For individuals who have pre-diabetes or diabetes, making good choices at holiday parties and during the winter season can be a challenge.

How can you make sure your holiday season is a healthy one? The diabetic education team at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is sharing the following ideas about starting and maintaining positive and healthy self-management during this time of year.

· Watch your serving size. It’s ok to enjoy special holiday foods, but do so in moderation.

· Don’t drink your calories. The palate is the only area of your body that registers taste, so liquids pass through it quickly and you get less enjoyment from liquid than you do foods.

· Chew your food! The longer you chew, the more your brain receives satisfaction messages, and you will eat less, overall.

· Don’t skip meals. People who eat regularly through-out the day actually consume fewer calories, because they do not get overly hungry.

· Modify recipes. Choose better fats and artificial sweeteners.

·  Drink plenty of water. It fills you up and has no calories or carbohydrates.

“Pre-diabetes and diabetes are chronic conditions that we are seeing more frequently in our community,” said Kathleen Hebdon, certified diabetic educator and registered nurse at BCH. “Fortunately, in many cases this condition is manageable through behavior changes.”

For more information about the diabetes education program at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, call (716) 592-2871 ext. 1489.