Herald Columnists

November 29, 2012

Think before you fill your plate

OSKALOOSA — I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but sometimes the truth hurts.

A lot of the foods we all enjoy this time of year can contribute to diabetes. I know I’m not the first person to tell you about the diabetes issue locally and across the U.S. We’ve all read the statistics.

In the Friday, Nov. 23, issue of the Herald, you’ll find a story I wrote about dealing with diabetes during the holiday season. I interviewed certified diabetes educator Sharon Ferguson for this story, which ran the day after Thanksgiving.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m no health nut. I don’t claim to know it all about what is and what isn’t good for you. But, I think it’s safe to say overeating is never a good idea, even during the holidays.

In the story I did, Sharon mentioned that portion control is key. This is at least something to consider during the holiday season.

I know it can be difficult to avoid overeating. Trust me — the Thanksgiving dinner my mom and sister-in-law collaborated on was amazing. I have enjoyed the leftovers for several meals since Thanksgiving Day. For those interested, my leftovers include turkey, gravy, corn casserole and two desserts. And, yes, the deserts were the first leftovers to be consumed.

Again, I’m not trying to preach about what you should or should not eat. It’s just a good idea to remember that there are consequences to bad eating habits, even though many of us deem it to be OK during the holidays.

I have a couple of theories as to why some folks seem to think it’s OK to overeat during this time of year. One, with the cold weather, it becomes easier to hide the fact that you have been overeating because the weather allows you to wear more clothing. Two, the cold weather can have a psychological impact on some folks, which could encourage them to overeat as a comforting mechanism. Three, some people may eat more during this time of year to show their relatives how much they appreciate their cooking.

Like any good son, I know it is of paramount importance to let my mom know I appreciate her cooking. This is especially true on Thanksgiving and Christmas, given the fact that these two holidays involve the most time-consuming and sometimes labor-intensive meal preparations.

So, be thankful for what you have — just try and consider not having too much at one time. The leftovers will keep for a while — trust me.

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