Contributed by Kari McDonnough, CDM, Director of Dietary Services and Nutrition
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month; a campaign to spread awareness about diabetes risk factors and how to make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent and manage diabetes.
Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to properly turn food into energy, which results in the sugar or glucose in the blood becoming elevated. The consequences of poorly controlled blood sugar levels include risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems. Diabetes affects 30 million Americans, which is about one in ten people. Many more people are at risk of developing diabetes.
Whether you have diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes due to a family history, good nutrition plays an important role in improving overall blood sugar levels. But how do you navigate all the goodness that the holiday season brings and still manage your diabetes? Here are a few tips to surviving:
1) Plan, Plan, Plan. Be aware of the number of carbohydrates you are eating each meal and balance with enough protein and fiber.
2) Control your portions. Sometimes one bite of those delicious candy yams is enough to satisfy the craving.
3) Drink plenty of water.
4) Take time to get in some physical activity in between holiday parties. Take a brisk 10-minute walk after you eat your first plate full of all the goodness that the holiday has to offer before you go back for a second round.
5) Seek alternatives to all your holiday favorites. You can take most recipes and make them more suitable to your lifestyle.
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