Happy Thanksgiving from all the staff, friends and family at New West Physicians!
This National Diabetes Month has been impactful for so many individuals, health care professionals, organizations, and communities across the country that bring attention to diabetes and its effect on millions of Americans. Thanksgiving can be challenging for people with diabetes who are trying to manage blood glucose levels and weight. We all know that food tends to be front and center on Thanksgiving Day with the majority of people eating well over 2,000 calories during their Thanksgiving meal. The delicious appetizers, rich side dishes, cocktails, drinks, and decadent desserts are all loaded with huge amounts of calories and carbohydrates.
But, you do not have to let food stress you out this year if you have diabetes or are trying to manage your weight. With careful planning, you can make healthy choices that fit into your diabetes meal plan and enjoy this wonderful celebration with friends and family.
Let’s create a healthy plate and portion control method that will ease your anxiety about all the food choices during the meal. One of the biggest issues that we experience on Thanksgiving Day is overloading our plates with everything on the table. We also tend to go back for second and even third helpings. Remember that Thanksgiving is all about choices. Think about which dishes you absolutely can’t live without and which ones you don’t mind skipping. Then adjust portions to keep your carb and calorie count similar to your dinnertime meal. Try to follow the method according to the American Diabetes Association called Create Your Plate (http://bit.ly/2gBjPye) which details a simple and effective way to manage blood glucose levels by filling your plate with specific amounts of food portions.
The American Diabetes Association has offered a very effective process and philosophical approach that not only works for holiday meals, but each and every time you eat. Here are the essentials to consider for your Thanksgiving Day meal:
Navigating the Feast
Turkey is usually the central part of the Thanksgiving feast.
The main ingredient in most stuffing recipes is bread, so it is high in carbohydrates and will need to be counted in your meal plan.
Potatoes are another staple food on Thanksgiving Day. From buttery mashed potatoes to sweet potato casserole – these dishes can really pack in the carbohydrates, saturated fat, and calories.
Green Bean Casserole is also a very popular Thanksgiving side dish. You might be thinking this is a great option since green beans are a non-starchy vegetable. However, as with all casseroles, it can be packed with unhealthy fats and calories from ingredients like creamy soup, butter, and fried onions. Here are some tips when it comes to vegetable side dishes:
Cranberry sauce usually has a lot of added sugar and is dense in carbohydrates.
And then you have that dessert temptation! It’s a special occasion; so it’s perfectly fine if you want to enjoy a small portion of your favorite holiday dessert.
Thanksgiving is about togetherness, thankfulness, and family. Diabetes needs to be kept in consideration, but shouldn’t be allowed to ruin the holiday. It does not have to be that way. With some smart thinking and careful planning, you can enjoy Thanksgiving just as much as everyone else.