Sugar Matters
December 17, 2013
The best gift

I love Christmas, for many many reasons, not the least of which is all the socializing we get to do around this time. But, you knew a “but” was coming. I always have some concerns during this holiday season about my diabetic patients.{{more}}

I have been living in the US for many years now, so we actively also partake in Thanksgiving, which is in late November. This holiday also involves socializing with family and lots of food. So, between the last weeks in November all the way to New Year’s, I see a great percentage of my patients fall off the dietary wagon, so to speak. They put on 5-10 pounds usually, feel terrible about it, and then – you guessed it – make a New Year’s resolution to lose it all and get back on track.

So, I am encouraging you today to be cautious this Christmas. I know it is hard to walk away from the second serving of sweet potato pie and that wicked ham at the end of the table. But ask yourself, am I really still hungry, or am I eating because the food is sitting here? Am I filling my stomach, or being overly greedy? Because, yes, a few weeks of mildly elevated blood sugars may not do too much damage in the long run, but it certainly isn’t helping you. Plus the weight gain is DEFINITELY not helping you and the battle to lose it sometimes does not end in your favour. So why get yourself in this pickle in the first place?

I am asking all of you hosts out there: be sensitive to this issue. Please do not force someone by saying over and over again. “Please have some more of _________.” And don’t try the guilt approach of pouting and saying, “What, you don’t like it?” That’s really a low blow, and a bit mean, to be honest.

Be mindful that many people who dine with you are supposed to be watching what they eat, so do not make it harder for them to do the right thing. It’s one thing to have less than healthy food all over the table in the first place, but it is another step of trouble when you keep insisting someone eat some more food, have some more sweet drink, and another piece of pudding. Be a good host and help your guests take care of themselves. It is the best gift you can give besides your friendship, of which support should be a great part.

Merry Christmas, Vincies. Until next time.

Anita Ramsetty, MD [email protected]

Medical Director Endocrine Care Group

Tel: 843-798-4227