If you have diabetes, Thanksgiving can be a day filled with extra temptations that can derail your blood sugar control. But don’t think of Thanksgiving dinner as an all-or-nothing event.
Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam, chief of Endocrinology at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, says having diabetes does not mean you are forbidden to eat your holiday favorites. But you do need a plan for the day that includes portion control, sensible meals, and getting enough exercise.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help keep your sugar under control while still enjoying your holiday dinner:
• DO get the menu in advance so you can make a meal plan.
• DON’T plan to eat everything on the table. If you want a small piece of pecan or pumpkin pie, skip other high sugar foods like cranberry sauce or carb-filled foods like mashed potatoes or mac and cheese.
• DO dish up a reasonable portion of your favorite foods and pass on dishes that are less important to you.
• DON’T skip breakfast or lunch to save up for the big meal.
• DO fill up on healthful vegetables. Offer to bring steamed vegetables, a vegi tray or salad.
• DON’T assume you’ll be eating at normal times. Get the schedule for the day so you can plan your meals and medications. If “lunch” will be served later in the afternoon, you may want to eat a snack at the normal time to help keep your sugar levels in check.
• DO spread your eating throughout the day.
• DON’T plan to take extra amounts of prescription medications to compensate for bad food choices.
• DO remember to check your sugar and take your medications on schedule.
• DON’T go overboard on alcohol.
• DO make exercise a part of your family tradition, such as going for a walk after dinner.
If you get off track with your eating, get back on your plan as soon as you can. Move away from the food and concentrate on spending time with friends and family and enjoying the rest of the day.