Diabetics Can Stick To Healthy Meal Plan During Holiday Celebrations
Posted: December 24, 2012
With some planning and a little work, you can stay healthy at holiday gatherings with friends and family. Nicole McGeehan, Penn State Extension community health educator, offers these tips from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for sticking to a healthy meal plan during the holidays.
*Before you go to a dinner or party, eat a healthy snack at home to avoid overeating.
*Ask what food will be served, so you can see how it fits into your meal plan.
*Bring a nutritious snack or dish for yourself and others.
*If you are at a buffet, fix your plate and move to another room away from the food, if possible.
*Choose smaller portions.
*Choose low-calorie drinks such as sparkling water, unsweetened tea or diet beverages. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and have it with food. Talk with your health care team about whether alcohol is safe for you.
*Watch out for heavy holiday favorites such as hams coated in honey glaze or turkey swimming in gravy. Instead, choose turkey without gravy and trim off the skin, or select other lean meats.
*Look for side dishes and vegetables that are light on butter, dressing and other extra fats and sugars, such as marshmallows or fried vegetable toppings.
*Watch the salt. Some holiday favorites are made with prepared foods high in sodium.
*Select fruit instead of pies, cookies and other desserts high in fat, cholesterol and sugar.
*Focus on friends, family and activities instead of food. Take a walk after a meal, or join in the dancing at a party. Stick with your routine for staying active during the holiday season. Make sure to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week. Ten minutes at a time is fine.
You don't have to give up all of your holiday favorites if you make healthy choices and limit portion sizes. At a party or holiday gathering, follow the above tips to avoid overeating and to choose healthy foods.
If you are interested in learning more about managing your type II diabetes, consider attending Penn State Extension’s Dining with Diabetes Program. Classes will provide nutrition education, daily meal plans, interactive cooking demonstrations, food sampling and an opportunity to connect with others who are living with type II diabetes.
Two four-week programs will be held on: Tuesdays starting January 15, 2013 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. with a follow-up class on April 2 at The Wright Center, 5 South Washington Avenue, Jermyn, PA 18433; or on Fridays starting January 11, 2013 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. with a follow-up class on April 5, at The Penn State Extension Meeting Room, 200 Adams Avenue, Lower Level, Scranton, PA 18503.
The cost of the program is $40.00 per person or $55.00 for two family members living in the same household. Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries receive free registration and scholarships are available. Two free informational sessions will be held for anyone wanting to learn more about the program prior to registering on: Friday, January 4, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at The Penn State Extension Meeting Room and Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at The Wright Center.
For questions or to register, please call Penn State Extension in Lackawanna County at 570-963-6842 by Tuesday, January 8, 2013.
Karen Thomas is a family and consumer sciences educator for Penn State Extension in Lackawanna County.