Dr. Tia Rains is a clinical research nutritionist specializing in the prevention of diabetes, obesity, and other health conditions through diet and lifestyle choices.
She has almost 20 years of experience in the field of nutrition including diet counseling, design and execution of clinical research, and improvement of school lunch; and health programs. She lives with her husband and three children in the Chicago area.
Living with Diabetes...
with Dr. Tia Rains
This holiday season, make plans to manage your caloric budget as well as your dollars and cents!
Consumers who think of the holidays as “The Season of Treats” should consider sugar-free and low-sugar alternatives.
For many people, the holidays mark an annual celebration of friends, family and food. Unfortunately for more and more Americans, the holidays also mark the beginning of a three-month struggle with weight gain and social pressure to eat foods they might otherwise pass by.
“Desserts are often the big culprit,” says Dr. Tia Rains, a clinical dietician based in Chicago, IL. “For many people, the holiday experience includes time spent with friends and family and that very often includes a full meal including the goodies at the end. Eating too much of the goodies, though, isn’t good for you.”
“If people thought about how they’re using their calories the same way they thought about how they spent their money during the holidays – we’d have a lot more people eating within their means,” explained Dr. Rains.
Managing your dietary budget this holiday season.
Dr. Rains offers a series of common-sense tips on eating and enjoying desserts during the holidays. Those tips include:
- Talk to your registered dietitian, nurse, or physician about a nutrition plan that fits with your lifestyle and with any prescription medications you take.
- Planning your snacks early each day helps you to stick with your diet plan and avoid overeating.
- For the office, pack snacks at home into single-servings so you can munch without overeating and avoid an impulse trip to the vending machine.
- Keep a food diary to track your meals and snacks to ensure you have a diet that balances with your activity level.
- Include all food groups to get the important vitamins and minerals.
- Use online resources like MyPyramid.gov to help guide you on food choices and reasonable portion sizes.
“We see a surge in our sugar-free and no-sugar-added pies and cakes every holiday season,” says Scott Florence, CEO of Hill & Valley Bakery, a commercial bakery specializing in sugar-free and No Sugar Added cakes, pies, muffins and cookies for the diabetic and health-conscious marketplace. “Our strategy is to make our sugar-free desserts taste as good as the full-sugar varieties so everyone in the family can enjoy them.”
In the months leading up to the holidays, Hill & Valley bakes hundreds of thousands of sugar-free cakes and pies destined for dessert tables across America.
But like Dr. Rains, Mr. Florence encourages consumers to enjoy his company’s treats in moderation. “Too much of anything isn’t good for you. That’s why we’re careful to clearly state what a proper serving size is on our packaging. It’s also why we created these products in such a way to make sure a serving size was substantial enough to be satisfying.”
Turning dessert into a healthy treat
Mr. Florence also explained that Hill & Valley offers a number of custom-made recipes on the Hill & Valley website that combine the company's products with fresh fruit, sugar-free dessert toppings and other ingredients to make satisfying and low sugar/low calorie treats.
“By adding some fresh berries, a little low-sugar chocolate syrup and a dollop of sugar-free dessert topping, we’re able to turn a slice of our sugar-free Angel Food cake into a delicious dessert that serves as a perfect ending to a holiday meal,” said Mr. Florence.
Hill & Valley bakery products can be found in the fresh bakery department of Supermarkets throughout the country. Locate a store close to home that sells Hill & Valley products. H&V is also a national promotional sponsor of the American Diabetes Association’s StepOut Walks to Fight Diabetes.
Dr. Rains' Previous Articles
Read Tia's article - It's all in the Carbs
Learn important information about Carbs.
Read Tia's article on 100-Calorie Packs
100-Calorie Packs, Friend or Foe?
Read Tia's article on Smart Snacking- Learn the numerous benefits of smart snacking.
Read Tia's Sweeteners 101 article - Uncover the TRUTH about sweeteners!