Dinner-Family-Pumpkin-TurkeyThanksgiving is a holiday that is completely centered around feasting. It's about eating until you're blue in the face, your stomach is filled to the point your pants button is ready to burst. Enjoying your Thanksgiving doesn't mean you have to forego your diabetes management. Here is a quick guide with tips to help control your glucose and your diabetes this Thanksgiving holiday.


Browse the Spread
How often do you choose your food before seeing the whole selection? This is a critical mistake in when people overeat. You may load up on foods you think are the top of your selection before you've seen the whole spread. Before you know it, your plate is full and you haven't even seen every option. The first tip is to browse the entire selection before taking any helpings. This will help you choose the options you really want, instead of filling your plate with items you see first. You'll be able to better prioritize your plate and make smarter decisions. Remember choose items you can not get everyday.
 

Eat your Veggies
The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) recommends filling your plate half the way with vegetables, but avoid casseroles, creamy dishes, butter or crust. (1) Some good vegetables I recommend my patients choose are: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, green beans, salad, carrots, celery, turnips and onions.


Starches
The AADE recommends filling one quarter of your plate with starches. (1) Sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, rice and stuffing all fall into this category. Remember to be mindful of your servings of starches as they impact your blood glucose the most. Eating high fibrous vegetables with your starches will help keep your blood glucose from increasing as much. Much of our feasts will be filled with starches, remember if bringing a dish to a gathering, bring non starchy vegetables. There are never enough!


Protein
Most Thanksgiving meals wouldn't be complete without turkey. Fill one quarter of your plate with protein. (1) Choose lean meat and avoid dark meat to decrease the amount of fat you are consuming. Remove the skin from your turkey before eating it to reduce fat further.


Desserts & Drinks
Go easy when choosing dessert for your Thanksgiving meal. You want to be mindful of serving sizes and pick only one or two to try. If there's fruit, go for a fruit option. Beverages are another contributor to blood glucose rise depending on what you choose. Check out our great blog on choosing beverages for your holiday with recipes.

Exercise
Yes, exercise should be a part of your Thanksgiving tradition. While the turkey is cooking it's a good idea to go for a 30 minute walk with your family and friends. After dinner is also a good time for a walk. Exercise reduces your blood glucose, so after a heavy Thanksgiving feast, a walk around the neighborhood would be good for you and your blood glucose.

Blood Glucose
The only way to know if you're managing your glucose correctly is to check, before meal and after meal. See how your glucose is rising after dinner and then check again after you exercise. You'll likely see your numbers go down. Remember the goal for diabetes management, is good blood glucose management. And that means checking so you know you're on the right track.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving with your loved ones and friends. Remember to take care of yourself, and make good decisions about your health.

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