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How to enjoy Thanksgiving when you have diabetes

Thanksgiving is one of our big eating holidays. How can you stay stick to a healthy meal plan at your gathering if you have diabetes? Here are some suggestions. 

Eat a healthy breakfast Thanksgiving morning. If the holiday dinner is later, eat a healthy snack mid-day. Thinking you will "save up" for the big meal leads to overeating high calorie foods. Also, going all day without eating can cause low blood sugar.  

If you are hosting, serve one or two low-fat, low-carb dishes, such as a tossed salad, steamed or sautéed low-carb vegetables or a relish tray. If you are a guest, offer to bring one.

Thanksgiving meals tend to be starch-heavy. Use the My Plate method to control your carbohydrate intake. Limit starchy foods -- stuffing, potatoes, yams, rice and bread -- to a fourth of your plate. Then fill half your plate with low carb vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus and salad. Fill the remaining fourth of your plate with protein, like turkey. 

Avoid dishes with heavy sauces or serve sauces on the side.

Choose white meat, like turkey breast and avoid higher-fat dark meat, such as the drumsticks.

Treat yourself to one or two favorites, but choose smaller portions. Cut your slice of pumpkin pie in half and eat the other half tomorrow. 

Move! Walk after the meal, toss a football with family or lead a dance party in the house. If the meal is later, hit the gym beforehand.

Overdid it?  Get back on track the next day. Don't wait until Monday!


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