Holiday Tips for Diabetic Patients

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Written with contributing author Linda Robinson, MSN, BN, RN, Vice President of Clinical Excellence, MDM Healthcare.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, the goal is to generate awareness of risk factors, prevention, and management of this widespread, chronic disease.

One in 10 Americans have diabetes, approximately 30 million people. About one in five people with diabetes are not even aware they have it. The best way to prevent or manage any health condition is to be informed. The American Diabetes Association and the Healthy People 2030 initiative per aims to raise awareness, provide resources, and improve the lives of those living with the condition. We encourage our readers to learn the facts, risk factors, warning signs, stats, and impacts of diabetes. Patients who have diabetes, or have risk factors such as family history, should keep in mind the importance of healthy nutrition in managing the disease, especially during the holidays.


The holiday season is filled with delicious food and lots of sweets, but diabetics can still enjoy the season, here are a few tips for managing diabetes during the holidays.

Stay on Top of Your Blood Sugar

Diabetics can offset some of the concerns of enjoying holiday foods by testing their blood sugar more frequently.

Sample Healthier Alternatives

The American Diabetes Association has a hub of diabetic-friendly recipes, which also includes holiday collections, such as the Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Plan Your Meals

Plan your meals. If you have a sweet treat, cut back on other carbs during the meal. Savor a small serving of your favorite holiday dishes and incorporate them into your meal plan.

Get Restful Sleep and Drink Lots of Water

Sleep loss can make it harder for diabetes patients to manage their blood sugar. It is also important to stay hydrated so diabetes patients should make sure to drink plenty of water.

Count Carbs

Get familiar with the carb counts of holiday food. The non-profit organization Beyond Type 1 has a carb chart of popular holiday foods such as this one for Thanksgiving

Hospital room with beds and comfortable medical equipped in a modern hospital

Journey PX is committed to helping support diabetic hospital patients’ health with tools included in our JourneyPX My Stay and Connect solutions. Journey PX offers hospital patients with diabetes access to vital health information, education, meal ordering, entertainment, relaxation content, and their daily plan of care in real-time. Being in the hospital during the holidays can be difficult, which is why it is so important that health professionals and loved ones keep the holiday tradition as normal as possible when appropriate. This includes holiday movies and moments for reflection and calming video content. Patients in the hospital often have little that they can control so allowing them to make decisions when possible is vital. The meal ordering feature gives the patient the ability to order a holiday meal by selecting the foods they want to eat, assisting them to build their plate within their diet plan and calculating the carbs as they select! Loved ones can learn with the patient via the health education on My Stay how to shop for foods, read labels and prepare a holiday meal within the patient’s diabetic dietary plan. These are skills that will be needed upon discharge, so it is good practice. These videos can also be texted and emailed to the patient and their families upon their discharge for additional support. Connect, our inpatient video chat feature, allows for video visits that provide emotional support. Connect also allows patients the possibility of joining the family holiday table from the patient room in a virtual way. This way family and friends can delight their loved ones with happiness and holiday cheer! Holidays are a valuable time for families and loved ones and we want to provide an in-room experience that supports the patient in every way.