Dear Dr. Levister: I’m joining friends for Thanksgiving. I’m diabetic. Is it inconsiderate to tell my hostess? D.K.
Dear D.K.: Thanksgiving is one of the more challenging holidays for those with Diabetes. The reason? The entire holiday revolves around food. Let’s face it, you gather with family and friends on this day to celebrate and have a Thanksgiving feast.
As we have come to accept, there is no taking a vacation from Diabetes. It’s not like you are on a special diet to lose some pounds and can choose to make Thanksgiving your cheating day…it doesn’t work like that.
You can either stay home and not celebrate with your family, loved ones and friends, or you can make sure that you have a game plan for healthy diabetic eating before you sit down for your meal. The ideal scenario would be if you, the diabetic, were having people over to your home for the Thanksgiving day meal. You would be able to ensure a large selection of diabetes friendly choices to feast on along with having the traditional Thanksgiving day favorites.
Keep in mind that you were invited to wherever you are going on Thanksgiving because you are more than likely family or a loved one. Don’t be afraid to remind the host or hostess prior to Thanksgiving day that you are diabetic and have certain nutritional needs. I’m sure you’ll find that if you ask nicely, your Thanksgiving day hostess will offer you some options that don’t involve anything covered in marshmallows. Here are a few suggestions that will get you through the entire holiday season including Christmas and New Years.
Go for a brisk morning walk. Relax. At the dinner table eat a lot of vegetables this would include a heaping portion of green salad.
Avoid anything that has been caramelized or marshmallowed. Like grandma’s marshmallow baked sweet potatoes. Okay if you must, peel away the topping. Keep the portion to a minimum. Turkey – eat up…just avoid the fatty skin. Mashed potatoes – a half cup size serving is roughly 9g of carbs.
Stuffing – I would avoid it but again if you must be aware that a 1/3 cup serving has about 40g of carbs (it seems like a waste of available carbs to me). Say no to cranberry sauce, it’s loaded with carbs.
Bring your own dessert. Not only will bringing your own dessert make you feel like you are a contributing thoughtful guest, it is also a way to ensure that you get a diabetic friendly dessert. Choose a no sugar apple pie or no sugar added ice cream.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you get weak and indulge just remember to get right back on track.
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