Friday, November 20, 2015

Carving Carbs at Thanksgiving #GardenCuizine #EatWellAmerica @eatright

Carving Carbs at Thanksgiving
If a person had lung cancer from cigarette smoking, what would you think if they wanted to smoke just for the day on Thanksgiving? It's not a good idea, right? Like cancer, obesity is a disease. Overeating during the holidays, or any day for that matter, can be harmful to the health of adults and kids, especially those with diabetes and/or obesity.

If you are not sure you weigh more than you should, calculate your body mass index (BMI) on a free online app. Adults with a BMI greater than 30, and children and teens with a BMI percentile greater than the 95th percentile, should pay attention to diet and lifestyle choices to prevent obesity-related diseases like diabetes.

Diabetics and those overweight or obese know that it is hard to portion control carbohydrates on holidays - especially when you see food overflowing in the environment. The environment can be either at home, at a friend or family member's, or at a restaurant. No matter where you go, holiday feasts can be tempting to over indulge. The good news is that you can still enjoy a holiday feast while portion controlling carbohydrate foods at the same time.

Carbohydrate foods are important for energy, but excess can lead to high serum glucose levels and/or obesity. Excess carbs can come from sugary pies, cakes, cookies and drinks, or in classic Thanksgiving menu items such as cranberry jelly, starchy mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, stuffing and corn.

There are all kinds of ways to carve carbs on Thanksgiving. One way is to rethink candied sweets; you may be able to drastically cut the butter and brown sugar in your recipe and still find it fabulous. Or have you ever tasted rutabaga? Rutabaga can replace most of the potato in mashed potatoes. We made this and got thumbs up from kids and adults at a recent Inspira Health Network’s Diabetic Cooking Class. 
Some diabetic Thanksgiving recipes for cranberry jelly use sugar-free jello or artificial sweetener. I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners, so I prefer to use pure sugar and eat a smaller portion. Knowing the nutrition data can also be helpful. For example, the GardenCuizine recipe for whole cranberry jelly uses 12 oz cranberries, 1/2-cup sugar and 1/2-cup orange juice, which yields 12 servings at only 12 grams net carbohydrates per serving.
Drink preferences easily put one at risk for consuming excess carbs. Depending on age, holiday drinks often include alcohol or sugary beverages such as sports drinks, soda, juice and sweet teas. Try substituting iced-water with sliced fruit. You may be surprised to see who drinks more calorie and carb-free water instead.
Another strategy to avoid eating excess carbs this Thanksgiving is to keep cookies and sweet treats out of sight until dessert time. Adults need to take the lead and not serve or allow children to eat excess carbohydrates. Keep dessert portions as small as possible. And, don’t forget to include fresh fruit. 
Did you know that stress increases blood sugar levels? So don’t stress out this holiday season and don’t skip or forget to eat breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. Eating breakfast may prevent overeating at dinner.  
Blessings for a Happy Thanksgiving from our kitchen to yours!

Related Links
Carve Carbs at Thanksgiving

Navigating the Holiday Feast
Photo and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved. 

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