Christmas is a time for celebration and over indulging which can make managing diabetes over the festive season a little more difficult.  It can be easy to be tempted by foods high in salt, sugar and fat content and whilst it is important to stick to a healthy diet there’s no need to miss out completely.  With a little planning and our tips below, you can still make the most of this wonderful time of year. 

Don’t Go Hungry & Don’t Overeat

If Christmas dinner is running a little late it can lead to a longer period of hunger which could cause you to overeat once dinner is served.  It’s a good idea to have a small, pre-meal snack.  Something with plenty of protein is a good choice as it will curb the hunger pangs and will break down slowly.

Try drinking a glass of water before your meal.  This will make you feel full more quickly, reducing your appetite and therefore reducing your food intake giving you more control over your glycemic levels.  

Food Choices

There are so many low fat and low calorie options to choose from that it should be easy to find an alternative without compromising the taste of Christmas dinner staples.  

  • Turkey - Stick to the white, breast meat and avoid eating the skin.
  • Pigs In Blankets - Try low fat cocktail sausages and use lean back bacon.  Grilling allows for excess fat to drain away.
  • Roast Potatoes - Reduce the amount of fat you use to cook them, try dry roasting or air-frying.
  • Stuffing - Vegetarian stuffing is a great, lower fat alternative to traditional stuffing that is often made with sausage meat.  It’s best to cook it in a separate dish to the turkey to avoid soaking up excess fat.
  • Vegetables - At least two fifths of your plates should be filled with vegetables.  They are great choices for those managing diabetes because they are low in calories and help you to stay feeling full.  Steamed or boiled is the healthiest way of cooking.

Steady On The Pud’s

Puddings at Christmas can be really tempting.  It’s ok to have pudding, it is Christmas after all but it’s best to stick to the one and keep the portion a sensible size.  Sweet foods are absorbed very quickly and it’s probably a good idea to eat slowly and savour every mouthful. 

Drink Sensibly

Alcohol contains a high amount of calories and mixers can be high in sugar content so it’s definitely something to be aware of.  It’s a good idea to alternate between alcoholic and soft drinks to limit the amount of alcohol consumed.  Choose sugar free or diet soft drinks and opt for those as mixers too.  Those who are dependent on insulin should be aware that alcohol can lower your blood glucose levels putting them more at risk of a hypo. 

Don’t drink on an empty stomach as this can also decrease your blood glucose levels.  Choose a protein based snack to slow down absorption and the effects of alcohol.  You can also choose a starchy, slow release snack at bedtime such as toast, cereal or a sandwich.

Stay Active

Yes Christmas should be about relaxing and snuggling on the sofa but it’s really important to stay active.  This can help to manage your blood sugar levels, blood pressure and burn excess calories.  Going for a brisk walk, even when it is cold, is a great physical activity.  Wandering around the shopping centres and browsing the sales counts too.  Get up, dance with the children or grandchildren or why not have a go at ice-skating.

Check For A Glucose Glitch

It’s quite likely that at some point over the festive period you may find your blood glucose levels are higher than usual.  Don’t panic, one or two higher readings won’t impact your overall control of your diabetes, but you should try to manage it so as not to compromise your overall health.   

If you self-test it’s a good idea to do so more often so that you can monitor and manage any changes in your glycemic levels quickly and avoid a hypo (low glucose levels) or a hyper (high glucose levels).

Final Thought

Nothing is out of bounds, everyone should be able to indulge in a treat or two and make the most of this special time of year.  Being mindful about your food and alcohol intake is key but if you do stray a little, don’t be too hard on yourself.  You can always start afresh tomorrow. 

If you are looking to stock up on supplies, we offer a wide range of insulin needles and syringes that will help to administer insulin safely at home.


Post By Kelly