Eating healthy can be challenging, especially during the holidays. Thanksgiving staples packed with sugar and carbs make it difficult for people with diabetes trying to regulate their blood sugar. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, shares some tips on how you can still enjoy the parties, even with diabetes.

How Can I Manage My Diabetes During Thanksgiving?

One of the main issues many people with or without diabetes face on Thanksgiving is portion control. Try to avoid loading up your plate or going back for second helpings. Some ways to help are:

  • Eat breakfast or snacks earlier in the day. Skipping meals may make it harder to manage your blood sugar.
  • Fill up on vegetables. Eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables are low in carbs and calories will keep you from overeating.
  • Eat slowly. Savoring your favorite holiday treats will help you eat smaller portions.
  • Choose fruit and vegetables served raw, grilled or steamed. Avoid buttery creams, gravies or sauces.
  • Limit the number of starchy foods on your plate. Take just a few spoonfuls or bites of things like potatoes, stuffing and bread.

What’s the Right Balance of Food to Take on My Plate This Thanksgiving?

You don’t have to avoid sweets and starches altogether. All foods can fit into a healthy diet. The key is moderation. A good rule of thumb is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, one-quarter with lean protein and one-quarter with carbs.

Additional Tips to Help You Manage Your Blood Sugar Over Thanksgiving

Other tips:

  • Check your blood sugar and take your usual medication. With travel and parties, it can be easy to forget your routine medications
  • Go for a walk after a meal. Being active is the best way to compensate for eating a little more than usual.
  • Family support. Ask your family if they can make diabetic-friendly recipes to some staple Thanksgiving dishes.
  • Plan in advance. Pack snacks to eat at your normal mealtime to prevent a low blood glucose reaction.
Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

Experiencing symptoms of diabetes or have risk factors? Calculate your risk of developing the disease.