November is a month that holds special meaning for most of us. For people with diabetes, November was chosen as National Diabetes Month to focus attention on the many people who are impacted by the disease, both people living with diabetes and their friends and family members.
•Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.*
• Another 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.*
November is also a month for celebrating Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season. Managing special occasions can be a challenge not only for those with diabetes but for anyone who is trying to follow a healthy diet.
Following are Seven Holiday Tips recommended by the American Diabetes Association:
1. Focus on friends and family instead of food.* Plan to enjoy some time and catch up with your loved ones. Be creative: listen to music together or enjoy the beautiful outside weather.
2. It’s a party, but don’t overdo it. * Use a small plate and fill up first with vegetables and salads before eating entrees and desserts. If you are the host, prepare only 2 starchy dishes and
make more vegetable sides to add color and variety. Lighten up your traditional recipes by finding lower fat versions www.diabetes.org and www.cookinglight.com. Enjoy your dessert at least 2 hours after your meal. If you have a choice between a pecan pie (about 450 calories, 60 g carbs) or a pumpkin pie (about 260 calories, 35 g carbs), go for the pumpkin. If baking, use a sugar substitute and cut the desserts into very small slices.
3. Eat before you eat. * Don’t skip breakfast or other meals during the day to save carbs or calories for the big holiday celebration later on. Skipping meals usually causes overeating.
4. Bring what you like. * Offer to bring a “light” dish: raw vegetable plate, popcorn, low-fat cheese, pretzels.
5. Drink in moderation.* Drink water, club soda, or low-calorie beverages. If you drink alcohol, limit to no more than 2 drinks for men and 1 drink for women. Remember to eat something before drinking to prevent low blood glucose later.
6. Stay active.* Take a walk before dinner. Plan a game of football with your family after the Thanksgiving feast. Offer to help clean up after the meal instead of sitting on the sofa.
7. Get back on track if you over-indulge.* If you find that you have eaten more than you planned, do not feel that you have failed. Spend the rest of your time focusing on family and friends. Get back on track the next day; choose some extra exercise and resume your usual eating habits. Most of all, ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS!!!!!
*American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org