A Happy Healthy Thanksgiving: holiday tips for diabetic patients

Don’t skip meals or snacks to save calories for Thanksgiving, because it may be harder to manage your blood sugar. Be sure to eat breakfast and small snacks throughout the holiday, so that your blood sugar levels will remain more stable.

These are just a couple of the tips Becky Dobosy has shared with diabetic patients this week by offering the “Diabetes Friendly Guide to a Healthy Thanksgiving Plate,” written by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Becky Dobosy is Alliance’s new Nutrition Intern from North Carolina State University who is working with Dr. Joyner. Commenting on the information she has shared, Becky stated that “It fits well with the upcoming holidays and builds off of the plate method guidelines we use.”

Because Thanksgiving is all about sharing food with the ones we love, it is important for diabetic patients to be careful about which foods they choose from their smorgasbord of options on the Thanksgiving table.

The American Association of Diabetes Education advises that people with diabetes fill ½ of their plates with vegetables, while avoiding creamy vegetable casseroles which are heavy in butter.  If the table is low on healthy vegetable options, fruits such as cranberries and baked apples can be substituted.

For the other ½ of the plate, the guide recommends to fill up ¼ of the plate with starches such as stuffing and sweet potatoes, and ¼ of the plate with lean turkey slices (no dark meat!). Instead of gravy, a fruit based relish is a healthier option which still provides a kick of flavor.

Dr. Joyner is very excited that Becky has shared these tips, and she feels it is important for diabetic patients to be aware of this information during the holidays. “The plate method is what we use for all of our diabetic patients, but it’s nice to have a special guide for a time like Thanksgiving when the meal isn’t really the standard patients are used to.”

The holidays are an easy time to ‘fall off of the wagon’ and stray away from a healthy diet, so for many diabetic patients, Becky’s tips are a helpful reminder to stay on track when presented with gravy, buttered potatoes, and apple pie. “So far the guide has been really well received by patients,” says Dr. Joyner. We at Alliance hope that all of our patients and friends will have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.