Diabetes is no sweet treat this holiday

November is National American Diabetes Month. It also happens to be right around the corner from the holidays. Many Americans with this disease sometimes look at the holiday season as a time of extra dietary restrictions.”Normally, I don’t change my holiday cooking ingredients,” said Betsy Bell a diabetic patient. “I usually eat in small portions so I can eat what I like without the substitutions. My family members complain about the taste difference when I do use substitutions in holiday meals.”Most holiday items have some form of sugar in them to accentuate their taste. One of the biggest misconceptions about diabetes is people with the disease can’t have sugar. Studies have proven sugars don’t raise blood glucose any more or any quicker than any other foods with carbohydrates. It is the carbohydrates in foods that raises blood glucose the fastest.In fact, diabetics and anyone else who wants to maintain a healthy diet during this holiday season should just stick with the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid according to Dawn Smith, Certified Diabetes Center dietitian.The largest group, at the bottom of the pyramid, contains the complex carbohydrates: grains, cereals, breads, fruits and vegetables. When filling up your plate, fill half with foods from this group. Holiday foods that might fit this group are mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and dinner rolls. Fill a third of your plate with protein foods like turkey, a serving about the size of a deck of cards. Use leftover space for a spoonful of cranberries, fruits, salad, and some vegetables. It’s all about choices, offer guests a variety of menu options. People who have friends or family who are diabetic can help make holiday eating easier. The goal of diabetes nutrition is to provide an even mixture of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins at each meal, at an appropriate calorie level, to provide needed nutrition and create an even release of blood glucose.”The key is moderation not going back for seconds, thirds, fourths or fifths,” said Dania Chial, registered nurse and certified diabetes educator. “People should not only consider the type of foods they are eating but the amount they are consuming.”