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How to manage your blood sugar this Christmas

Living with type 2 diabetes at Christmas

If you have type 2 diabetes, your body isn’t making enough insulin to function well, or your body’s cells aren’t reacting to insulin. This lack of, or failure to react to, insulin means that glucose levels can’t be maintained.

When it comes to diet, vigilance is required by those with type 2 diabetes. The right dietary decisions can offer an effective defence against a rise in blood sugar levels. At no time of year is this more pertinent than around Christmas. With so much festive food and seasonal treats on offer during the holidays, which are the foods that people with type 2 diabetes should be avoiding, and which foods are suitable? In this blog, we take a look…

Foods to avoid for those living with type 2 diabetes

First let’s take a look at some Christmas foods which it can be wise to steer clear of, and suggest some viable alternatives. There is nothing to stop you enjoying Turkey as part of your traditional Christmas dinner, but think about swapping turkey with butter-basted skin with a skinless turkey, which has a significantly lower volume of fat. Then there is the stuffing. Type 2 diabetes sufferers should look to avoid stuffing containing sausage meat – why not swap it for an equally tasty nut or cranberry variety which can cut down the fat content by as much as 90 per cent?

But what about desserts and the sweet stuff which can be so easy to come by at Christmas? Take a savvy decision to swap big mince pies for the mini versions, slashing your fat consumption. For your Christmas dinner, look to swerve Christmas cake which is covered in icing or marzipan, and instead opt for some fruit cake with no sugary covering. And if you are looking for a substitute for fatty double cream, consider zero per cent fat Greek yoghurt which is readily available in supermarkets.

Which Christmas foods are suitable for those living with type 2 diabetes?

So which are the foods which are understood to be packed with benefits for those with type 2 diabetes? Well it might not have a reputation as the most loved of Christmas foods, but it is one of the most famous – are you a fan of Brussels sprouts? If you have type 2 diabetes, you might learn to love them, because cruciferous vegetables such as these modest spheres have been found to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, and contain alpha-lipoid acid which is believed to promote the work of insulin in lowering blood sugar.

There are more Brussels sprouts benefits too – they are vitamin K rich, contain omega-3 fatty acids, are packed with antioxidants and are high in vitamin C. In fact, if you have type 2 diabetes you could easily take on the mantra that Brussels sprouts ‘are not just for Christmas’!

As a general rule, if you have type 2 diabetes ensure that your plate has a healthy share of vegetables this Christmas, and exercise caution when selecting the type and size of your dessert dishes and sweets.

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