Tips to Keep Blood Sugar Under Control at Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving tag with fall side border of pumpkins and leaves on a dark wood background with copy spaceThanksgiving may be a challenge this year. The pandemic has created a unique situation that could prevent you from seeing your loved ones.

Of course, this time of year can also be difficult for people trying to manage high blood sugar or type-2 diabetes. There’s a lot of sweets and carbohydrates flying around this time of year, and avoiding them is not particularly easy.


It might be strange to think, but the pandemic might actually helpful in this regard. You may not have the temptation to bake or worry about your sister bringing over her candied yams.

Of course, you’re likely still itching to do something for Thanksgiving. Turkey lovers, for example, have this date circled on the calendar for months. Here are some tips that can help you enjoy the day by keeping blood sugar under control this Thanksgiving.

1) Start the Day Off Right: Even if it’s just you and your partner settling down for an intimate thanksgiving feast, remember to eat breakfast. Saving your food intake or “banking” calories to eat a big dinner can lead to potentially dangerous blood sugar fluctuations.

2) Rethink Potatoes: Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, but they are also super starchy. Of course, they aren’t as bad as cranberry sauce, candied yams, or pumpkin pie, but they do contribute to overall carb intake.

You can lessen these starchy vegetables’ glycemic load by making them with equal parts of potato and cauliflower. You can also keep skins on the potato to add some more fiber and use unsweetened Greek yogurt to stir them up before topping with chives.

If you’ve got sweet potatoes on the table, make sure they are unsweetened. Use savory seasoning with herbs. Also, if possible, choose just one. If you dig into both the white and the yams, make sure they make up about a quarter of your plate combined.

3) Go Heavy on Greens: Fill about half of your plate with green beans, Brussels sprouts, or whatever your go-to Thanksgiving green is.

4) Sugarless Cranberry Sauce: Making your own low-carb cranberry sauce is another way to keep sugar levels in check. You can find a recipe you like online. Even if using a sugar alternative like maple syrup, be sure to stick to small serving sizes.


5) Low-Sugar Desserts: It’s nearly impossible to drop the sugar from dessert altogether, but there are low-carb possibilities for pumpkin pie, cookies, or muffins. Doing a crustless pie can cut total carbs, and plenty of recipes for low-sugar muffins exist.

Just remember to stick to controlled portions, and perhaps even go easy on the potatoes to make a little room for dessert. After all, it is a special occasion.

6) Go for a Walk: Instead of sitting down after eating, get out for a leisurely walk. A 15-minute stroll around the neighborhood after dinner can help regulate blood sugar and boost glucose metabolism.

Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.


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