Ironically this most food centric holiday falls during National Diabetes Month every November.
A heaping helping of fried turkey, dressing and gravy, ham, macaroni and cheese, greens and a table of pies and cakes that spans the dining room wall. This is Thanksgiving in the South. It’s a table of delight but if you have diabetes it can be a little difficult to navigate at first.
No matter where you live, your Thanksgiving table doesn’t have to spell diabetes disaster. Try these tips to create a diabetes-friendly Thanksgiving table:
Play up the turkey. It’s the star. Adorn the turkey with aromatics like onions and carrots and fresh sage to add an extra flavor boost. Slow roasted turkey is a flavorful, lean protein that won’t raise your blood sugar.
Volumize with veggies. Vegetables are the most diabetes friendly foods on the planet. Add more to the table. Try garlicky green beans, roasted or air fryer Brussels sprouts and braised collard greens. Fill half your plate with vegetables.
Put fruit (or vegetables) in the dessert. Naturally sweet, sweet potatoes are a great dessert starter. Because it’s so low in calories, pumpkin is another delicious base for desserts. Think pumpkin pie, butternut squash pie, whipped sweet potato pudding. You can also play up pears and apples with cinnamon and whipped cream or dollop of vanilla yogurt.
Focus on flavor. Instead of the packaged stuff, make your own stuffing using fresh celery, onions, sage and thyme to for bold flavor. Go light on the butter and cream and add fresh garlic and vegetable broth to mashed potatoes for deep, satisfying flavor. Add vanilla, extra cinnamon and nutmeg to cut back on the sugar and butter in sweet potato dishes.
Get physical. Moving your muscles can help control blood sugar levels. Go for a morning run or a brisk walk before or after dinner to burn off some of the extra holiday grub. And also keep stress at bay. Keeping up with your physical activity can help with stress management with also helps keep blood sugar in check.
Remember, Thanksgiving is one day. If you’re still eating pumpkin pie on Sunday, I’d be surprised… enjoy the holiday, your family and the food while you can.
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