Arts and Entertainment

Food can make holidays tough for heavy and diabetic

"Eat, drink and be merry isn’t as easy as it sounds for people with weight problems and diabetes.But there are ways to keep food from spoiling the holidays, say local advocates of weight and diabetes control.Nancy Marasco, a Port Orchard-area representative of a non-profit weight-loss organization called TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), has tips for the scale-conscious. Start with being assertive, she said.“Many people eat too much when they’re feeling overwhelmed, so don’t be afraid to ask someone else to help clean up after a holiday meal, or to pick up the kids when you can’t make it, or to serve you a beverage that fits into your healthy eating plan,” Marasco said.She also suggested lighter versions of traditional recipes that avoid “the consequences of extra fat or sugar.”Raynor Perry of the Port Orchard Lions Club points out that if you’re cooking for someone with diabetes, you can make a big difference in that person’s life by making holiday meals healthy from a diabetic’s view.“There is nothing harder for a person with diabetes than making healthy food choices at a big family feast,” Perry said.Because diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults--and vision is a special interest of Lions clubs internationally--the local club joins in emphasizing low-fat, high-fiber food for diabetics. That includes fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain bread, grilled lean meat, and skinless fish and turkey, Perry said. Cutting down on fatty mayonnaise, oil and butter is recommended, too."

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