Family gatherings are coming back and I couldn’t be happier! With the holidays around the corner, we’re planning to safely link up with friends and family, surrounding ourselves with good food and laughter. As you may recall, November is Diabetes Awareness Month and during this month I try to learn more about new diabetes research and things to keep in mind all year long. Knowing that diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in Canada, my family doctor monitors it closely for me because I have family members on my paternal and maternal sides who live with diabetes. As we plan for family gatherings, I’ve learned some tips to keep in mind as I come up with healthy recipes to bring to family dinners and parties.
Disclosure : This blog post is sponsored by an alliance of two of Canada’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, but as always, opinions are TOTALLY mine!
One of the best Canadian resources I’ve found for people living with Type 2 diabetes (and their caregivers), is MyHeartMatters. The site shares information on diabetes and cardiovascular risk because death from heart disease at an earlier age is a serious risk for those living with type 2 diabetes. In addition to dietary and wellness resources, the self assessment wheel and personalized doctor’s discussion guide provides helpful resources for people living with type 2 diabetes and their families.
In the past I’ve shared some shocking stats as it pertains to South Asians such as myself-People of South Asian descent, for example, have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes even at a lower BMI. And South Asians are up to 6 times more likely to have type 2 diabetes compared to the general population.
Tips for Planning a Healthy Gathering
With Christmas on the way, you know that we’ll be starting our Christmas cake prep soon and all the baking and indulgences will begin. This year, I am taking a moment to pause and think about ways to enjoy life whilst still being mindful of the healthy practices I’ve learned during the year. I recently discovered the Cart2Table website. It’s an extension of the My Heart Matters website, with an aim to help people with type 2 diabetes rediscover the joy of food. It has been helpful as I plan some holiday recipes.
Cart2Table serves up interesting recipes featuring dishes from around the world and they also provide guidelines on portion control and nutrition-related information. One of my challenges when making curries and Sri Lankan treats has been modifying the sugar and fat content in the dishes. This is why I was pleased to discover a range of South Asian inspired recipes that have been modified to still taste great but also be healthier. Sure, my grandmother may not approve of the all the modifications, but we know that it still tastes great and is much healthier for us all.
You know how much I love my mom’s Wambatu Moju (Eggplant stir fry -kinda sorta) so when I saw this Eggplant Sweet Potato Coconut Curry, I had to test it out. I used our air fryer to get the eggplant crispy and that’s a step I highly recommend! Sri Lankans love coconut and limiting our intake of coconut oil and coconut cream is definitely one of the steps to be mindful based on the tips shared here.
I’ve been switching my Basmati for Konjac root rice so that’s what I paired it up with! I think my vegetarian mom will be quite impressed that I not only learned to make a veggie curry but I also really enjoyed it!
The hopeful news is that for people with type two diabetes, lifestyle habits like eating healthy foods and exercising can have a positive effect their diabetes management and heart health. When you also know that 8 in 10 Canadians with diabetes will die from heart disease and stroke, healthy eating is important as you choose meals for family members living with type 2 diabetes.
Keep in mind that research shows that along with diet and exercise, there are medications that may reduce the threat of early death from heart disease. If you or a loved one are living with type 2 diabetes, please speak to your healthcare providers about treatments that prevent early death from cardiovascular disease.
If you’re looking for more healthy eating tips check out Cart2Table!