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Tips for diabetics: how to eat healthy during the holidays

Tips to enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving
Posted at 5:53 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 20:18:34-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As Americans get ready to chow down on some turkey and trimmings for the holidays, KRIS 6 News talked with an expert on how to navigate the holidays in a healthy way, especially for people living with diabetes.

“Holidays are a tough time because everyone with diabetes really needs to have a meal plan,” Georgiana Bradshaw said. “If you don’t have a plan, you’re probably not going to stay in control.”

Bradshaw, a registered nurse and the diabetes coordinator at the Coastal Bend Food Bank, said it’s about moderation. “We teach our patients that they can eat whatever they want,” Bradshaw said. “It’s just watching the portion and watching the carbohydrates.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2015, Nueces County ranked eighth in Texas for counties with the most people diagnosed with diabetes.

Bradshaw said to bring your own side for Thanksgiving.

“Your cauliflower, your broccoli, your salad and things like that are almost free in the meal plan,” Bradshaw said. “They’re carbohydrates but they have very little effect on blood glucose because they are so full of fiber.”

Bradshaw said it’s okay to have some sugary things, but all in moderation. She said instead of having a roll and a slice of pie, trade one out for the other.

Or, make cauliflower mashed potatoes instead of regular mashed potatoes.

The Coastal Bend Food Bank offers an eight week program for free to help people manage their diabetes. They also have a diabetes pantry for people who need food assistance.

And even though Bradshaw said taking a nap or sitting down after a big meal is tempting.

“Avoiding that high glucose after a meal is to take a 10 or 15 minute walk. Just 10 or 15 minutes can make a big difference,” Bradshaw said.