If you are living with diabetes, following a healthy lifestyle at Christmas can be a struggle, but it shouldn’t mean traditional festive foods should be forbidden. Just like everyone else, people with diabetes can enjoy the occasional high fat or high sugar food like mince pies or Christmas pudding as part of a healthy diet.
At Diabetes UK we don’t recommend that people with diabetes or their family or friends buy ‘diabetic’ foods, such as ‘diabetic’ Christmas cake or ‘diabetic’ chocolate. These offer no special benefit to people with diabetes and will still affect blood glucose levels. These foods can contain just as much fat and calories as the ordinary versions, can have a laxative effect and can be expensive.
It makes much more sense to have small amounts of ordinary festive foods instead and balance these with healthier recipes and snacks.
To help people manage their diabetes over the festive season, we have a special section on our website packed with tips and recipes. There is also handy advice about food at parties, safe guidelines for alcohol consumption and information on how to swap to healthier options of favourite Christmas dishes, nibbles and treats. The other important thing to remember is to stay active, which will help to manage blood glucose levels - for example, taking a wintery walk to a local park or landmark, trying ice skating or heading out to the sales.
One or two high blood glucose readings shouldn’t affect long-term diabetes control, but people should aim to avoid persistently high readings.
For more information go to www.diabetes.org.uk/ enjoying-Christmas
Diabetes UK, South East Regional Manager