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’Tis the Season: Balancing Holiday Treats With Healthy Eating
December 20, 2010
The holiday treats have been trickling in to my office’s kitchen. First, a vendor sent a box of delectable cookies. Then, another vendor sent a package of chocolate-covered and sugar-coated pecans. And then one of my colleagues brought in a gingerbread cake last week. Did I partake of any of these? I admit that yes, I did. And this coming week we have a cookie bake-off at work.
Of course, Christmas is this week, which brings its own set of treats. Granted, I don’t have diabetes, heart disease, celiac disease, or other conditions that practically demand healthful eating. So I don’t mean to whine or complain.
For those of you who have diabetes, what kinds of challenges do you face at this time of year? And how do you handle them? Do you indulge a little? Do you shy completely away? Are you able to adjust your insulin (if you take it) to compensate for high-carbohydrate treats? It’s always helpful to hear about strategies that you use. There’s no one right way to do things, by the way. But you’ve likely come across some ways to make managing diabetes a little easier, and I’m sure others would appreciate hearing about them.
This week I’m not going to lecture about what one should stay away from at the dinner or buffet table. I figure that by now, you likely know this and even if you don’t, you maybe don’t want to hear about it. After all, the holidays are here and it’s a time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. Instead, I thought I’d focus a little on what’s actually pretty healthful on the dinner table (besides the salad).
Are we doing anything right when it comes to eating at the holidays? I came across some information from the NPD Group, a company that specializes in market research, including market research on food and nutrition. The information is titled “Top 10 foods and beverages consumed at dinner on Christmas day.” Foods eaten are ranked according to region of the country: West, Central, South, and East. With the exception of central US, the number one food consumed on Christmas is…(drumroll)…vegetables! Granted, we don’t know if these are vegetables smothered in butter or cheese sauce, but that’s pretty good! The number two food is potatoes (in the central US, potatoes are number one and vegetables are number two).
As I mentioned last week, the holidays are a time of tradition, and not many people like to mess with tradition. But making a few tweaks here and there is surely permissible. Think for a moment about the foods that you eat over the holidays. Rather than focusing on the calorie-laden, fatty foods, can you name one or two foods (or beverages) that are pretty healthy? I’m sure that you can. Here are a few things to get you started:
See? There are a lot of healthy holiday foods. I’ll bet you can share some others! Happy Holidays!
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