Fiesta’s here: How to stay on a healthy eating plan during festivities

Registered dietician who helps people with diabetes stay on track offers advice

SAN ANTONIO – Chicken on a stick, corn in a cup and kebabs — what do all those foods have in common? They’re staples during Fiesta.

“The corn on the cob smeared with butter and hot red pepper. Oh, I could eat that forever,” said Steve Samet.

Many agree with Samet. However, much of the food available during the ten-day festival isn’t great for you, especially if you’re among the 16% of San Antonians with Type 2 diabetes. That’s why KSAT spoke with a registered dietician who helps people with Type 2 diabetes understand and manage the disease.

Nora Kwiatkowski, a diabetes educator, said she teaches weekly diabetes self-management and education classes at UT Health San Antonio.

“We talk about what is diabetes [and] healthy eating. We talk about the medications,” said Kwiatkowski.

She teaches her patients to start their day with a balanced breakfast.

“I love eggs. If we need to lose weight, add another egg [white], then we add a little bit of healthy fat. Avocadoes have great fiber,” said Kwiatkowski.

“Building a healthy plate that’s protein-rich with healthy fats and high fiber are all going to help regulate that blood sugar,” she continued.

Kwiatkowski said that’s the goal for people with diabetes — following a healthful diet. Their meals should minimize the symptoms and complications of high blood sugar.

“Prioritizing that protein is really going to help possibly prevent diabetes altogether and reverse it,” said Kwiatkowski.

The dietician also recommends we avoid high-calorie foods with high sugar and fat content.

However, Kwiatkowski said even those with diabetes can enjoy delicious food at Fiesta. She recommends kebabs.

“They also sometimes have the peppers in there. So you’ve got the protein, you got the fiber, and that is going to keep you very full and satiated,” said Kwiatkowski.

If you’d like to determine your risk for developing diabetes, click here to take a test from the American Diabetes Association.

UT Health San Antonio also has a program for people with diabetes. You can find more information on that by clicking here. The program accepts most insurance plans and Medicare.

Bexar County residents without insurance can access programs for diabetes treatments here.

Find all things Fiesta on here

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About the Authors

Stephania Jimenez is an anchor on The Nightbeat. She began her journalism career in 2006, after graduating from Syracuse University. She's anchored at NBC Philadelphia, KRIS in Corpus Christi, NBC Connecticut and KTSM in El Paso. Although born and raised in Brooklyn, Stephania considers Texas home. Stephania is bilingual! She speaks Spanish.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.

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