolate mousse instead. It will save you 490 calories and 28g of fat.

Christmas Snacks

Instead of cheese and biscuits, try some low-fat houmous and dippers to save 220 calories and 17g of fat. Also, replace those bowels of crisps and nuts with a nice mixture of dried fruit. It will save you over 180 calories and 26 of fat.

For more information and for other festive tips and advice from Diabetes UK, visit:

Related Posts

  • How to Come to Terms with Adult Incontinence

    People are being encouraged to speak out about incontinence to raise awareness and thereby, try to dispel any feelings of embarrassment and negative self esteem. It’s not known exactly how many people in the UK…

  • laser eye surgery

    If you’ve ever suffered with persistently watering eyes, you’ll understand how irritating the problem can be. Although not in any way a life-threatening condition, watering eyes, or epiphora, as it’s sometimes called, causes tears to…

Posted by The Best of Health

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site.

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie

We use Google Tag Manager to monitor our traffic and to help us AB test new features.

Decline all Services
Accept all Services