Passing the gravy at a diabetes-friendly Thanksgiving table

Diabetes-Friendly Recipes to Serve This Thanksgiving  

Gathering with friends and family at Thanksgiving can feel like it’s all about the food. But for the millions of Americans that have type 2 diabetes, the Thanksgiving table can be difficult to navigate. Many traditional turkey day favorites are filled with carbohydrates and hidden sugars that could throw a diabetic’s carefully regulated blood sugar into a dangerous spike. 

As November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, it’s an opportune time to remind everyone – not just diabetics – of some easy ways to lower the carb content of some traditional dishes.  

Here are some simple ways to swap high-carb foods with lower-carb foods:  

  • Butter swaps: avocado puree 
  • Flour swaps: black beans (in baked goods); coconut, almond, whole wheat, oat and chickpea flours 
  • Potato swaps: beans, cauliflower, winter squash and zucchini 
  • Bread swaps: lettuce wraps, portabella mushrooms, eggplant slices and cauliflower  
  • Pasta or rice swaps: spaghetti squash, cauliflower and zucchini  

Here are some diabetes-friendly recipes to try this Thanksgiving:  

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Bacon   

brussels sprouts

Cran-Apple Walnut Chutney   

Cranberry sauce

Apple, Spinach, Chicken Sausage and Farro Stuffed Acorn Squash   

Stuffed squash

Butternut Squash Soup  

butternut squash soupPumpkin Cheesecake Minis   

mini pumpkin cheesecakes

Certainly, it’s not necessary to change every recipe to be diabetes friendly. Diabetics can still enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast by being smart about how they load up their plate. Start by filling half your plate with greens like salad, Brussels sprouts and green beans. Save a quarter of your plate for the turkey with a small dollop of gravy. The last quarter of your plate is for carb-heavy dishes like stuffing and mashed potatoes. Enjoying your favorites – and savoring every bite – is what Thanksgiving is all about.  

Getting active – whether it’s taking a walk or starting up a family game of football – after the big meal is a great way to prevent a big blood sugar spike. Also, make sure to start Thanksgiving Day right with a small, healthy meal so you’re not starving when it’s time for the main event.  

National Diabetes Awareness Month isn’t all about being conscious of the foods that you eat. Taking care of other parts of your health, including your eyes and teeth, is also important. Scheduling regular checkups can help identify early signs of diabetes.  

Blue Dental (SM) and Blue Vision (SM) believe good dental and vision health are good sense – and can possibly lead to a proper diagnosis of diabetes and a host of other ailments and diseases.  

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Photo credit: Getty Images


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