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Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Your Health Resources

Thanksgiving for People with Diabetes

November 03, 2019

Thanksgiving can be a time of anxiety for people with diabetes, but it is possible to maintain an ideal glucose level without missing out on the holiday feast.

"Thanksgiving meals usually have ingredients that are high in calories, sugar, and carbohydrates, which may be harmful to your diabetes management plan," says Chandra Chaudhuri, MD, 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. Such planning may be difficult, but if you understand how to balance the right portion of food in your meals, 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 do have desserts, try sugar-free cakes and pies to satisfy your sweet tooth. This will help minimize your sugar intake. Since your hosts may not have any available, come prepared by bringing your own.
  • 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," reminds Dr. Chaudhuri.

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