Tips for Navigating Thanksgiving Dinner if You Have Diabetes

By Cara Murez

health day reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Eating a Thanksgiving feast while maintaining healthy blood sugar levels may seem difficult if you have diabetes, but it’s doable, experts say.

Nearly 40 million Americans face this problem on a daily basis, and not just for holiday meals.

Getting Started: Don’t skip breakfast or try to save your calories and carbs for later in the day. It can just make you hungrier and interfere with healthy eating later in the day, said experts at the MOLLY Diabetes Education and Management Center for Adults and Children, part of Hackensack Meridian Health, in Maywood, NJ.

Instead, eat a healthy breakfast like frittata with lots of veggies or Greek yogurt with nuts.

Here are some other recommendations:

  • For the holiday meal, think about which foods you want the most. Go through the whole table and decide what to eat and what not to eat.
  • A smaller plate can make your plate fuller while saving a few calories.
  • Protein – in this case, turkey – will fill you up faster. Not only does this have less of an impact on your blood sugar, but it can also reduce your carb cravings. Avoid fried turkey or the addition of butter.
  • Load up on non-starchy vegetables, like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and celery, and avoid dips and sauces.
  • Drinking water, tea, or soda water instead of sugary drinks can help you stay on track.
  • It’s nice to have a small helping of your favorite dessert – just eat it slowly and savor it.

More information

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

SOURCE: Hackensack University Medical Center, press release, November 17, 2022

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