Diabetes and Thanksgiving Dinner


Diabetes can make the holidays a struggle – both for those who have diabetes and those who want to cook for friends or family members who have it. Having diabetes does not necessarily mean giving up all the traditional foods you love. One of the biggest problems of holiday eating for anyone is portion control. If you have diabetes, take some time before dinner to think about the dishes you absolutely can’t live without, and which ones you don’t mind passing on. Adjust your portions to keep your carbohydrate and calorie count similar to what you usually eat at dinnertime.

Turkey is usually the central part of the Thanksgiving feast, and it has no carbohydrates. Just remember to remove the skin before eating this high-protein food. Stuffing is one dish that many people cannot pass up, but it’s also extremely high in carbohydrates. Limit yourself to ¼ to ½ cup and make it better for you by adding extra non-starchy vegetables like onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms and by using a whole grain or 100 percent whole wheat bread.

Potatoes are another staple food on Thanksgiving Day. From buttery mashed potatoes with sour cream to sweet potato casserole, these dishes are loaded with sugar, carbohydrates, and calories. If you have to have them, make them healthier by preparing mashed potatoes with just a small amount of butter and no sour cream. Have a baked sweet potato with a little Splenda Brown Sugar Blend sprinkled on top, instead of a casserole. Load up on non-starchy side dishes like steamed green beans or carrots, a spinach salad, roasted broccoli, or baked squash.

The website www.diabetes.org is a great resource for tasty recipes that are lower in carbs or sugar. Try this delicious and festive looking broccoli recipe from the American Diabetes Association as a nice, non-starchy side dish at your holiday meal!

Broccolini with

Walnut Dressing


1 lb. fresh broccolini or

broccoli florets

2 T. cider vinegar

1 t. Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, very finely


½ t. sugar

¼ c. olive oil

¼ t. black pepper

1 small red pepper, finely


2 T. toasted walnut pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Trim the broccolini spears by cutting off about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the stems. When the water is boiling, add the broccolini and turn off the heat. Let the broccolini stand in the water for two minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain again.

For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, and sugar. Slowly pour a thin stream of the olive oil into the mixture and whisk to emulsify. Add the salt and black pepper. Toss the broccolini with the walnut dressing. Arrange the broccolini on a platter. Sprinkle with the red pepper and walnuts.

1 serving = 105 calories, 8 g fat, 6 g carb, 2 g protein, 2 g sugar

Yield: 8 Servings


more recommended stories