12/12/2008

Keep diabetes under control during the holidays

WVU School of Pharmacy offers tips on healthful holiday choices

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Although dear Aunt Ruth may make her famous syrup-soaked, candied sweet-potato-casserole-with-marshmallows every year, you can still attend her holiday dinner and maintain your health. The WVU School of Pharmacy Health Education Center offers some tips to help you make healthful choices and still enjoy the holiday festivities.

First, plan ahead. Control portion sizes and resist the call of “Just have one more…” Decide in advance how much you would want to eat and how to handle the pressure to eat beyond being full.

As for the menu, consider enhancing some traditional recipes to make them healthier. Try using fat-free sour cream instead of regular sour cream, artificial sweetener instead of sugar. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla can be used to “sweeten” your desserts but allow you to cut out some sugar in the recipe.

Remember your veggies, but keep it colorful! Brightly colored vegetables are usually a good choice (squash, tomatoes, carrots, leafy greens, etc.). Limit your intake of vegetables that fit more into the starch category (corn, potatoes) because these will affect your blood sugar. Also, instead of sautéing vegetables in butter, consider steaming or baking them.

When you have diabetes, keeping blood pressure controlled is also important. Limit salt intake because it could raise your blood pressure.

Make it a priority to continue your normal exercise routine during the holidays, and even consider adding some activities, such as taking a brisk walk around the mall with family members. Continue to take your medications, adjusting your insulin regimen if necessary.

 “The holidays are a time of celebration, and even if you are living with diabetes, you can still enjoy the food and festivities in moderation, “said Diana Vinh, Pharm.D., assistant professor and director, WVU School of Pharmacy Health Education Center “The most important tip to remember is to speak with your pharmacist, dietician or physician if you have any concerns about managing your diabetes during the holidays.”

For more information about living with diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association at www.diabetes.org.


For more information about the WVU School of Pharmacy, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/sop/.

-WVU-


08-236
For more information:
Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy 304-293-7192
anewton@hsc.wvu.edu
an/dv: 12-10-08

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