Thanksgivings Tips for People with Diabetes

Nov 23, 2020

Thanksgiving is all about eating and being with loved ones.  With so many foods and snacks available how can you make healthy choices that will keep your blood sugars stable.

The American Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists has provided us with a list of great tips to follow.

  • Don’t skip meals or snacks earlier in the day to “save” calories and carbs for the Thanksgiving feast. If you skip meals, it may be harder to manage your blood sugar.
  • Be sure to eat breakfast and if your main meal is later in the day, eat a small snack or meal at midday, so that your blood sugar will remain more stable.
  • Take a look at the food on the whole table before you take any. Use the Thanksgiving Plate as a guide for choosing the foods you will eat.
  • Limit the number of grains (starches) on your plate. It might be tempting to have some mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and stuffing—however, limit them to 1⁄4 of your plate.
  • Choose raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid vegetables in creams, gravies, and butter.
  • Stick to calorie-free drinks such as water, tea, seltzer, or diet sodas instead of punch, or mixed drinks.
  • Have a dessert, but take a small portion, eat slowly and enjoy the taste.
  • After your meal, take a walk with family and friends. Exercise will get you moving, keep you focused on your goals, and give you a break from being surrounded by food. Exercise is also a great way to lower blood sugar levels.
  • Plan a family game of tag, flag football, or any other game that will get everyone up and moving. If you eat too much on Thanksgiving, don’t beat yourself up. Don’t think you have failed, just make a plan to get back on track.
  • Make a “Healthy Eating Contract” with yourself to set goals for your Thanksgiving meal. Clearly state how you will approach eating during the day, and what you want to accomplish.

Sample Contract:

I know that it is possible to enjoy the wonderful food of this holiday and keep my blood sugar stable. Today, I make a promise to myself to make healthy food choices on Thanksgiving.  I balance my plate and fill it with the right portions.  I will limit the sweets and desserts I eat. I will pick something active to do after my holiday meal. And I will check my blood sugar throughout the day to make sure that I am in target range. I promise to enjoy this holiday and give thanks for my health, happiness and the love of my friends and family. 

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– Sherree Telford, RD LDN CDCES CHWC

Health Advisor

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