Thanksgiving tips for people with diabetes

It may be the one day out of the year when overeating is encouraged, but Thanksgiving can pose some challenges for people with diabetes.

With just a few adjustments, though, diabetics can enjoy their favorite foods and ring in the holiday season on Turkey Day – just like everyone else.

Six Thanksgiving tips

Follow these tips from the American Diabetes Association to have a healthy Thanksgiving:

  1. Limit grains and starches. Carbohydrates at Thanksgiving dinner tend to be everywhere, but it's important to limit your intake. Carbs – like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls or pie – should take up no more than one-fourth of your plate.
  2. Focus on vegetables and proteins. About half of your plate should be vegetables, and one-fourth should be proteins. Opt for less starchy vegetables like collard greens, broccoli, asparagus or eggplant. This protein-vegetable combo will help keep you full while also keeping your blood sugar balanced.
  3. Avoid too much "tasting." If you're cooking this year, avoid "tasting" your various creations too much. The calories will add up, and they can affect your blood sugar over the course of the long, food-centered day.
  4. Beware of condiments. Be careful when adding sauces or condiments to your food, like salad dressings, gravy or whipped cream on that pie. Even just a little restraint will save you added calories, sugar and salt.
  5. Limit alcohol. Try to skip the alcohol, but if you are going to drink, stick with only one or two glasses of red wine or a sugar-free mixed drink.
  6. Eat regularly. The temptation on holidays is to skip meals in order to compensate for a larger one later. But try to maintain a regular meal schedule, and make sure to eat breakfast – this will keep your blood sugar stable until turkey time.

Source: American Diabetes Association

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