Diabetes & New Year’s celebration?

Here is a question that I recently received from http://www.foodpicker.org/

I have recently been diagnosed with diabetes and my wife has pre-diabetes.  New Year’s Eve we always have a large celebration with cocktails and lots of food.  We are growing weary of the party this year given my new diagnosis.  Any tips on how we can still enjoy the party?

Here is the response to the question:

Yes! It is still possible to enjoy with diabetes, what is important though is portion control, and watching carbohydrate intake. It will be hard to suddenly change food habits and food choices, but a gradual change is easily possible. Ones you learn how to carbohydrate count, you will have more flexibility in your food choices.

 Reading food labels is a great way to find out how much carbohydrate is present in the food. For restaurant foods if they have a website where their menu is displayed and links to nutritional info then you can find out which food to select based on their nutrition facts. Limited information is available for the sit down and order restaurant; there your best option is portion control, like sharing the dish with a friend or family. You can also start the course with a healthy soup or salad and feeling up on them before ordering big meals. Always pack the leftovers in take out box do not over eat. Keep in mind if you want to order dessert in the end you need to keep room for that. Avoid extra cheese, butter and dressings. Although fat does not contribute to carbohydrate they are high in calories. If planning a meal at home plan recipes that are healthy yet tasty ahead of time. Using fresh garlic, onions, basil, thyme add great flavor and taste to meals especially roast chicken or turkey, this way you can avoid adding excess fat and salt. Using fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits over canned can also help avoid the excess salt and sugar. Although carbohydrates need to be watched they are also important for energy, choosing whole grain foods is a better option as they are high in fiber content.

 The amount of carbohydrate needed will change based on your daily needs and your doctor and dietitian can help you decide that for you. However, a good starting point is 45- 60g of carbohydrate at each meal. Remember one serving of carbohydrate will provide you with 15 grams of carbohydrate. For example- if you eat one small apple, ½ c of ice cream or 1 slice of bread, ⅓ c cooked pasta or rice, ¼c large baked potato will provide you with 15 grams of carbohydrate.

 Starchy food like bread, cereal, potatoes, beans, corn, crackers, fruits, soda have more carbohydrate than non starchy food likes, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, lettuce. Thus packing up more non starchy foods is a good idea, like making up a salad or vegetable kabas with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumber or bell pepper, you can also added low fat/fat free cheese cubes for extra taste. Beans, peas and lentil are good sources of protein and fiber. They are good meat substitutes as well. Always use lean meat, fish and poultry instead of red meats that are high in fat.

 Alcohol is a big part of party, and occasional drinking is alright. For men limit consumption to two or fewer drinks per day and for women one or fewer drinks per day. A 5oz glass of wine, 12 oz glass of beer or 11/2 oz of distilled spirits all contain about 15gms of carbohydrate. If you drink alcohol do not skip meals, do not go empty stomach and have a drink eat some carbohydrate food with drinking.  If you choose diet soft drink that are sugar free, club soda, sugar free drink mixes limit them to 3 serving per day and spread them throughout the day to avoid raising your blood sugar.

 Ultimately regular physical activity is important. 30 minutes of activity most or all days of the week will help you control you blood glucose, strengthen your heart and increase your energy level. Simple activities like snow shoveling, walking a dog, cleaning the house everything counts as activity. Additionally park away from the store to walk, use stairs whenever possible instead of an elevator.

Enjoy & Happy New Year !!!

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