Thanksgiving is upon us, which means so is the holiday season filled with many of our favorite indulgences. With the belly-expanding season finally here, many living with diabetes worry about spikes in blood sugar. However, even people without diabetes can suffer from blood sugar spikes that cause fatigue, brain fog, and added cravings. These spikes have been linked to an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
Here are a few tips on how you can enjoy all the delicious holiday treats while limiting your risk for blood sugar spikes.
Balance Meals and Snacks
Balance carbohydrates with other stabilizing food. Foods that are high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber will help slow the breakdown of sugary foods in your digestive system, limiting the amount of glucose that enters your bloodstream and saving your insulin to clean up the rest later.
Don’t Let Yourself Get Too Hungry
Often people will try to save room for those big holiday meals, but you should never counter a large meal by not eating at other times. Instead, grab a small healthy snack to ensure you won’t get too hungry. When you allow hunger to go for too long your blood sugar levels drop and will be prone to a spike when you do eat.
Drink Alcohol in Moderation
Some of the most common holiday alcoholic beverages such as hard cider, eggnog, beer, and other cocktails contain a lot of carbohydrates and sugar. Opting for wine or liquor such as scotch can help limit these but should also be drank in moderation and enjoyed alongside a well-balanced meal.
Walk After Your Meal
Walking and other exercises help regulate blood sugar levels. Studies show that even only fifteen minutes of easy-to-moderate exercise such as a walk after a meal curbs unhealthy blood sugar spikes.
Drink More Water
Keep a glass or bottle handy throughout the day. Even becoming slightly dehydrated can raise your blood sugar as your body encourages kidneys to retain fluid, meaning excess blood sugar remains inside of you. Dehydration also causes your liver to release more sugar into your blood.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep deprivation has a direct effect on your appetite and blood sugar levels. Ensure you are getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night to help reduce your blood sugar. Quality of sleep is as important as quantity, so ensure you are getting deeper sleep by limiting your exposure to cellphone and computer screens for at least an hour before bedtime.
A study published in Diabetes Care showed that those who skip breakfast had blood sugar levels that were 37 percent higher by lunchtime compared to those who ate in the morning. Choose something light and healthy such as fruit, eggs, oatmeal, or whole-wheat toast.
Don’t get overwhelmed, you can still enjoy those indulgences throughout the holiday season without sacrificing your health. Follow the tips above and if you are interested in crafting a workout plan suited to your own lifestyle, fitness and pain levels, and goals you can do so with a Physical Therapist. Phoenix Osteopractic Physical Therapy is ready to help you, contact us at (972) 232-2310 or visit http://www.phoenixopt.com today!