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Healthy eating tips for Parties

Vivian CHEN, Senior Pharmacist

Now it is time for festivals andparties. These events are tons of fun but they can also be a challenge if you’re trying to lose weight or manage your diabetes.  Whether you’reattending a party outside or holding a party at home, here are some healthy eatingtips to enjoy the party without overdoing it.

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Healthy party day tips

  • Choose smaller portions of your favorite foods.
  • Eat your food slowly and think twice before going back forsecond helpings.
  • Fill your plate with plenty of non-starchy vegetables, suchas spinach, eggplant, okra, carrots, green beans,bitter melon, tomatoes, or green salad.
  • Stay away from the food table and focus on the socialfestivities instead of unhealthy snacks and treats.
  • Take a walk break to get some exercise.  Set a timer onyour phone to get up and move every thirty minutes
  • Come prepared.Bring a healthier dish or side, like a vegetabletray with hummus or some fresh fruit.

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Alcohol

Along with food, most parties include alcohol. If you plan to drink alcohol,follow these tips:

  • Check with your health care team about whether it is safefor you to drink alcohol.
  • If you have diabetes, do not drink on an empty stomach orwhen your blood glucose is low, since your risk of low blood glucose increases after drinking.
  • Don’t skip a meal if you are going to drink. (If you use carbohydrate counting to plan meals, it is important to understand how the drinks you choose affect your blood glucose and often your insulin dose will need to be decreased if having more than one drink)
  • Drinking alcohol can cause a drop in blood glucose because alcohol blocks the production of glucose in the liver. (The liver contains”emergency stores” of glucose to raise your blood sugar if it drops too low.)  Once the liver’s stores of glucose are depleted, a person who has drank a lot of alcohol can’t make more right away, and that can lead to dangerously low blood glucose or even death.
  • Also, alcohol is processed by your liver, which is responsible for removing toxins (like alcohol or drugs) and processing medication, so if you are taking other pills, drinking too much alcohol can cause damage to your liver.
  • People with diabetes need to use the same guidelines as those without diabetes if they choose to drink:

Women: no more than 1 drink per day.

Men: no more than 2 drinks per day.

Note:  One drink is equal to a 12 oz beer, 5 ozglass of wine or 1 ½ oz distilled spirits (vodka, whiskey, gin, etc.).

Choose lighter options like light beer or wine spritzers.  Sugary mixers and drinks like punch, margaritas, and heavy beers can add a lot of calories.

Remember, most foods can be consumed in moderation. Choosing smaller portions of your favorite foods can help you manage your weight and diabetes. Don’t forget to get some extra steps when you enjoy theparty!