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Thanksgiving tips for Diabetics

Thanksgiving is a very exciting day for most but can pose some unique challenges for those managing diabetes for themselves or loved ones. Dr. Scott J. Jones, MD, ABEM offers some tips for ensuring everyone gets the most out of this wonderful day while enjoying some great and healthy options at the dinner table

Most everyone loves Thanksgiving dinner, but it can be something of a challenge if you have diabetes. Here are a few quick Thanksgiving tips for diabetics.  You can try to just eliminate or severely limit the things you know contain sugar or lots of carbohydrates.  But that may leave you with a fairly empty plate when you sit down with everyone to dine.

Instead, here are a few tips for the diabetic which can both allow you to enjoy thanksgiving, and stay out of trouble…

First of all, try to limit your portions.  You do not get a prize for eating more than everyone else, and you could get yourself into trouble if you are not careful.  So “moderation” is important here.

Second, focus on the Turkey and anything else you are having which you know is high in protein and low in carbohydrate without added sugar.  Typically, this will be the big bird, but any other non-processed meat will do fine, as well.

Third, if you are going to have carbohydrates, stick with the more natural, complex ones like berries and sweet potatoes.  Avoid the store-bought pecan pie.

Fourth, there are some substitutions you can make which will help keep your sugar in check.  For instance:

  • Prepare whole-wheat, vegetable-filled stuffing instead of pre-prepared, store-bought stuffing
    • Go for the carrots, green beans, and real vegetables, instead of the mashed potatoes
    • Use an egg meringue topping instead of a marshmallow topping on your sweet potatoes, and keep the maple syrup or other sweetener to a minimum (or eliminate)
    • Use Cranberry compote with Stevia sweetener, instead of canned cranberry sauce

Fifth, exercise after you eat.  It is not necessary to go to the gym once you push away from the table, but a nice, long stroll afterwards can help keep you from getting a spike in your glucose.  Bring someone along, just in case.

Finally, there are several substitutions you can make for the traditional courses of a Thanksgiving dinner.  Below are links to a few:

https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/g20495209/diabetes-friendly-thanksgiving-recipes

https://www.verywellhealth.com/healthy-thanksgiving-dinner-with-diabetes-1087477

Happy Thanksgiving and hope these Thanksgiving tips for diabetics help you and your loved ones to cherish the holiday season without worry.

Eat well, eat smart!

Dr Scott Jones Trusted ER Colleyville
Dr Scott Jones Trusted ER Colleyville

Scott J. Jones,
MD, ABEM