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How to enjoy Thanksgiving when you have diabetes

Thanksgiving is one of our big eating holidays. How can you stay the course at your gathering, especially if you have diabetes? Here are my 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 higher calorie foods. Also, going all day without eating can cause low blood sugars.  

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 plate method to control carb intake: Limit starchy foods, such as stuffing, potatoes, yams, rice, and bread to a fourth of the plate; fill half your plate with low carb vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus and salad; fill the remaining fourth of the plate with protein, such as the turkey. 

Avoid dishes with heavy sauces. Serve sauces on the side.

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

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

Move! Walk after the meal, toss the 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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