CPS: For the holiday season, prepare diabetic friendly holiday dinners for love ones

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by elevated blood glucose (hyperglycemia).


It is associated with an absolute or relative deficiency in the secretion and/or action of insulin. Raised blood glucose, a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes, may, over time, lead to serious damage to blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.


Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour says that a study carried out during the 8th Annual Lion Rudy Hoeve Health & Wellness Fair in March 2016 by the Diabetes Foundation of St. Maarten tested 403 persons on glucose levels, hypertension, cholesterol and body mass index (BMI).  Of the 403 persons, 32 per cent (128) were male of which 18 per cent (23) were diabetics and 68 per cent (275) were female of which 17 per cent (48) were diabetics.


The results of the testing revealed 61.9 per cent of the rest group known diabetics is not well regulated; 69.6 per cent of the test group of male known diabetics and 43.7 per cent of the female test group of known diabetics has hypertension.

The overall general problems revealed by the Diabetes Foundation of St. Maarten (DFS) for known diabetics are hypertension, unhealthy BMI, hidden probable diabetics, as well as lack of health insurance and high cholesterol levels.

The holiday season is also about delicious dishes, and in order for diabetics to have an enjoyable holiday season, prepare and have family members give attention to preparing diabetes friendly dishes allowing one to eat the foods they love while exercising self-control and create opportunities for physical activity such as playing family fun games.

Some examples are: vegetable tray with a low-carbohydrate yoghurt dip; an assortment of stir-fry vegetables; eat the same amount of carbohydrates as you normally do; think about your selections, and how you will set up your plate when you get to the holiday table; keep portions of carbohydrates over-all on target with your usual food plate plan (1/4 fruits, ¼ grains, ¼ vegetables, ¼ protein, and diary).  Conclude the dinner with a diabetes-friendly dessert, or even a regular dessert as long as your portion is sensible.

Remember avoid skipping meals to saving up for the big holiday meal.  It’s best to eat regular meals at your regular scheduled time to keep your blood glucose in target.  Being active during the holiday season will help to lower blood sugar.  Exercise after your meal with the help of family and friends to take a walk.

CPS, is urging the populace to take note of the aforementioned information and strive to take increment steps towards a healthy lifestyle exercise regularly, eat healthy, minimize your salt and sugar intake, drink water, and rest.


There are three main forms of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common, accounting for approximately 85% to 90% of all cases. It is related to modifiable risk factors such as obesity or overweight, physical inactivity, and high-calorie diets of low nutritional value.


Methabolic syndrome is characterized by the presence of prediabetes in conjunction with one other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor (hypertension, upper body obesity or dyslipidemia).


In 2014, around 422 million adults aged over 18 years were living with diabetes worldwide, with 62 million (15.0%) of these population living in the Americas.


The overall prevalence of raised blood glucose in the Americas has increased from 5.0% in 1980 to 8.3% in 2014 (8.6% males and 8.4 females).


The increase on the prevalence of diabetes may be explained as a result of the population growth and ageing, the rise in age-specific prevalence’s or the interaction among these two aspects.


Also, the associated risk factors such as overweight and obesity, together with insufficient physical activity, are estimated to cause a large proportion of the diabetes burden.  Make an informed decision in preparing and consuming meals.


For more information about diabetes and obesity, consult your general practitioner or contact the DFS.

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