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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever changing landscape of health news.Every Thursday at 5:42 a.m., 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs provides health information you can trust. With trustworthy sources, she explores the fact and fiction surrounding various medical conditions and treatments, makes you aware of upcoming screenings, gives you prevention strategies and more…all to your health.

To Your Health: Managing Diabetes During the Holidays

christmas cookies.jpg
flickr user https://www.flickr.com/photos/39908901@N06/ (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)
Decorated christmas sugar cookies with sprinkles and royal icing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over half a million Missourians are living with diabetes. Diabetes educators work hard to help individuals manage their diabetes throughout the year, but the holiday season has the potential to throw people off. Travel, parties, big meals, snack foods at the office and drinking all create a challenging environment for eating healthy. Add to that the days of travel with little scheduled exercise, and it becomes a real effort to stay on track.

A 2021 survey by the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association found staying on track with health goals was the top holiday season concern among respondents. Almost three-quarters of respondents reported having a lot or complete control over their dietary choices during a normal week, compared to just over half during a holiday week, such as Christmas.

The CDC offers the following tips to holiday-proof your healthy eating plan:Eat close to your usual times to keep your blood sugar steady. If your meal is served later than normal, eat a small snack at your usual mealtime and eat a little less when dinner is served.

Offer to bring a healthy dish along to parties. If you have a sweet treat, cut back on other carbs (like potatoes and bread) during the meal.Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast. It will be harder to manage your blood sugar, and you’ll be really hungry and more likely to overeat.

If you slip up, get right back to healthy eating with your next meal.




Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.