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Tips for Managing Diabetes During the Holiday Meals

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes since the age of 8, registered dietitian and Medtronic Certified Product Trainer, Sandra, knows firsthand how complicated it can be to navigate the holiday season while trying to manage your glucose levels. Below she shares some helpful tips to keep in mind for the season.  

It’s that time of year again, but instead of dreading the blood sugar roller coaster that usually comes with holiday eating, this time you have a new tool to use— the MiniMed 670G system.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy the holidays and manage your diabetes with less stress:

  1. Be sure to bolus 15-20 minutes before eating. Since holiday meals typically include more carbohydrates than what you eat on a regular basis, it is especially important that your bolus is cued up and ready to work as soon as you begin to eat. Even if you are grazing, be sure to stay ahead of the food with boluses so that those carbohydrates don’t get ahead of your blood sugar.
  2. Go for a walk. Did you know that when you exercise after taking a bolus it helps your body use the insulin more efficiently, therefore lowering your blood sugar faster? This doesn’t mean that you need to run a half marathon after the big meal. Even moderate activity can help to lower blood sugar.
  3. Eat your veggies first. Vegetables are very low in carbohydrate and high in fiber and will help to fill you up, not to mention they are full of vitamins and minerals. I am a dietitian, so you know I was going to get that one in somewhere.
  4. Spend your carbohydrates wisely. Think of your carb allowance like a bank account. You can spend your entire allowance on stuffing and mashed potatoes or forgo the potatoes and have extra turkey or vegetables. Choose your favorite carbohydrates to eat and be sure to also have plenty of veggies and protein.
  5. Separate the meal from the dessert. This will help to spread the carbohydrates out throughout the day, instead of eating one large sum. It is easier on your body and blood sugar to eat several smaller meals rather than one large amount of carbohydrates at a time. And with pump therapy, it is easier to bolus again later for dessert than if using injection therapy.
  6. Let Auto Mode help when dosing high-fat / high protein meals: Auto Basal can usually accommodate glucose fluctuations associated with high fat / high protein meals.  If highs do occur, we suggest entering 50%-75% of grams before eating and entering the remainder 1-2 hours after eating. Depending on meal composition, some individuals may require the majority of carbs be entered before eating with additional grams added later to compensate for the high fat content and slow digestion of the meal. * 


The holidays are meant to be spending quality time with friends and family and to relax. Stay off the dreaded blood sugar roller coaster and enjoy your time celebrating by keeping these tips in mind.

Happy Holidays, everyone!


* Footnote: Patients with gastroparesis may need a similar bolus strategy (i.e., 50% before / 50% after).




The Medtronic MiniMed™ 670G system is intended for continuous delivery of basal insulin (at user selectable rates) and administration of insulin boluses (in user selectable amounts) for the management of type 1 diabetes mellitus in persons, seven years of age and older, requiring insulin as well as for the continuous monitoring and trending of glucose levels in the fluid under the skin. The MiniMed™ 670G system includes SmartGuard™ technology, which can be programmed to automatically adjust delivery of basal insulin based on Continuous Glucose Monitor sensor glucose values and can suspend delivery of insulin when the sensor glucose value falls below or is predicted to fall below predefined threshold values. The system requires a prescription. The Guardian™ Sensor (3) glucose values are not intended to be used directly for making therapy adjustments, but rather to provide an indication of when a fingerstick may be required. A confirmatory finger stick test via the CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 blood glucose meter is required prior to making adjustments to diabetes therapy. All therapy adjustments should be based on measurements obtained using the CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 blood glucose meter and not on values provided by the Guardian™ Sensor (3). Always check the pump display to ensure the glucose result shown agrees with the glucose results shown on the CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 blood glucose meter. Do not calibrate your CGM device or calculate a bolus using a blood glucose meter result taken from an Alternative Site (palm) or from a control solution test. It is not recommended to calibrate your CGM device when sensor or blood glucose values are changing rapidly, e.g., following a meal or physical exercise. If a control solution test is out of range, please note that the result may be transmitted to your pump when in the “Always” send mode.

Pump therapy is not recommended for people whose vision or hearing does not allow recognition of pump signals and alarms. Pump therapy is not recommended for people who are unwilling or unable to maintain contact with their healthcare professional. The safety of the MiniMed™ 670G system has not been studied in pregnant women. For complete details of the system, including product and important safety information such as indications, contraindications, warnings and precautions associated with system and its components, please consult  and the appropriate user guide at


– Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.

– Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps

– Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.

– Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems

– The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.

– Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

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