Updated: Jul 30, 2020
The biggest meal of the year has arrived again, and anyone who lives with diabetes is faced with an annual conundrum: how to enjoy the big meal and all its treats while compensating for your disease? It’s a challenge, to be sure, but it’s not impossible. You can enjoy Thanksgiving with diabetic feet if you know what foods to avoid and how to accommodate diabetes.
Diabetes is a problem with unregulated blood sugars damaging your tissues. Naturally, the food you eat plays a very large role in your blood sugar levels. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Thanksgiving, however. Preparing ahead of time and substituting foods allows you to enjoy the meal without causing problems for your body.
There are many Thanksgiving “staples” that are best to avoid, or to replace with healthier options. Fluffy white rolls, over-salted veggies from cans, high fat or fried meats, turkey with the skin still on, and any dessert loaded with sugars are all high-risks for anyone with diabetes. Foods covered in butter or lard, high-fat dairy products, or drinks with added sweeteners are all dangerous as well. Each of these items can spike your blood sugar or contribute to blood pressure problems.
However, all of these foods are replaceable with diabetes-friendly options. Stick to small amounts of multigrain bread instead of white rolls. Use fresh vegetables and don’t over-salt or over-butter them. Limit your turkey consumption and remove the skin. Use low-fat dairy products and stick to water or other unsweetened drinks. Keep all of your portions small, and make sure you don’t over eat, no matter how healthy something is.
You don’t even have to give up dessert, but you may need to make some adjustments. Use a diabetes-friendly recipe to cut down on fat and sugar in your dessert to make it safer to eat. Keep your portion small, and make sure you’ve left room for it in your meal plan. Schedule some holiday exercise, too, to help burn the calories you’ve consumed and control your blood sugar.
It takes a little effort, but you can enjoy a great Thanksgiving meal with diabetic feet. If you’d like help managing your diabetes, or you’re struggling with symptoms from the disease in your feet, let our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC help you. Make an appointment online, or call our Metairie, LA, office at (504) 708-4810.