Our bodies break down the food we eat and extract glucose for energy. The pancreas produces insulin to allow glucose into cells where it is used. If there is not enough insulin or too much glucose (as in Diabetes), the glucose stays in the blood where it can damage blood vessel walls and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and blindness. Balancing the amount and what we eat with our activity levels is an important step in preventing and managing Diabetes, but this can be especially difficult over the festive season.
Our Pharmacists have put together 7 top tips to get through:
- Maintain your exercise – ideally at 30+ minutes of activity five times a week. Exercise can lower insulin resistance in people with type 2 Diabetes. Try and incorporate exercise into your social calendar by meeting friends for a walk or a family game of beach cricket.
- Choose low GI foods, that is foods that are digested slowly, keep you feeling fuller for longer and keep your blood glucose levels even. Fill your plate with non-starchy vegetables and choose wholemeal options when available.
- Eat healthy snacks before functions where there won’t be healthy alternatives offered. Or, know that there will be days when you have treats and plan to have days when you stick to healthy eating.
- If you are bringing a plate of food, choose fresh fruits, dip with vegetable sticks, low sugar options or fresh seafood dishes.
- Drink alcohol in moderation – for women, the recommendation is no more than 2 standard drinks per day, 3 for men. Eating before drinking will slow down the absorption of alcohol and help prevent hypoglycaemia.
- Plan ahead with healthy snacks if holiday meals don’t line up with your regular meal schedule.
- Continue to monitor your blood sugar levels and adjust your insulin doses as directed by your Doctor.
Wishing you a happy, healthy holidays.