How to Enjoy Thanksgiving with Diabetes

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends, but a big part of the holiday revolves around the food. While we are all enjoying the treats of the season, diabetics are left between keeping their blood-sugar levels in check and eating what they want.  Here are some tricks to enjoying Thanksgiving as a diabetic.

  1. Start with the turkey.  Foods high in carbohydrates can quickly elevate blood-sugar levels.  Put food on your plate high in fiber and protein before you get to the carbohydrate-laden foods.  Begin with a salad, some turkey, and vegetables.  And, no, candied sweet potatoes do not count as a fiber-rich vegetable.  Go for greens instead.
  2. Put down the wine.  Sometimes we forget that there are carbohydrates in what we drink too.  Opt instead for a no-calorie drink such as water or tea.
  3. Think portions.  While you don’t have to measure your food, you should have a good idea of what a portion size is.  A portion of mashed potatoes is about the size of a half an apple.  A portion of turkey is about the size of a deck of cards.  Come prepared to estimate.
  4. Know your symptoms.  Even with the best intentions, blood sugar can still get dangerously high.  Be aware of headaches, blurred vision, and dry mouth, as these could be symptoms of hyperglycemia.

There’s no reason that diabetics can’t enjoy themselves during the upcoming holidays just like everyone else.  By taking a few precautions, everyone can celebrate being thankful with family and friends and feel good about themselves at the same time!