Thanksgiving is a day reserved for gathering with friends and family, slaving away in a hot kitchen, and throwing diets out the window in favor of gluttony. However, even if most/many of us associate November with turkeys and pumpkin pies, don’t forget that is also American Diabetes month. For 8.3% of the American population, ignoring their diet and failing to monitor glucose levels can lead to very serious complications. To help our diabetic patients control their diabetes and its health risks, the Clinic offers a free monthly Diabetic Self-Management class. The class gives the knowledge and tools that our patients need in order to manage their diabetes and lead happier and healthier lives.
Part of living a happier healthy life is being able to enjoy meals with friends and family, including Thanksgiving. There are several recipes for diabetic dishes and desserts, but diabetics don’t need to go to extremes to enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving. Here are some simple tips to follow:
• Have breakfast and small low carb snacks throughout the day. Start the day right with breakfast and manage sugar levels with snacks throughout the day.
• Monitor Portion Sizes. Eat a regular sized meal. If having every dish is a must, take sample portions so not to overload on carbohydrates and sugars.
• Focus on eating proteins. Fill up on meats of any kind, including turkey, eggs, cheese, nuts and non-starchy vegetables like salads, broccoli, beets, and coleslaw.
• Avoid breads and gravy. If having stuffing, rolls, or gravy is a necessity, consider exchanging the carbohydrates for another high carb side dish like mashed potatoes. Also, think about making soy based gravy or try using a watered down version.
• Exercise after eating. Start a family tradition of taking walks or playing football after the meal. Even something as simple as walking the dog or washing the dishes can help monitor blood sugar levels.