• By Julie Stefanski
  • In Uncategorized
  • December 11, 2018

Healthy Holiday Eating with Diabetes

By Felicia Porrazza, MDA, RDN, LDN

The holidays are here and while this time can be filled with fun activities, it can also be a stressful, especially if you are trying to prevent or control diabetes. It is important to find a balance between your health and enjoyment of the holiday season. Navigate the holiday foods with ease by following these 5 simple strategies.


1- Survey the Scene

Before digging into the appetizer or buffet table, take a few moments to decide on your options. Ask yourself, “What foods do I really want?” “What foods can I live without?” Then, think about how those foods will fit into your balanced plate (i.e. are they a protein, starchy carbohydrate, or vegetable).


2 – Load up on Veggies

You have probably heard many times to make half your plate vegetables; however, this is even more important with managing diabetes. Vegetables are full of fiber, which helps to keep you fuller for longer and can help with blood sugar control.


3 – Opt for Smaller Portions

After deciding on your food options, remember to keep your portion sizes in check. Since you probably won’t be traveling with measuring cups, use your hand as a simple guide – closed fist is about 1 cup, palm is about 3 ounces, and thumb is approximately 1 tablespoon. Remember, you can always go back for seconds if you are truly hungry!


4 – Step Away From Food Options

Standing near the appetizers or buffet table while socializing can lead mindless (and eventually) overeating. Step away from the food options and instead enjoy your time with family and friends in another room. If you are hungry, grab a plate, sit down, and enjoy your meal instead of grazing.


5 – Stay Hydrated

Keep yourself hydrated throughout the holidays, especially if you are out and about. Aim for unsweetened beverages mainly. If you do decide to drink alcohol, be sure to monitor your sugar intake (to avoid blood sugar crashes) and alternate with water to avoid dehydration.


Ultimately, the holidays are a time of joy and celebration so don’t get too caught up in the stress of food options. Just do the best you can to plan ahead and monitor your intake to better manage your blood sugar numbers.


Felicia Porrazza is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a Masters in Dietetics Administration. She started PorrazzaNutrition to share her knowledge and passion for healthy eating with others. As a traveling dietitian conducting in-and-out-of-home counseling and cooking sessions and work-site wellness programming. Felicia also teaches nutrition at Bucks County Community College.