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      Experts offer tips to control diabetes during the holidays

      A study by the Texas Health Institute projects an alarming increase in diabetes among Texans.

      According to the report, more than 8 million Texans will have diabetes by 2040.

      Doctors agree that one of the major causes of diabetes is obesity, and if weight isn't controlled and food intake managed, it could be very difficult to change those statistics.

      But with Christmas just around the corner, healthy eating is probably the last thing on people's minds.

      Monzer Yazji is an internal medicine doctor who specializes in diabetes.

      He said two out of four people in the valley have the disease.

      "There are a lot of patients that are walking the street. They are diabetic, and they are unaware," said Yazji.

      Dr. Yazji said at first, you may not be aware of the symptoms which include constant thirst, frequent urination, dizziness, and at times even rashes.

      "And usually they are obese. They are heavy," said Dr. Yazji.

      Sandra Trevino, a certified diabetes educator said in this day and age, people see fast food and unhealthy eating as the more convenient and an easier option.

      "We live in a fast-paced, high-tech world, and instead of getting better healthwise, we're doing a lot worse," she said.

      But Trevino said diet and diabetes go hand-in-hand, and to help prevent diabetes, people need to maintain a healthy weight.

      "More fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein making sure that all of us are exercising as a family," said Trevino.

      But she said that doesn't mean having to give up on your favorite holiday treats.

      "My patients will say well I had like a dozen tamales in one sitting well don't do that. You want to maybe have like 2 or 3 tamales maybe you can have them with olive oil or canola oil not the lard you know prepare them a little healthier or vegetable tamales," said Trevino.

      As for dessert?

      Trevino recommends just a sliver of your favorite desserts.

      Trevino also said protein and vegetables are good for you.

      Watch your carbs and instead of eating dark meat, eat white meat.

      She said the secret to controlling diabetes is portion control.

      Trevino and Yazji are on the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association board of directors.

      For more information on diabetes visit.

      To see the recent report on diabetes visit.