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Thanksgiving for Diabetics


November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving is upon us, and preparations are already underway. For most people, it means mashed potatoes and desserts galore, but for diabetics it's a different story. Fortunately, there are ways for those with the disease to indulge on turkey day without the guilt.

Turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie are certainly foods that make our mouths water, but they also make our stomachs bulge. If you happen to be one of the 20.8 million Americans who suffers from diabetes, do you need to rethink your purchases when you get to the checkout counter?

"Well, there really aren't foods that you have to avoid, that's a misconception actually. People are human and they're actually meant to enjoy the holidays," said Anthony McCall, Director of the Diabetes Clinical Services at The University of Virginia.

So if you're a diabetic and planning your annual turkey celebration menu, keep one word in mind: moderation.

"It's really more balance and moderation [in what you eat]," said McCall.

This is some very good advice for diabetics but it's also good advice for everybody!

"I do think that moderation is important and we do tell people that there really isn't any food they can't eat," said Joyce Pastors, a Diabetes Center Dietician with UVa.

Still, there are some people, diabetic or not, who are trying to find ways to break away from the more unhealthy Thanksgiving standbys.

But if the thought of giving up your holiday favorites has you feeling a little depressed, don't worry, there are plenty of healthy alternatives to some of those traditional Thanksgiving favorites that we all cherish.

"There are a lot of products that are milk-based that you can find substitutes of either a light or a fat-free product, and those would be good choices to make for holiday cooking," said Pastors.

So with a little moderation and pre-planning, everyone, including diabetics can have a memorable turkey meal without having to sacrifice much of the gobble.

Dieticians also remind us that staying active and exercising work wonders, especially during this time of the year.

If you'd like more information on cooking for diabetics, log on to the following websites.

www.cookinglight.com
www.diabetes.org
www.ndep.nih.gov


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