PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Ahead of the holiday’s, local health leaders are sharing ways that you can help manage your sugar intake.
Tami harker, an endocrologist with OSF Healthcare said the first step is planning ahead.
“Plan ahead. The day of a gathering, see where your blood sugar is at. Are you in a good place going into the party knowing that eating your favorite food might raise your blood sugar, which wouldn’t be the end of the world, or have you been running high all day and maybe need to get your sugars down with a little insulin – as directed – which might be a good idea,” Harker said.
She adds that on the day of the event, it’s better to eat small meals or snacks ahead of your holiday dinner.
“On the day of the event, it’s better to eat. Some people think they just won’t eat all day and then have a large meal, but it’s better to eat some small meals or a few snacks before you go so you are not overly hungry and wanting to eat everything. I think planning is key,” Harker explained.
Harker said while avoiding sugary foods is the goal, nothing is off the table during the holiday’s but moderation was key.
“Of course, aim to avoid those things you know have sugar – like frosted sugar cookies and cake with icing. They aren’t an absolute no, but work them into your plan. Talk to your healthcare provider on some ways to navigate it. Like if you want to have a slice of pie, what else can you cut out,” Harker said.
Harker explained that carbohydrates are also known to increase blood sugar and people should be cautious before eating foods high in carbs.
“Potatoes, bread, any pasta dishes, creamed vegetables – that is all going to have carbohydrates that raise your blood sugar, so minimize those. If your favorite is sweet potato casserole and you only get it once a year, maybe hold off on the roll or mashed potatoes and have a smaller portion of the food you really enjoy,” Harker cautioned.
Additionally, Harker recommends bringing along a dish or two that you know fits into your diet that you can also share with your family and friends.