Commentary: For those with chronic conditions, Chinese New Year feasts can be stressful

Fourth, for people with diabetes, monitor your blood glucose. The American Diabetes Association recommends checking your blood glucose levels before a meal, and again one to two hours after eating.

Pricking your finger isn’t easy in a social situation, so consider continuous glucose monitoring systems that capture and store glucose data every minute, giving real-time feedback on your smartphone without the need to draw blood. Having insight on how your body reacts to different foods will allow you to manage your condition better, even beyond the holidays.

Fifth, walk it off. As cliche as it sounds, a little bit of exercise does go a long way. Walking before and after a meal helps your body process what you ate. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym just to enjoy a meal, five to 15 minutes of exercise is enough.


If you are caring for someone with chronic health conditions, make sure that they feel supported during the festive season. If you are preparing the food, adjust the recipe to accommodate their needs. Use less sugar and salt, avoid using vegetable oil, or use alternative ingredients like coconut milk in place of dairy. This way you can help them enjoy the holiday feast with a little less guilt.

If you find your loved one enjoying a treat, don’t scold. Instead, give them the benefit of the doubt as it could be their first and only one. Keep an eye out without hovering and create an environment where they are more open to discuss their dietary choices, rather than have them indulge in secret.

The holiday season brings joy, but it can also be quite stressful – even more so for people with the three highs.

However, having any of the three highs should not hinder you from celebrating. The secret is in learning how to manage the situation and having the right support. While you shouldn’t throw caution to the wind, you can still enjoy a Chinese New Year goodie or two if you know what you’re doing.

Jaclyn Reutens is a clinical and sports dietitian at Aptima Nutrition.

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