The holiday season can be a difficult time for managing and preventing diabetes—holiday gatherings, football playoffs, and other celebrations make it hard to stick to a healthy diet because of all the unhealthy foods that are readily available. The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) is providing tips to help people with and at risk for diabetes maintain a healthy lifestyle during the holidays.
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, causing over 40% of all kidney failure cases. Over 9% of all Michigan adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, and over 360,000 Michigan adults are estimated to have diabetes but are currently undiagnosed. The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be both managed and prevented by implementing a healthy lifestyle.
Honey-glazed ham and buttery mashed potatoes are popular for festive dinners, while chicken wings and pizza are among the favorites at football playoffs and other gatherings with friends. Along with these possible setbacks, the busyness of the holiday season can make it seem impossible to find time to exercise. There are, however, some healthy eating tips that can help you stay on track with reaching your goals!
- Eat a healthy snack before going to a party to avoid overeating the less healthy foods that may be provided.
- Check out the party food options and make a plan of what you will eat and how much.
- Bring a healthy dish to share with family and friends.
- Step away from the buffet while chatting to avoid grazing on finger foods.
- When holding your own holiday dinners, consider healthier alternatives for traditional meats such as skinless meat and poultry instead of fried dishes.
There are also ways that you can fit physical activity into a packed holiday schedule when you have little time to visit the gym. Try some of these small steps!
- Park as far away as possible from stores while doing holiday shopping.
- Powerwalk to different stores in the mall instead of driving to them.
- Dance and participate in games instead of hanging around the food table at parties.
- Volunteer to help set up for parties by moving tables/chairs and putting up decorations.
In the midst of the fun and festivities that are going on this month, make sure not to forget about the importance of managing your health. Though it’s easy to leave diabetes management and prevention out in the cold this holiday season, remember that the best gift you can give your friends and family is a healthier you.
For more information on diabetes, please visit www.YourDiabetesInfo.org.
About the NKFM:
For over a decade, the NKFM has been focused on reducing health disparities. The NKFM has received multi-year grants from the Centers for Disease Control and the HHS Office on Women’s Health to help tackle diabetes disparities. As part of these grants the NKFM will be highlighting the Controlling your Diabetes ABCs campaign. If you have diabetes, you are at high risk for kidney disease, heart attack, and stroke. But you can fight back. You can control the ABCs of diabetes and live a long and healthy life. Ask your healthcare provider what your A1C, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol numbers are and ask what they should be.