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Eating healthy over the holidays isn't impossible with planning

Holiday time can be full of food temptations. Busy schedules make it hard to work in regular exercise and healthy meals. But don't despair. With a little planning, you can enjoy the holidays.

The most important thing about managing diabetes during any holiday season is to plan ahead. The more you know about what's going to happen, the better you can plan for good diabetes care. Let's look at a few specifics.

What does your family schedule look like for the holiday season? Are you going out of town? Having visitors stay with you? Do your plans usually include a lot of parties and food-oriented events? Or are your holidays more active, with events such as the annual family Thanksgiving football game? Getting a handle on what your schedule will look like ahead of time will help out a great deal as you tackle each day.

Once you know what your day will consist of, you should then examine your menus. Do you have traditional dishes that you make every year? There's no need to completely rework your menu just because of diabetes, but you may want to fine-tune it a bit. Planning ahead can help.

For example, maybe there are some ways you can make your traditional holiday foods a bit healthier.

Will that casserole taste just as good with fat-free or light sour cream instead of regular? Can you steam the green beans this year instead of saut»ing in butter?

There are plenty of ways to lower fat, sugar, and carbohydrate counts in your favorite foods while still keeping the taste and texture you love.

Your family may have a favorite recipe that is always served during the holidays. You may want to talk to your dietitian about ways to work it into your meal plan. It may mean eating less of other treats, getting more exercise, increasing insulin doses, or a combination of all three. But you can do it!

Plain basic food is always the safest. Be careful of sauces, gravies, cheese sauces, cream sauces and casseroles.

Fill half your plate with low calorie vegetables.

Eat a small roll with little or no butter. Mashed potatoes tend to be lower in carbohydrate and fat than a sweet potato casserole.

Fruit from the fruit basket is the best dessert. If you must have a regular dessert, have a very small piece.

Coffee and unsweetened tea are free foods. Add artificial sweetener and skim milk if needed.

Web posted on Thursday, November 18, 2004

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Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01


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