HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! We hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday!

Healthful Thanksgiving Tips

It’s the week before Thanksgiving and many of us are preparing for the big feast! On the long list of to-do’s before the guests arrive is grocery shopping. A few simple steps can make your shopping trip easier and healthier. Just incorporate some of these strategies to ensure that you have the right foods for your healthy eating plan.

Plan ahead: Plan your Thanksgiving dinner ahead of time and take an inventory of what you already have in your pantry so you know exactly what you need to buy. The healthy pantry list includes items to have on hand so you can make a healthy meal anytime.

Make a list: Make your shopping trip more efficient by making a list of what you need. A list will help you avoid impulse buying too. Stick to what is on your list, but don’t let your list prevent you from trying out new healthy foods.

Download the Healthy Shopping List:This list will help you make healthier choices at the grocery store.

Shop the perimeter: Most often the fresh produce, dairy, meat and seafood departments can be found on the aisles on the outer edge of your grocery store, and that is where you want to concentrate most of your shopping. Watch our grocery store tour videos for tips on buying meat, dairy, produce and grains.

Don’t go shopping hungry: It can be hard to resist buying those high-fat high-calorie items especially when you are hungry. So set yourself up for success and have a healthy snack before going to the store.

Do read the food labels: Routinely checking food labels helps you compare the nutritional values of various products to make healthy choices.

Don’t forget the fiber: This Thanksgiving load up on whole-grain breads and rolls, as well as brown rice and dried beans. When shopping, look for the word “whole” at the top of the ingredients list.

Do go green: Fill your table with vegetables. Select vegetables deepest in color; the dark color means higher concentrations of antioxidant vitamins.

Don’t dismiss frozen produce: Most frozen fruits and vegetables contain as many nutrients as fresh produce.

Join the Nutrition Challenge: This free online program will help you increase the number of fruits and vegetables you eat each day. You will be able to track your daily and weekly progress throughout the program, access healthy recipes and be eligible for prizes.

Eating right should not be complicated!

Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated — simply begin to incorporate a healthy eating plan into your daily routine. These recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans can help get you started.

•Emphasize fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products.
•Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
•Make sure your diet is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.

Make Your Calories Count
Think nutrient-rich rather than “good” or “bad” foods. The majority of your food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients, and lower in calories. Making smart food choices can help you stay healthy, manage your weight and be physically active.

Focus on Variety
Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups to get the nutrients your body needs. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen or canned. Eat more dark green vegetables such as leafy greens and broccoli and orange vegetables including carrots and sweet potatoes. Vary your protein choices with more fish, beans and peas. Eat at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day.

Know Your Fats
Look for foods low in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol to help reduce your risk of heart disease. Most of the fats you eat should be monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Check the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels for total fat and saturated fat.

November is National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month. If you have just been diagnosed with diabetes, you have been living with diabetes for a while, or know someone who has, diabetes education and support are important to help you stay healthy. Diabetes education is needed throughout your lifetime, not just at diagnosis. Learning to manage your diabetes from the start can help you have fewer health problems from diabetes later.

Having a network of support can help you better cope with the day-to-day demands of living with diabetes. Check out our resources for diabetes education on our website. Including our Diabetes Resource Directory.

Check out our Road to Diabetes Prevention program. It is a free 6-session online program that may help you reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by learning your risk factors and making simple lifestyle changes.