(SAVANNAH) The annual effort to eat healthier for the holidays is underway as Thanksgiving is a week and a day away. It’s a challenge for everyone, especially, the tens of thousands of diabetics and pre-diabetics in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. Experts in diabetes management say it is possible to navigate holiday buffets without sending blood sugars soaring and putting your health at risk. Aggie Cowan is a registered dietitian who works with the St. Joseph/Candler’s Diabetes Management Center. Cowan says diabetics can taste anything without diving into trouble with their blood sugars. “Tasting amounts are about three forkfuls…and that way you’ve tasted it and if Aunt Rachel’s hounding you at the end of the mel because you didn’t eat it you can say it was delicious. I tasted it. I had plenty.” said Cowan.
Cowan acknowledges the pressure that can accompany holiday meals when it comes to a full plate. Chef and cookbook author Aviva Goldfarb says there’s a simple formula to do it the healthy way, with benefits beyond diabetes. ” One of my favorite tips for all of us, not just people with diabetes is to use what we call the diabetes plate method..and that’s where you fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables and a quarter of your plate with whole grains or starchy vegetables and a quarter of your plate with lean protein.” Goldfarb said.
Cowan says it’s important to savor more than the food this time of year, it’s about marinating your mind in the memories you make around a holiday meal. But the best tip for blood sugar control is portion control. ” You wanna taste those delicacies…foods that we sometimes have only once a year…and if Aunt Rachael makes her favorite banana pudding, we’d say taste it.” Cowan said. Tasting without going overboard is key, but Goldfarb shares some practical advice to curb your appetite in a healthy way before any big meal. She says it works for diabetes management and weight control. ” Before you go to a holiday party or a holiday meal is to drink a big glass of water and eat an apple..and that way you’re not going to be so hungry when you go and you’re gonna be more likely to make healthy choices.” said Goldfarb. November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Projections indicate that by 2050, as many as one in three American adults will develop type two diabetes.