People with diabetes do not need to miss out on festive food and fun

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, being mindful of portion size and being physically active during Christmas is important in managing diabetes.

This is the message from health professionals at Luton Clinical Commissioning Group and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Diabetes is a complex illness, which if not managed can be associated with serious health risks. Such as sight loss, heart attack and amputations.

Bedford has a high rate of diabetes

7% of Bedford residents have diabetes and this is expected to rise to 10.1% by 2020.

This much higher than the current national average of 6.3%. It also means that Bedford spends more money caring for people with diabetes than in other areas.

Diabetes Project Lead Pharmacist at Luton CCG, Mrs Nadine Hall, said:

“The best approach is to have healthy balanced meals, considering healthy versions of traditional Christmas dishes. Meals should be lower in sugar and fat and include whole grains, fruit and vegetables. These will help stabilise your blood glucose levels.

“Too much unhealthy food, alcohol, sugary drinks and less physical activity could impact on your diabetes control by causing higher blood glucose levels as well as additional weight gain. Just 30 minutes of exercise per day can help manage diabetes”.

Luton resident and diabetes champion, Stephanie Power

A Luton resident and diabetes champion, Stephanie Power, said:

“This month is difficult for people with diabetes like me because sweet treats are everywhere! I buy myself sugar-free alternatives and make sure I control my portion size to help me manage my condition. By doing this I feel healthy and I’m able to enjoy quality time with my family over Christmas and Boxing Day”.

Leading a healthy lifestyle means you can enjoy time with your family around Christmas.

For more information about your local support group visit www.bedford.diabetesukgroup.org