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Health Matters: Managing diabetes during the holidays

It's hard to stay healthy during the holiday season. One endocrinologist has tips on how diabetics can maintain their blood sugar.

HOUSTON — The holiday season is fraught with temptation! And it can be especially hard for diabetics.

It’s why Dr. Neel Shah, an endocrinologist with UT Physicians, says it’s important to have a plan.

“You should try to maintain your schedule as much as possible,” says Dr. Shah

Managing diabetes goes beyond avoiding sugar. Carbohydrates, like mashed potatoes, can also cause a surge in blood sugar.

It’s also important to limit high-fat foods.

“There is always temptation to skip a meal or two, ahead of big feast during the holidays,” says Dr. Shah. “But that’s a bad strategy.”

He encourages diabetics to have a healthy snack or meal before heading to an event, so it’s easier to make more mindful food choices. Dr. Shah also stresses that diabetics should regularly exercise and consistently check their blood sugar.

If it all sounds like too much, Dr. Shah encourages patients to put it in writing.

“Signing a personal contract and putting it on the fridge can serve as a daily reminder that you're gonna commit to doing a good job during the holidays.”

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