For most Americans, the fourth Thursday in November is totally a food-centric day. Even though we may spend time away from the kitchen – attending a religious service to remember our blessings, volunteering at a local shelter, travelling to friends and family – let’s face it. It’s still pretty much all about the food.

People with diabetes have reason to approach that heavy-laden Thanksgiving table with caution. But there’s no reason to panic. With proper planning, you can enjoy a wonderful meal without going overboard and putting your health in jeopardy. Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm serves up these healthy ways to stay in control:

Plan ahead

  • If you’re hosting and doing most of the cooking, take a new approach to tried-and-true recipes. Use the enormous resources of the web by Googling creative phrases like “low-carb Thanksgiving,” “diabetic-friendly mashed potatoes” or “Thanksgiving healthy recipes” for new twists on old favorites.
  • Peruse the magazine rack at the grocery store for cover stories about healthy new recipes.
  • If you’re not hosting, offer to bring a healthy dish or two that you know you can eat.

Eat well but watch your portions

  • Make a commitment to eating as lightly as possible: choose plain turkey and simple steamed or roasted vegetables and go easy on the carbohydrates.
  • Be mindful of how much you eat. Is it tasty enough to warrant that second helping, or would you rather have a few bites of pie?

Be active

  • Stick to your exercise routine and get a workout in before the big meal.
  • Start a new tradition: after you eat, go for a walk, jump in the leaves, toss a football around.
  • Use the holiday opportunity to catch up with people you haven’t seen in awhile. Talk more, chew less!

Keeping your diabetes under control is a daily challenge, and even more so when there’s lots of temptation surrounding you. Plan ahead, be active, and make the best choices you can. And don’t forget the best choice for diabetic foot care in northern Virginia: Clifton Foot & Ankle Center. You can contact us online or at our office in Centreville at (703) 996-3000.

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