Having a Happy Thanksgiving with Diabetes

By EmilyM

Thanksgiving is one of the holidays that everyone loves. It’s a time of food, feasting, family and friends but if you are diabetic, it’s not the same magical experience. When you have to worry about blood sugar levels, the typical stress of holiday overeating takes on a whole new meaning.

If you are the person cooking and entertaining, it may be easier for you to control your food intake and the type of food available. If you are going to be a guest, it may be slightly more difficult however. Here are some tips for making it through the holiday with your diabetes in check.

Plan snacks before the main meal
Eating all at once, as you know, is the quickest way to throw your body out of whack. Luckily you will probably have a wide variety of foods to choose from. The main thing to remember is no matter what, don’t overeat. Small snacks are the best way to keep your blood sugar in check while filling you up enough to not overeat at the main meal. Try snacking on nuts or wholegrain crackers. Frozen grapes are also a wonderful and sweet healthy snacks that makes you feel like you are eating candy while sticking with your healthy plan.

Make sure to eat veggies
Vegetables are also a great snacking choice for eating small meals. Try adding some hummus or low calorie dipping sauces and you will be able to snack along with the rest of the family without causing your blood sugar to spike.

When you are eating more than your body is used to, it’s a good idea to balance it out with exercise. When your muscles are activated you burn glucose and fatty acids and when the glucose levels begin to fall, the cells in your pancreas relax they output of insulin. As this activity continues, the blood sugar levels out. While Thanksgiving day may be a difficult time to exercise, try taking an afternoon walk with friends and family to help get your muscles moving and it will also help keep you from continuous snacking.

Think ahead of time about what you cannot eat
Perhaps one of the worst situations to be in, is to be surrounded by every sugary sweet imaginable. To avoid impulse eating that will send your body into a downward spiral, go in with a game plan. Not allowing yourself any sweets may be a bit overboard so why not sample just tiny bite sized portions of sweets? Only you know exactly how your body feels in response to certain foods, so decide what portions and types of foods will allow you to enjoy the holiday without compromising your health.

Small portions
Overeating is the biggest problem across the board for people on Thanksgiving and even more hazardous for those fighting diabetes. The key to enjoying all your favorites is small portions. You don’t need to sacrifice your favorites, try all of them even if it’s just one bite, you will still get to experience all your favorites and truly have something to be thankful for – a happy and healthy holiday.

Do you have advice for those with diabetes during the holidays? Any secrets for making sure your blood sugar stays in check?