Medwatch-Healthy holiday food options

Medwatch-Healthy holiday food options

Holiday dinners can be difficult for diabetics because everything you eat affects your blood sugar. However, reading labels before you cook can keep your holiday feasts festive.

The holidays are packed with so many great foods, but that could mean trouble if you're diabetic. Here are some things to keep in mind when you're preparing a holiday meal.

Count your carbohydrates
Carbs raise blood sugar, so look at the "total carbohydrates" on the label, not just the sugar. Watch out for fruits, dairy, starchy vegetables and grains.

Watch your salt
Soups and broth are usually packed with sodium. Either cut back, or use a low sodium broth in holiday recipes. Also, cut down on both saturated and trans fats. For recipes calling for soup, you can usually find a healthy version with less fat.

"Fat can also be something that can keep us heart healthy which is very important with diabetes and also decrease some calories in some of these recipes," said Katie Mick, diabetic educator.

Don't forget to eat your protein at every meal
Try to choose lean cuts of chicken, fish and pork.

Don't forget to limit your sugar intake...especially in desserts
Try fresh fruit or frozen fruit with no added sugar, or canned fruit in 100 percent fruit juice.

Finally, be prepared when you're going to a pot luck to take along a healthy option. That way, if everything else there is on the unhealthy side, you'll have something to eat.

In other health news, Comanche County Memorial Hospital will host a smoking cessation course to help smokers quit. The free seven-week course will begin on Tuesday, January 5, at 5:30 p.m. in Maple Conference Room. To sign up, call 580-585-5527.