"My husband was diagnosed with diabetes as few months ago and has been working hard to lose weight and control his blood sugar. Each year we have a family gathering for thanksgiving that includes lots of food (large turkey dinner with all the trimmings and assorted pies & cakes for dessert). What are your suggestions to ensure my husband doesn't overeat but also does not feel deprived this thanksgiving?" -Martha T.
The most important part of holiday blood sugar control is a commitment to plan ahead, so sit back and relax! The rest is all in the details.
Blood sugar control strategies vary depending whether or not your husband is on insulin.
If your husband is on insulin to control his blood glucose levels:
Insulin doses are prescribed based on a pre-determined estimation of carbohydrate servings. These recommendations vary amongst individuals. He should review the amount of carbohydrate servings covered by his insulin injections, and try to match his Thanksgiving meal to his insulin dosage. If he is unsure of recommended carbohydrate servings per meal, he should consult his doctor or a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).
If your husband is not on insulin:
Controlling carbohydrates is still a healthy strategy to prevent high blood sugar. The recommendation for males with Type II Diabetes is 4 to 5 carbohydrate servings per meal. For a detailed list of common carb servings, click here. Avoiding high-fat foods also becomes especially important for people with Diabetes, as these people are at greater risk of developing heart disease than people without Diabetes.
Common Thanksgiving carbohydrates include:
- Cranberries (most contain huge amounts of sugar)
High-fat foods to avoid may include:
- Baked goods
- Fried foods (including fried turkeys)
The good news is that Thanksgiving offers plenty of healthier options for your husband to indulge! To feel satisfied, encourage him to load up on fiber and lean protein- hit up that veggie tray and grab some turkey!
Remember, carbohydrates do not have to be eliminated, just controlled. By choosing his favorite traditional foods to count into his daily servings, he should be able to enjoy his holiday in a healthy way!
Hope this helps, Martha. Happy Thanksgiving!
Peace, Love, and Veggies,