Have yourself a diabetic-friendly Christmas

08 November 2018 - 14:42 By nivashni nair
An expert has advised that moderation is the way to go for diabetics this holiday season.
An expert has advised that moderation is the way to go for diabetics this holiday season.
Image: LAUREN MULLIGAN

The festive season can be tough for 1.8-million South Africans affected by diabetes but moderation and alternatives can help make it easier.

This is the advice from Sanlam Personal Finance product actuary Petrie Marx during Diabetes Awareness Month.

“November is Diabetes Awareness Month where the global spotlight is placed on this chronic disease. It is the perfect time to remind diabetics and their loved ones to take care during the festive season. Managing blood-sugar levels is always top of mind for diabetics and never more so than during the holidays,” Marx said.

Marx explained that health conditions affected people’s lives and their future on many levels, including financially.

“It is therefore important that people should be aware of key health risks and the associated financial implications.”

Sanlam, along with the rest of the financial services industry, has statistical data of clients’ claims against risk cover policies.

“This data also includes mortality tables on disease. It therefore also makes sense for an insurer like Sanlam to help educate people on health-related matters with a view to help them plan their financial future and live their best lives possible,” Marx said.

Marx advises diabetic South Africans to:

  • Practice moderation rather than opt for complete denial;
  • Replace fatty braai meat with lean ones;
  • Make your roast potatoes big so there is less surface area to absorb oil;
  • Use low-fat custard instead of brandy butter;
  • Remove the skin from your turkey roast on Christmas Day;
  • Choose carbs wisely to keep blood-sugar levels stable;
  • Keep active by taking walks, playing a game of soccer or cricket with family and keep up your gym routine;
  • Don’t replace food with alcohol;
  • Opt for light beer or wine; and
  • Add sugar-free and calorie-free mixers to hard liquor.

“Don’t beat yourself up. We are all human, but if you do overindulge try to get back on track immediately to avoid getting into a situation where you need medical help,” Marx said.

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