UACES Facebook November is Diabetes Awareness Month
skip to main content

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

How can you stick with a healthy meal plan and enjoy all the festivities and celebrations? The following information may help you plan.

Nashville, Ark. – The holidays are here! November is also diabetes awareness month. Whether you have diabetes or have been told by a doctor you are pre-diabetic, the holidays can create special challenges. How can you stick with a healthy meal plan and enjoy all the festivities and celebrations? All it takes is a little planning and know how before you face the endless parties and buffet tables.

            Make a plan. Before you go to the party, think about what foods will be served. Decide which foods will help keep your blood sugar under control and which foods you want to avoid. Look at the buffet once you get there and then choose one or two favorite treats along with healthier items to round out your meal.

            Watch your portions. Many foods on the buffet table are loaded with fat, sugar, or salt. Take very small portions of deep-fried foods, fatty foods wrapped in bacon, cheesy foods and desserts.

            Come prepared. If you are asked to bring a dish, be sure to bring one that is healthy and one you can eat. Don’t make a big production of it. Many people will never miss the lower salt, lower fat, or lower sugar variation. In fact, they may even ask for the recipe!

            Focus on family and friends, instead of food. When you arrive at a party, don’t make a be-line for the buffet table. Visit with people. Waiting later to eat, may prevent multiple trips to the food bar.

            Fill half of your plate with vegetables. Choose vegetables that are colorful such as broccoli, bell peppers, green beans, carrots, cabbage, eggplant and spinach.

            Choose fresh or steamed veggies. Avoid vegetables or vegetable dishes that are loaded with butter and cheese which included many of the vegetable casseroles. If needed, take just a small spoonful or a taste.

            Take 2-3 ounces of protein. If the chicken, turkey or other lean cuts of meat are baked or grilled, then you can feel good about eating these foods. Avoid over doing it though. 2-3 ounces is about the size of a deck of playing cards.

            Go easy on the breaded meats. Many of the meats on a buffet line are breaded then deep-fried and served along with heavy sauces. Take just a taste of these foods, if you just can’t resist them.

            Look for high-fiber grains. Choose steamed brown rice, whole-grain crackers or whole-grain breads whenever possible. Avoid loading up on cheese spreads, dips or butter as add-ons to whole grain foods.

            Watch out for desserts and drinks. Most desserts and drinks are high in sugar. Choose fresh fruit whenever possible. Fruit is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals not found in other foods. If you can’t resist the dessert table, take only a small portion and enjoy it.

            The holidays happen only once a year. Enjoy them! However as with everything else, enjoy them in moderation!

            If you would like more information on eating healthy, following the dietary guidelines or are interested in attending nutrition workshops, contact the Howard County Extension Office at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse. I’ll be glad to add you to our newsletter list to let you know when programs are scheduled.

            Information for this article was adapted from the National Diabetes Education Program. Check out their website at

Recipe of the Week

            It’s not too early to start planning for Thanksgiving dinner. This is a great recipe to serve alongside other holiday favorites. In fact, this recipe is great anytime of the year! My family loves it served with pork chops or grilled chicken.

Cinnamon-Glazed Baby Carrots

4 cups baby carrots, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons soft tub margarine

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

            Place the carrots in a small saucepan. Add just enough water to barely cover the carrots. Cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 7-8 minutes, just until the carrots are easily pierced with a sharp knife.

            While the carrots are cooking, combine margarine, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan, and melt together over low heat (or put in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for a few seconds on high power, until margarine is mostly melted). Stir well to combine ingredients.

            Drain carrots, leaving them in the saucepan. Pour cinnamon mixture over carrots. Cook and stir over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, just until the carrots are thoroughly coated and the glaze thickens slightly.

            Yield: 4 servings (1 cup each)

            Nutrition information per serving: Calories-130, Total fat 6g, Saturated fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 160mg, Carbohydrate 19g, Fiber 4 g, Protein less than 1g

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.