Skip to main content

"Thanksgiving meals usually have ingredients high in calories, sugar and carbohydrates, which may be harmful to your diabetes management plan"

Thanksgiving for diabetics
​​​“Thanksgiving meals usually have ingredients that are high in calories, sugar and carbohydrates, which may be harmful to your diabetes management plan,” says Lansing Yee, M.D., a Family Medicine physician at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. “Instead of filling your plate with everything from gravy-smothered-turkey to pumpkin pie, try including more nutritious options like fresh vegetable dishes or diabetes-friendly salads.”
“Having diabetes requires careful menu planning as to what to eat to maintain an ideal glucose level,” continues Dr. Yee. “Such planning may be difficult but if you understand how to balance the right portion of food into your meal plans, then you can satisfy your appetite with some of your seasonal favorites.”
As you prepare for the holidays, here are some helpful tips in managing diabetes on this food-focused day: 
  • Don’t go to the Thanksgiving feast hungry. Avoid skipping meals by eating a wholesome breakfast and lunch to prevent excessive eating at dinner.
  • Watch your portions. Take very small portions of several dishes. This allows you to sample a little bit of everything – even dessert!
  • Easy on the desserts. If you must have desserts, try sugar-free cakes and pies to satisfy your sweet tooth. This will help minimize your sugar intake.
  • Get active! The best way to compensate for eating more than usual is to be active. Start a new tradition with the family by taking a walk after Thanksgiving dinner.
  • “Above all, enjoy the holidays and remember that it’s not only about food, but more importantly, it’s about spending quality time with family and friends,” concludes Dr. Yee.​
Alternate Text
Maher Abbara, MD, FACP

​​I believe the most fundamental rule of clinical medicine is to master the art of listening to patients, addressing their concerns, and putting their well-being and welfare above all considerations.