NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – November is National Diabetes Month. Diabetes is one of the country’s greatest health crises. Every 23 seconds, someone in the US is diagnosed with diabetes. 133 million Americans are living with diabetes or pre-diabetes. The number one question a lot of people ask is, ‘Well, what can I eat?,’ especially around the holidays. Registered Dietitian and cookbook author Toby Amidor joined Connecticut’s Morning Buzz Host Natasha Lubczenko in the Studio Kitchen, to show us how to make a diabetes-friendly Thanksgiving plate. She especially wanted to show our viewers how someone living with diabetes can have mashed potatoes as part of their meal.
Toby says, “Earlier this year, the Idaho Potato Commission became the first vegetable to partner with the American Diabetes Association and participate in their Better Choices for Life program. This means that mashed potatoes can be on a diabetes-friendly Thanksgiving plate. You can find bags of Idaho potatoes with the American Diabetes Association logo.”
So, what technique should you use to make your Thanksgiving Plate healthy? Toby says, “The key is to use the Diabetes Plate Method, developed by the American Diabetes Association, to help those living with diabetes and prediabetes prepare healthy meals, and can help manage blood sugar. This approach allows folks to put together a plate that includes a healthy balance of vegetables, protein, and carbs, which can include potatoes.”
Toby demonstrates what this method looks like. “You start with an 8-inch dinner plate and visually cut it in half. One half of the plate is filled with non-starchy vegetables like string beans, then one quarter of the plate is filled with protein like turkey with a little gravy, and the last quarter is left for your mashed potatoes or your favorite potato dishes. To complete the meal, add water or another zero-calorie beverage.”
You’re probably wondering what makes potatoes a healthy part of a diabetes-friendly plate? Toby tells our viewers, “Potatoes are loaded with important vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. One 5.3-ounce potato has only 110 calories, contains no sodium, and is naturally saturated fat-free and gluten-free. “
She adds, “The key to enjoying potatoes is knowing how to prepare them healthfully. This means being mindful of the serving size, combining the potato with heart-healthy olive or avocado oils, preparing your potatoes with the skin on for added fiber, and baking or boiling your potatoes instead of frying.”
If you’re interested in learning more, The Idaho Potato Commission has created an online resource center to help folks learn how to build a diabetes-friendly Thanksgiving plate that includes your favorite potato dishes. You can find the resource center on their website, at www.idahopotato.com.