Food during the holidays can be an expression of love for the cooks who prepare it and a source of frustration for family dealing with a chronic illness like diabetes.
“The goal for my patients with diabetes is to reduce it to an inconvenience,” David Robbins, MD and endocrinologist at The University of Kansas Health System said. “Spend 30 minutes a day planning your food and taking your medication and then enjoy the rest of each day.” Dr. Robbins says portion control is key combined with exercise for diabetic patients and that includes during the holidays. His advice for patients and the general public includes knowing what’s on the menu and planning what you will eat and stick to it. He encourages everyone to speak up and let the host know about your plan and don’t be afraid to bring your own dessert.
“You may set an example for others at the table and be considered a food hero,” Dr. Robbins added. “Exercise after you eat such as a walk with family, take your blood sugar and be prepared with extra insulin just in case.” Most importantly, Dr. Robbins tells his patients they don’t have to be perfect.
Registered Dietician Nicolette Jones agrees. She tells her patients at The University of Kansas Health System to make smart choices and use their fists to gauge portions. “Look at your fist and use it to guide your scoop of casseroles and carbs like mashed potatoes,” Jones said. “Two fists are good portion sizes for roasted, steamed or raw vegetables while a deck of cards or your palm is a good guide for the protein.” She suggests being strict with dessert … savoring a small slice of pie or cake.
Both Jones and Dr. Robbins say to make family, not food, the reason for the season. In the video, Dr. Robbins explains the dangers of diabetes and the role food plays in the chronic disease. Nicolette Jones talks more about making smart choices and how breakfast can help you stick to your plan. The b-roll offers examples of healthy foods families can stock and serve during the holidays.