How to eat healthy during the holidays

SAN ANTONIO – The holidays are here, and for a lot of people, that means plenty of yummy food and treats.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 11% of people in Texas have diabetes.

“There’s a lot of obesity. There’s a lot of patients (who) are actually getting diagnosed with high blood pressure, as well at an earlier age. And it wasn’t like that. It’s all because of your choices,” said Dr. Cynthia Cantu, a primary care doctor with UT Health.

Cantu said there are ways to eat healthy during the holidays.

Choices can be easily made this holiday season, including alcohol.

“A lot of people love their liquid calories. But like, for example, this looks really nice. You think it’s a healthy wine, but it’s actually sweet red. If you look in the back. So it has a lot more. Oh, (it) actually even tells you have 17 grams of carbohydrates, and that’s just for five ounces. So instead of picking this, you can just pick regular red wine, the dry version,” Cantu said.

Everyone loves chips, especially kids. Cantu said pick a vegetable instead of the crunchy carbohydrates.

“You could use carrots instead. And if you trick the kids by adding hummus and having (dressing) like avocado ranch. It really is a great alternative. And really, it’s much healthier for everyone in the family. And it’s something that they should just adopt in the regular basis,” Cantu said.

How about the meals? Cantu said there are healthy substitutes as well.

“Boil the cauliflower and then mash it up and add the same ingredients that you would for your mashed potatoes. And it tastes so good. You really can trick the kids, also,” Cantu said.

Veggies are key to eating healthy, especially for the kids.

“Even if you could just squeeze in a little bit of vegetables during your meal, like with the cauliflower mash and you add some cheese. They probably won’t tell the difference. So really, just squeezing in some things, it’s going to make a difference because of how much diabetes we’re also seeing in the kids,” Cantu said.

And don’t think desserts are off the healthy-eating list.

“You can pick fat-free condensed milk, that very cream cheese. And this is basically the eggs. You make your cheesecake and you’ve already cut like a lot of carbohydrates,” Cantu said. “When you’re shopping, just be mindful of the nutrition labels and what it has. Be careful with the hidden calories, OK? And the hidden ingredients as well.”

Make sure you end 2019 and start 2020 off on a good note.

“You don’t want to start the year off with being diagnosed with diabetes,” Cantu said.

About the Author

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

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