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by IBD Medical on December 08, 2022

Christmas Dinner

Christmas is a time to enjoy yourself and to be surrounded by friends and family. However, being a time of celebration and much indulgence, Christmas festivities tend to result in higher fats, sugars, and salts than our usual diets. If you or someone you are close to is living with diabetes, you may find this time of year more difficult to manage your diet.


We have compiled a list of helpful tips so you can enjoy yourself throughout the festive season without compromising your healthy habits or diabetes self-management. Make sure you are stocked up on all of the medications you need while your doctor is closed. 


Be aware of higher blood sugar levels 

Throughout the festive period, you may find you have higher blood glucose levels than normal due to being less active, indulging in different foods or changing your routine. Although having spikes in your blood sugar levels should not affect your long-term diabetes, be sure to take appropriate measures to lower it before you start to feel unwell.


Test more often

If you test your blood sugar levels, it is recommended to do this more often over the Christmas period. This is to catch the changes in your blood sugar and avoid a hypo. Stress or illness can also raise blood sugar levels so be sure to try and keep a routine even if travelling. 

Stay active

Although the Christmas period is a time for rest and relaxation, it is still important to stay active. Exercising can help you manage blood sugar levels, blood pressure and manage your weight. There are lots of fun ways to fit in some exercise with the whole family, whether it is hot or cold. This could include going on a family walk, jumping about with the children, dancing at a party - or ice skating if it is cold. 


Follow healthy eating habits

  • Fill up your plate with vegetables and lean proteins
  • Watch out for hidden sugars in dressings or sauces
  • Keep an eye on your portion sizes
  • If possible, serve your own plate as you know which foods will make your blood sugar levels spike
  • Try healthier dessert options e.g. low-fat yoghurt instead of cream


Don’t feel guilty about enjoying some Christmas snacks. Although there are no ‘forbidden foods’, be mindful of what you are eating and try and choose healthier options. A change in routine and break from the norm is expected so enjoy it and get back on track the next day.


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Remember to always seek advice from your medical practitioner before changing anything about your diabetes management. The above information is not medical advice.