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Gobble not, waist not: Tips for a diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving

Consumer Reports News: November 22, 2011 01:36 PM

Ah, Thanksgiving. Is there any other holiday we celebrate whose sole purpose seems to be eating ourselves into a food coma? For the millions of Americans struggling with diabetes, that can be a very real danger. The traditional Thanksgiving spread, loaded with high fat, high carb, high sugar treats, can be a landmine for a diabetic. Without care, that once a year high-indulgence meal could spell serious hurt if you need to be watching your blood sugar.

Short of sitting in misery watching everyone else eat, or skipping the festivities all together, with a little careful planning you can easily make room at the table for a guest keeping tabs on blood sugar, or seat yourself at someone else’s feast without feeling like you have to pass on everything passed your way. The American Diabetes Association offers lots of tips on how to partake without endangering your health. These include:

--Make choices. Opt for mashed or sweet potatoes, stuffing or a roll.
--Be vigilant on portion sizes. Want to try everything? Then keep it to sample size, not super size.
--Compensate for the extra calories by including physical activity in your program. Trade in watching the game on TV for a game of touch football in the yard.

Trying to tailor your treats to better suit the dietary needs of a diabetic guest? The Mayo Clinic has some great takes on traditional Thanksgiving temptations.

And the best recommendation for enjoying your Thanksgiving: Try more gabbing, less gobbling. A day spent enjoying the company of family and friends instead of keeping your focus squarely on your plate just might help you safely navigate the holiday foodfest.

For more on satisfying feasts without all the trimmings, read Healthy Holiday Choices.

Erin Riddell

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