Talking Turkey About Diabetes and Thanksgiving

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Week-4-Post-2 Holidays are always about spending time with the people you love, generally while you have some delicious food that you tend to eat too much of. Thanksgiving takes that idea to a whole new level, and while the food is delicious, it can be high in fat and carbohydrates. Those types of foods present a unique set of challenges for Americans with type-1 or type-2 diabetes. But diabetes doesn’t have to put a damper on the Thanksgiving holiday. All you need to do is make some slight adjustments that will ultimately make the meal healthier for everyone involved. NARA has a few tips for you to help make sure your Thanksgiving feast is a meal that everyone can enjoy.

  • Plan out your meals all day: Many Thanksgiving meals consist of waiting until mid-afternoon to eat the full meal. For someone with diabetes, that’s too long to go between meals. It’s best to eat a healthy breakfast in the morning to keep your blood sugar up before the big meal. This will also help you avoid overeating later in the day.
  • Take care with the side dishes: Many of our favorite side dishes for Thanksgiving like stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes with gravy are high in fat and carbs. If you make the stuffing in a casserole dish, rather than inside the turkey, you cut down on the fat. Making cranberry sauce with real cranberries instead of using a canned sauce reduces the sugar levels. Finally, using low-fat milk and margarine instead of butter in the gravy for your mashed potatoes makes for a healthier, low-fat option.
  • Managing the main course and dessert: The main event for most Thanksgiving meals is a delicious turkey. And while turkey meat is generally lower in fat than other meats you might find during other holidays, you can still cut down on the fat by choosing white, skinless meat. For dessert, a slice of pumpkin pie or pecan pie is fine to enjoy. You can also make your own dessert with artificial sweetener to reduce sugar levels in dessert.
These tips can help make sure that the Thanksgiving meal is delicious for everyone. NARA can help rehabilitation providers and physical therapists supply their patients with healthy tips and tricks like these throughout the year, too. Let's get in touch to see just how we can help.