Treats and Feasts

By Suzanne Russell-Curtis, RD, CDE
Bulfinch Medical Group   

Often when given the diagnosis of Diabetes, an individual immediately thinks of food and all the enjoyment of eating that will be lost due to the disease. This can be a very difficult time of year for anyone who thinks this way. Well, I have some good news for all of you, it’s not true! You can enjoy celebrating with family and friends.

Two out of 3 Americans are overweight and many are trying to lose weight or prevent the return of excess pounds. Talk with your loved ones about the need to stay on track throughout the holiday season. They love you and will support you with this goal (and many may be watching their diet as well). Work together with your family to modify that traditional sweet potato casserole, try baked sweet potato without the extra sugar and marshmallows.  Split a dessert with someone.  Make a pact to play a game of flag football after the turkey and take a walk after any large feast. Remember the holidays are about celebrating with family and friends— not with the apple pie and stuffing (they don’t make you laugh).

Here are some tips for modifying traditional recipes/cutting back on calories:

Mashed potato with cream and butter –> Mashed potato with low fat milk and margarine, or a baked potato (eat the skin to add fiber)

Green bean casserole —> Steamed fresh or frozen green beans

Stuffing —> Make it with whole wheat bread

Cranberry Sauce —> Fresh cranberries

Turkey leg —> Skinless turkey breast

Basting turkey in its own juices –> Basting it with low sodium vegetable broth

Cocktails —> Diet ginger ale with splash of grenadine for a cocktail, glass of red wine with dinner **

Appetizers —> One small plate and walk away

“Little sliver” of all the desserts —> Split 2 small desserts or cut back on how many pies, cookies, etc are made

** Be careful with alcohol consumption. Talk with your doctor before alcohol intake. If cleared: male- 2 drinks/day, female- 1 drink/day and NEVER drink on an empty stomach. Drink with a well balanced meal.

Photo credit: Joel R. Terrell

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