Over 30 million adults and children have diabetes in the United States. An additional 86 million are at risk for developing type-2 diabetes. These stats are not published here to scare you. They are here to make you aware of this growing disease. November is American Diabetes Month after all.
With diabetes on the rise and Thanksgiving this week, you may have a friend or family member at your table following some sort of diabetic-friendly diet. Or perhaps that person is you. This way of eating is not cumbersome or boring. In fact, anyone can benefit from it. But at the very least, having plenty of options will allow you or your guests the opportunity to be choosey for a very good reason.
Here are five tips to keep your Thanksgiving not only delicious, but also diabetic-friendly:
- Let your guests know what time the main meal will be served. If one of your guests is taking insulin or other medication, he or she may need to plan accordingly. Meal timing is important with diabetes so a guest can easily eat a snack if the meal isn’t for another 3 or 4 hours.
- Have snacks handy that are not high in carbohydrates. The reason I say this is because most Holiday meals are full of carbohydrates (think mashed potatoes, rolls, fruit salad, cranberry sauce, and most desserts). If the meal is full of high carbohydrate options, why not have snacks be the opposite? Snack ideas include mixed nuts, cheese cubes, easy-to-cut vegetables (red bell peppers, carrots, celery sticks, etc) and guacamole to dip.
- Get moving. Have a fun, active game for your guests to play (charades, anyone?) or go for a nice stroll together if the weather is nice. Everyone eats a little more on Thanksgiving and most skip the workout, but getting up more and moving around will benefit all that attend.
- Be okay with picky eaters. And if you do have pre-diabetes or diabetes, be okay with being the picky eater. Choose your starchy carbohydrates carefully. If you could go without the mashed potatoes but have been looking forward to Susie Q’s homemade stuffing all year long, by all means choose the stuffing and leave the potatoes for your friends. If you are one that likes all of the options and has to try everything, go for tiny portions of each.
- Have at least two dessert options. Desserts are tempting. And more than likely, we are all going to have our fair share of desserts on Thanksgiving. But, do have at least one that is not too high in carbohydrates like this Greek Yogurt Chocolate Mousse Recipe.
If you are newly diagnosed, check out the diabetes plate method and easy ways to fit in dessert this Thanksgiving. Both articles are by the American Diabetes Association. Thanksgiving can and should be enjoyed by all.