Get Healthy, Carson City: Managing diabetes during the holidays

The holidays are almost upon us, and for many people this means delicious meals, treats and traveling near and far to be with those we love. For others, the holidays might be a cause for anxiety if diagnosed with diabetes. If proper attention is given to monitoring and managing this disease, you can enjoy gatherings and parties along with everyone else. Carson City Health and Human Services has gathered the following tips to help you maintain your blood sugar and manage diabetes during the holiday season.

Do Not Skip Meals

Make sure you do not skip meals prior to going to a party or buffet as this might contribute to difficulty controlling blood sugar. Keeping your meals on schedule will ensure you do not overindulge while at the party and will help to keep your blood sugar steady. If the party is later than your normal meal, eat a small healthy snack at your usual mealtime. Do not “save up” calories in order to eat high carbohydrate or sugary foods — this will only lead to blood sugar problems.

Check Your Blood Sugar Regularly

Checking your blood sugar consistently is the best way to manage it. During the hectic holiday season where travel, stress and excessive sweets and decadent foods are common, it might be wise to check blood sugar levels a few extra times in order to be aware of any changes. This will help guide your food choices.

Limit Alcohol

Alcohol lowers blood sugar and might interact with diabetes medications. The American Diabetes Association recommends checking blood glucose levels during and up to 24 hours after consuming alcohol for those who use insulin or sulfonylurea medications as blood sugars can continue to drop. Consider choosing sparkling waters or seltzers with fruit slices over alcoholic beverages to toast the holidays. If you chose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and have it with food.

Limit the Appetizers

If appetizers are available, consider skipping these unnecessary treats all together or choose mostly vegetables as these will help ensure you do not overeat and will decrease your appetite. Once you have chosen your meal, eat slowly and savor each bite. If you are at a buffet, move away from the table after your plate is filled. It is OK to have the food you love but in small amounts. For dessert, chose pumpkin pie over pecan pie as it has approximately one-third less sugar!

Take a Walk

After your holiday feast, go out for a walk. This form of exercise will not only help to lower your blood sugar, but is a wonderful way to catch up with friends and family. Consider exercising prior to attending a holiday party as well. This will not only contribute to easing stress, but is another way to be proactive in the management of your diabetes.

Talk to Your Health care Provider

As always, consulting with your health care provider for any diabetes management strategies is important. You and your provider will be able to best coordinate a diabetes plan so you can maintain your health and enjoy the holidays at the same time. Diabetes medications may need to be adjusted based on your blood sugar readings and your doctor can assist you with any questions.

Carson City Health and Human Services wishes you and your loved ones a healthy holiday season. For more information about Carson City Health and Human Services programs and services, check out our website at, “like” us on Facebook at, follow us on Twitter at @CCHealthEd, call us at 775-887-2190 or visit us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.


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