Diabetes Prevention During The Holidays
November is Diabetes Awareness Month, the perfect time for you, our readers to contribute to the "Stop or Prevent Diabetes" campaign. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Holiday Season. There are numerous parties & festivities, which extend until New Years. In addition to increased alcohol intake at the social events, cookies, and baked goods seem to be everywhere.
The average person gains 2-8 pounds during the holidays, but individuals with blood-sugar disorders, can gain 8 pounds or more!!!
If you or a family member have been diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Resistance, HyperInsulism, Glucose intolerance, or Syndrome X, you are prediabetic and at risk of developing Diabetes.
- Weight Gain, especially in the belly, (waist size > 40 inches for men & > 35 for women)
- Elevated triglycerides & LDL (the bad cholesterol) & low HDL (the good cholesterol)
- Intense cravings for sugar & refined products, also being drowsy after eating
Studies conducted at the Center for Disease Control found that Prediabetes can be reversed by losing as little as 10-20 pounds, and by adding 30 minutes of exercise, 5 times per week. If prediabetes can be reversed with simple lifestyle changes, then it makes sense that Type II diabetes can be prevented. Imagine, if losing as little as 10 pounds can normalize blood sugar, and reverse prediabetes, think of the damage gaining 8-10 pounds during the holidays can do. Potentially, it can mean the difference between being prediabetic and Diabetes.
The holidays are a time to be proactive. Stay in control of your life. Start some type of exercise habit before the holidays begin. Exercise not only helps keep the weight down, but can increase energy and helps reduce stress. Maintaining or losing weight during the holidays requires making good food choices. Read Dr. P's Tips for Navigating the Thanksgiving Table, the tips are great for any holiday meal.
One way to be proactive is to host Thanksgiving dinner. Though a lot of work it gives you control over the menu, making food choices easier. Consider recipes from Dr. P's books. Try mashed cauliflower or turnips instead of mashed potatoes, baked or mashed yams instead of candied yams, and fresh green beans or asparagus instead of the string bean casserole. There are any number of delicious recipes in the cookbooks which are healthier versions of the traditional holiday fare.
If you are a guest, take a side dish, fruit and cheese platter or a dessert. Make sure it is something you can enjoy. If you must have dessert, take a low carb cheesecake or one of the desserts from Hamptons Diet Cookbook.
Making good food choices and exercising during the holidays is good advice for anyone. For individuals with a blood sugar disorder, or a family history of diabetes, it is essential.
Follow these tips during the holiday as well as the rest of the year, and you can prevent developing prediabetes. Avoiding and or reversing Prediabetes is the first step to preventing Diabetes.
Some Recipes to Consider (click to expand):
There are tons of great recipes throughout many of Dr. Pescatore's books for any season.