Sage Advice on Holiday Eating:
Eat and Drink in Moderation and Be Merry in Excess!
They say the average American gains over ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's every year. That's a lot of stuffing, kringles and fruitcake, baby! And we have a hunch - although no one's done the research as far as we know - that in people with diabetes, the average blood sugar goes up about 50 points over that same risky period of time. Most of the good advice that's offered to the general public about avoiding the pitfalls of the holidays without ruining your good time applies equally to folks with diabetes. For example:
- Try to stay physically active throughout the holidays. You'll feel better and have more energy. And it will balance off some of those extra treats, whether your chief concern is blood sugar control, weight management or both.
- Keep your appetite under control. Skipping breakfast in preparation for the office potluck leaves you so hungry that you're almost sure to overdo it. Instead, eat regular meals that include carb, protein and a little fat. That helps keep appetite controlled and spreads food through the day for smoother glucose too.
- Balance holiday treats with lower fat, lower carb foods instead of filling up only with "goodies." Plain turkey with the stuffing, raw veggies with the real mashed potatoes, green salad with the fruit ambrosia. This works on your own plate AND when planning a holiday menu. Every dish doesn't have to be a major production.
- Learn the carb values of the holiday foods you love. Make a plan for fitting them in - whether that means figuring out the right Humalog dose for a couple of Christmas cookies or deciding between a second roll and some sweet potatoes to stay under your carbohydrate allowance. A list of the carb values for some common holiday foods appears below.
- Think about your choices. When offered a high-fat or high-carb holiday treat, consider whether you really want it. Are you hungry? Is it something you love? Or would you just be eating it because it's there? If you save those choices for the things you really love, it helps keep things BOTH merry and moderate - and saves on the antacid bill!
- If your chief concern is weight or you must limit the amount of carb you eat at a meal to keep your blood sugars under control, use the "plate method." Set aside half the plate for salad and vegetables. Use about a quarter of it for protein foods and use the remainder for the carbs.
- At a buffet, preview the whole thing before you make any choices. This allows you to strategize how to fit in the things you want most instead of already having a plateful when you see something you REALLY want.
- Drink lots of water. It's filling and so good for you. And it protects you from grabbing things like eggnog and fruit punch just to whet your whistle. Diet soda is OK, but not as good a choice for overall nutrition as plain old water.
And here's the "Be Merry In Excess" part. Sit down for a few minutes and think about what makes the holidays special for YOU: the traditions, activities, decorations and people that give the Holidays meaning and enjoyment. Food is a big part of that for most people, but it's not the only thing. Plan get togethers around activities instead of just around food whenever possible. Have singing at the party, take a walking "Christmas lights" tour, rent holiday videos, or play games. If you're getting your holiday enjoyment in MANY ways, it will help put the special foods in perspective. Slow down and enjoy the season. Give yourself some quiet time. Focus on people - whether it's your own family and friends or helping out at the homeless shelter or food bank. The warm feelings of the holidays have more to do with connecting with and giving joy to others than with "too much" - whether it's too much eating, too much spending, or too much stress.
We wish you a holiday season full of warmth and good cheer!
Holiday Carb Counts (* high fat foods)
Appetizers and Dips Carb Portions Grams of Carbohydrate Raw vegetables 0 *Sour cream dip 0 Olives 0 *Cheese 0 *Cocktail franks 0 Snack crackers, 6 1 15 grams Chips, 1 oz 1 15 grams Mini eggrolls, 3 1 16 grams Fruit bread (like banana), slice 2 27 grams Oyster stew, 1 cup 1/2 6 grams Eggnog, 1 cup 2 34 grams Main Meal Foods Carb Portions Grams of Carbohydrate *Bread stuffing, 1/2 cup 1 17 grams Grits, 1/2 cup 2 27 grams Black eyed peas, 1/2 cup 1 20 grams Long grain & wild rice, 1/2 cup 1 20 grams Mashed potatoes, 1/2 cup 1 16 grams Sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup 1 1/2 22 grams *Tamales, small 1 15 grams Cranberry sauce, 1/4 cup 1 14 grams Dinner rolls, 1 small 1 15 grams Au jus 0 Gravy, 1/2 cup 1/2 12 grams Plantain, 1/2 cup 1 15 grams Sweets Carb Portions Grams of Carbohydrate Frosted sugar cookies, 1 med. 1 16 grams Pumpkin pie, 1/8 pie 1 19 grams Mincemeat pie, 1/8 pie 2 34 grams Whipped cream, 2 Tbs. 0 < 5 grams Baklava, 2"X2" 2 32 grams Pannetone, 1 slice 1 17 grams Almond Roca, 1 oz 1 19 grams Fudge, 1 oz. 1 1/2 23 grams Chocolate kisses, 6 1 17 grams
Last Updated: Thursday August 29, 2002 21:04:28
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