Hosting Thanksgiving this year? Make sure you do this

Hosting Thanksgiving this year? Make sure you do this

Thanksgiving. The word itself conjures images of family and food – plenty of food.

But for many people – especially those with diabetes – that food can be downright dangerous if it raises their blood sugar to unhealthy levels.

In order to increase the likelihood of making the right food choices on Thanksgiving, diabetes experts say it’s important to plan appropriately in the days leading to the holiday.

“The biggest issue with holiday eating in general is not the holiday itself, which is just one day, but rather the unhealthy items we accumulate before and after the holiday,” says Robert Carrara, a diabetes educator in the Health Management Center at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill. “We should plan to limit unhealthy food items in our households prior to the holiday and only prepare so much for the actual holiday as to limit excess leftovers of high calorie starches and sweets.”

In planning this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, Carrara suggests taking a look at a database of recipes compiled by the American Diabetes Association. The Association offers recommendations not only for healthier turkey preparations but also healthy side dishes and desserts.

For example, skip the mashed potatoes in favor of pureed cauliflower, or replace the traditional green bean casserole smothered in high-calorie ingredients with roasted Brussels sprouts, which are low in calories and carbohydrates that may be helpful for controlling blood glucose, according to the ADA.

When it comes to ingredients, such as milk or whipped topping, the ADA recommends using fat-free or reduced-fat products. As for chicken broth, a common stuffing ingredient, the ADA recommends fat-free, low-sodium options.

As for preparation methods, the ADA encourages roasting or baking instead of frying.

Are you at risk of developing diabetes? Learn by taking our Diabetes Risk Assessment.

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Kathleen Troher

Kathleen Troher, health enews contributor, is manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Good Sheperd Hospital in Barrington. She has more than 20 years of journalism experience, with her primary focus in the newspaper and magazine industry. Kathleen graduated from Columbia College in Chicago, earning her degree in journalism with an emphasis on science writing and broadcasting. She loves to travel with her husband, Ross. They share their home with a sweet Samoyed named Maggie.

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