Keep sugar levels under control

2017-12-20 06:01

AT Royal Pharmacy we take helping our patients extremely seriously.

We have thus ensured that we create a platform for our beloved patrons to not only maintain their health, but also possibly enhance it over this festive period.

The price of our Accu-check active strips as well as our blood machines is unrivalled so that we can ensure you can afford to check your glucose all the time.

Christmas is a time of great excitement. It is a time for family and for children, for lights, for decorations and of course for food. Piles of roast potatoes, turkey and ham, the Christmas pudding soaked in brandy and a Christmas cake to top it off. So how do you get through the festive season without completely overindulging?

Healthy eating for people with diabetes is the same as for everyone else. The traditional Christmas foods such as mince pies, Christmas pudding and Christmas cake can still be enjoyed, but just don’t eat too many or too much in one go. The trick is to spread them out over the Christmas period and keep your portions small. Here are some tips to help you eat healthy this Christmas and keep your diabetes on track.

For children

It is the most exciting time of year because Santa is on his way. For children the emphasis is more on school holidays and presents rather than all the sweet stuff. It just happens that chocolates and overeating has become part of the tradition for everyone. It doesn’t have to be though, remember it’s only one day.

With chocolates and sweets, it is best to restrict them. Selection boxes and tins of sweets don’t have to be eaten in one day. They are best eaten in small amounts after meals. If Santa is bringing a bike, skates or scooter, try to get out and play with them for at least an hour every day, otherwise get some fresh air by walking with your family for an hour every day.

Top tips for a healthy Christmas

• Stick with sugar-free or diet drinks as much as possible. Keep fresh fruit juice to a small glass taken with a meal as it contains lots of natural sugars.

• Save your selection boxes and tins of sweets - they will last into January and don’t need to be eaten all at once.

• Love the Christmas fruit and vegetables. Fruit salad, melon, satsumas, fruit juice, parsnips, carrots, peas, brussel sprouts, broccoli and dried fruit (only a small handful).

• Take some exercise to walk off the large meals and puddings. Save the DVDs and computer games until its dark and get outside when you can.

• Take your time when eating - slow down, especially at this time of year. You usually eat more when you eat quickly and slowing down will help you reduce the amount you take in.

• Fried food can be easily avoided by roasting or grilling. Avoid adding butter to vegetables, and keep an eye on how many sauces you eat.

Diabetic chocolate

Diabetic chocolate is not recommended, it is expensive and unnecessary. Diabetic chocolate contains fructose, sorbitol or a similar sweetener, which can have a laxative effect. It is also just as high in fat and calories as ordinary chocolate, and can still raise blood-glucose levels. So if you are having chocolate over Christmas, have small amounts of “normal” chocolate after meals to control your blood glucose level.

Exercise, exercise, exercise

We are all going to indulge a little over the holidays. Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, exercise helps keep your glucose under control. Do consult your doctor before beginning an exercise programme. Also, make sure you have an understanding of how exercise affects your blood glucose, especially if you use tablets or insulin.

Why not:

• Check what’s on in your area on Christmas day. If there is a sponsored swim maybe take a walk there to offer support, or why not even take part yourself.

• Despite the risk of low blood glucose, exercise is a valuable tool in managing your levels

• If you manage diabetes without medication or insulin, a brisk walk before or after a meal will help reduce your blood glucose levels.

• At a party keep your mind off all the treats being served by dancing the night away.

• Even if you manage your diabetes with medication, exercise can help reduce your blood glucose, and helps with losing any weight gained over Christmas.

Christmas cheer

• We do more drinking at Christmas than at any other time of the year and alcohol is a big problem if you are trying to keep your weight stable.

• Not only does it contain calories (one pint of beer has around 200 calories) it can also lead to low blood glucose, which makes you feel hungrier.

• Never drink on an empty stomach and always have a snack at bedtime.

• If you are drinking make sure people around you know you have diabetes.

• Making a wine spritzer by mixing wine with diet lemonade or soda water is another way to cut back on calories.

• If you have a lot of parties to go to try not to drink at all of them.

For more great tips and deals come visit us at Royal Pharmacy. Our blood sugar strips and machines are cheaper than anywhere else so let us give you a quote today so you have more to spend on your family tomorrow.

Contact us on 033 815 1690/1/2/3, email Pharmacy@rh.org.za or WhatsApp us on 072 139 9048.

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