Tips, tools for healthy food habits during the holidays (Healthy You)

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Healthy habits often go out the window on holidays, but if you have diabetes or other health complications, letting one day of bad eating turn into a season-long binge can become a serious problem.

Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean cassarole and all the fixings. Thanksgiving often means its time to splurge.

“The holidays is just a day or two, it’s not the whole month,” URHCS Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist Nicole Benz, RN said. “Don’t feel like you can’t enjoy it, we want you to enjoy your food, but you just have to kind of watch the portions.”

Benz understands food and the holidays are synonymous for some, that’s why she and her fellow specialists go by the 80/20 rule.

“80{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} try to make good food choices, do what you’re supposed to, 20{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} you’re human, you’re going to have those times you over indugle,” Benz said.

It’s an eight to nine inch plate healthcare providers recommend to best portion your food.

“We say half of the plate filled up with those non-starchy vegetables, so that’s gonna be like your broccoli, green beans, cucumber, salad, tomatoes, those type of things,” Benz said. “Then your meat, your meat should actually be the size of your palm of your hand so your turkey, ham, whatever it is, that’s about four ounces of meat and then we say your carbohydrates, trying to keep your carbohydrates to a smaller portion so that’s whether it’s your dressing, your stuffing, your mashed potatoes, we say try to keep it about a cup and a cup is gonna be about the size of your fist.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10.5{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} of the entire United States population has diabetes. 34{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} of the adult U.S. population has prediabetes.

United Regional has created a virtual version of its self management diabetes education program to help.

“Meal planning, learning about your medications, how to take your medications, eating healthy, exercise, those type of things,” Benz said. “Not only diabetes but if they have heart disease then we can specialize in a heart healthy diabetic diet, if they have gluten allergy, celiac disease, renal failure, we are able to, with the dietician, get an individualized meal plan for that patient, specific to their needs.”

The program is based through the American Diabetes Association.

“It helps than just googling because you’re not going to know if it’s really accurate and there’s all kinds of information out there,” Benz said. “This one’s an accredited program.”

Back to the Thanksgiving table, if you are diabetic and are eying that pumpkin pie after supper, it’s all about balance.

“Maybe a small little sliver of the dessert or if you know you’re gonna have a little bit more, maybe not have as much carbohydrates with your meal,” Benz said.

Avoid those sugary drinks and eat slow and of course have a Happy Thanksgiving!

The telehealth option for the education program is offered through the phone, Facetime, MyChart and Facebook messenger.

You just need a referall from your doctor.

Plus most insurances cover the program.

Read more about the program by clicking here.

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