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Tips to Navigating Thanksgiving Dinner If You Have Diabetes
  • Posted November 22, 2022

Tips to Navigating Thanksgiving Dinner If You Have Diabetes

Eating a Thanksgiving feast, while still maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, may seem challenging if you have diabetes, but it's doable, experts say.

Nearly 40 million Americans deal with this issue every day, and not just for holiday meals.

To start: Don't skip breakfast or try to save your calories and carbohydrates for later in the day. That can just make you hungrier and work against healthy eating later in the day, said experts at the MOLLY Diabetes Education and Management Center for Adults and Children, a part of Hackensack Meridian Health, in Maywood, N.J.

Instead, eat a healthy breakfast such as a frittata with lots of vegetables or Greek yogurt with nuts.

Here are more recommendations:

  • For the holiday meal, think ahead about which foods you want most. Scan the entire table and decide what you'll eat and what you won't.
  • A smaller plate can make your plate look fuller while saving some calories.
  • Protein -- in this case, turkey -- will get you fuller faster. Not only does that have less impact on your blood sugar, but it can lower your carbohydrate cravings. Avoid fried turkey or adding butter.
  • Fill up on non-starchy veggies, such as asparagus, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and celery, and skip dips and gravies.
  • Drinking water, tea or seltzer instead of sugar-laden drinks can help you stay on track.
  • It's OK to have a small portion of your favorite dessert -- just eat slowly and enjoy it.

More information

The American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Food Hub has more tips for Thanksgiving eating.

SOURCE: Hackensack University Medical Center, news release, Nov. 17, 2022

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