A Diabetes-Friendly Guide to a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving Meal

What would the holiday season be without all the pies, candied yams, wine and other sweet treats. But for people with diabetes, who need to monitor and manage their blood sugar daily, this time of year can be difficult to navigate. With the right game plan, however, diabetics can enjoy holiday food and festivities without feeling deprived. Here’s your Thanksgiving Holiday Diabetes Do’s & Don’ts from the experts at the MOLLY Diabetes Education and Management Center for Adults and Children.

  1. Plan ahead: Have a healthy breakfast such as a frittata with lots of vegetables or a Greek yogurt with nuts to minimize your hunger later in the day. Don’t try to “save” your calories and carbohydrates for later in the day. You may be so hungry at meal time that you overeat. This makes it harder to control your blood sugar and adds extra calories. 
  2. Try to think ahead of which foods you really want to have and those that are not as important.  Then scan the entire table before you choose what to eat.
  3. Use a smaller plate. Filling a smaller plate will contain much less calories than that same larger plate.
  4. Choose protein, turkey 
    1. which will get you fuller faster, lower your craving for carbohydrates and have less impact on your blood sugar.  Avoid fried turkey or adding butter which will add extra calories and fat to this healthy choice. 
    2. Eat lots of non-starchy vegetables: asparagus, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery. Try not to dip them in creams, gravy or ranch dressing. 
    3. Be aware of the calories and carbohydrates hidden in sweetened beverages. Try drinking water, tea, seltzer or diet sodas. 
    4. Don’t forget dessert have a small portion, eat slowly and enjoy the taste.

    Most of all enjoy the holiday and give thanks for your health, happiness and the love of family and friends. 

    The MOLLY Diabetes Education and Management Center for Adults and Children provides an unparalleled approach to treating and managing diabetes. You receive a wide range of support services and the most up-to-date treatments to live a healthy and satisfying life. Your dedicated team at Hackensack University Medical Center includes endocrinologists, advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, registered dietitians, licensed clinical social workers and certified diabetes educators – all of whom bring special training and experience in diabetes. To book an appointment call 551-996-3010.

    From the entire team, Happy Thanksgiving!