On Thanksgiving, some of us abandon our healthy diets for the day and give ourselves a free pass to indulge. Unfortunately, for the 25.8 million people in the United States with diabetes, a second helping of pie isn’t always an option.
While Type 1 diabetes refers to insulin-dependent diabetes where the body does not produce insulin, the most common form of diabetes is Type 2, in which the body fails to use the insulin it produces. While some people manage their diabetes with medication or insulin injections, others can manage their diabetes with diet and exercise.
When you’re diabetic, whether you are trying to lose weight or manage the symptoms of your disease, you can still indulge on Thanksgiving with a few modifications.
At most Thanksgiving dinners, the turkey is the centerpiece of the meal and naturally high in protein and low in carbohydrates and sugar. If you’re cooking for a diabetic guest at your table this year, swap some of your favorite high-carb, sugar-laden appetizers, side dishes and desserts for healthier versions and see if anyone notices the difference.
Go for Whole Grain
We all know that whole-wheat bread has more nutrients than white bread. Whole wheat bread is also lower on the glycemic index, a system that measures the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. For some diabetics, this is a helpful tool in managing the disease.
Choose Better Veggies
While the Thanksgiving dinner table is full of vegetables, many of them are full of starch and hidden carbohydrates. Potatoes, carrots, squash and Brussels sprouts all have higher sugar content than other vegetables. Think about serving simple spinach salad or asparagus.
While the jury is out on whether some artificial sweeteners are safe for consumption, the best bet if you want to cut down on sweet desserts is to opt for something naturally sweet – like baked apples or poached pears. If you must go for dessert, skip the stuffing at dinner and pick a small slice of your favorite dessert.
Mushroom Pate from The Perfect Pantry
Turkey Breast in the Crockpot from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Lemon Kale with Walnuts from Ingredients, Inc.
Cinnamon-Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes from Ingredients, Inc.