Thanksgiving and Diabetes: How to Handle the Increase in Food

Managing Diabetes is quite a challenge especially when holidays and special occasions such as Thanksgiving comes. With all the palatable and delicious foods that have the ability to tempt you and ruin your usual diabetic diet, it isn’t easy to say no when they are just everywhere. People with Diabetes believe that they cannot eat the foods that they want during this occasion. This is not true. You can still indulge, but there are things that you need to remember in order to enjoy the holiday and keep your blood sugar level at bay all at the same time.

Don’t skip meals before going to a Thanksgiving feast.

Skipping meals to save up for a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner will make it harder for you to resist the temptation of eating more and more. This may result to overindulging and overeating.

Opt for healthier foods and cut back on carbs.

It isn’t easy to stick to your meal plan when foods are all around the corner, waiting to be devoured. You can manage this by opting for healthier meals instead of giving in to heavy foods that ae loaded with carbs. Start with vegetables or fruits to prevent your appetite from stimulating.

Practice portion control when eating your favorite foods.

You can expect a variety of foods around the table during a holiday but remember that it is good to just stick to your favorite foods and indulge in small servings. For example, if your favorite food Spaghetti is served, choose it instead of including pecan pie, cranberry, mashed potatoes, and several other foods on your plate.

Keep your focus on your family and friends.

Thanksgiving is a time to reunite and bond with your family and friends. Remember that this occasion is not entirely just about foods, so it is important to keep yourself focused mainly on your loved ones. Have fun, play games with them, and spend time talking about things with them. This will give your mind an opportunity to stay pre-occupied away from eating.

Go back to your dietary plan when you accidentally overindulge.

Mistakes happen especially when you just can’t resist the foods that are being served. When this instance happens, forgive yourself and give yourself a chance to start all over again. Don’t let overeating cause you to get discouraged and just let a new unhealthy diet take place. Get back to your usual dietary plan and start motivating yourself to maintain it.

Limit your alcohol intake.

While there are lots of foods during Thanksgiving, there are also plenty of wines and beers that are difficult to say no to. You can actually drink during this occasion. Just make sure that you are not exceeding the limit. Keep your alcohol amount in check. Do not drink while your stomach is empty. Alcohol is known to interact Diabetes medications so it’s better to keep it at a minimum.

Keep an active lifestyle.

Holidays should never be a reason for you to forget your exercise routine. Thanksgiving is the time of the year where you should remain active because of the extra calories that you consume. Spend time with your family walking after the dinner. This way, you can shed off those unnecessary calories, make up for your eating, and get to control your blood sugar level, too. After Thanksgiving, spend more time walking in order to get back to your usual active lifestyle.

Get Yourself Enough Sleep

Thanksgiving and any other occasions tend to keep you awake most of the time because of the activities that you take part to. Remember that not sleeping enough makes it harder to control your blood sugar level. It also makes you crave more foods that are high in carbs and fats, so be sure to get yourself enough sleep—at least eight hours per night, once Thanksgiving is over.

Monitor your blood glucose levels

It is important to keep track on your blood glucose level in order to help you understand how the foods you consume affect your sugar level. This will also help you get back to your healthy lifestyle and encourage you to maintain it.

8 easily available diabetes-friendly foods

Living with diabetes can turn a task as simple as grocery shopping into an overwhelming event. As a diabetic, eating healthy, balanced meals is key to controlling blood sugar levels, but with so many choices available it may be confusing at times to know which items can be added to your shopping cart.

fruit-basketOne thing is for sure, you should definitely stray away from a western diet. Also known as the meat-sweet diet, the western diet has been strongly associated with the emergence of the diabetes epidemic. Diabetes has shown an upward trend as cultures continue to stray away from their native diet and become dependent on the convenience of processed foods.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), each year diabetes kills more Americans than AIDS and breast cancer combined. Despite such discouraging statistics, diabetes does not need to be a death sentence. By incorporating these 8 diabetes-friendly foods into your diet you can drastically reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.

1.) Apples

The ADA recommends including fiber-rich fruit like apples into a diabetes meal plan. Like any other fruit, apples should be eaten in moderation since their carbohydrate content is converted into glucose upon digestion. As a diabetic your body either does not produce enough insulin or your cells have become resistant to insulin.

An apple similar in size to a tennis ball or half of one large apple contains a sugar content of 15 grams. With this number in mind, you can decide the best time to add the apple to your mealtime so you stay within your daily carbohydrate target. Apples are high in fiber, low in calories, and contain phytonutrients that can help regulate blood sugar.

2.) Beans

Beans, which are usually associated with their flatulence inducing properties, are a diabetic’s superfood. One cup of black beans contains 15 grams of fiber, which is more than half the recommended daily amount. As beans are digested, their complex carbohydrates and protein content are slowly broken, preventing blood sugar spikes.

Black beans also protect against heart disease with their molybdenum and folate content, while the flavonoids responsible for the deep, dark color repair damaged cells. Aim to add beans to your menu at least twice a week. When possible use dried beans instead of canned beans which tend to have a high sodium content. If using canned beans, be sure to rinse them thoroughly before use.

3.) Cinnamon

Studies have shown that cinnamon could regulate blood sugar by decreasing your body’s insulin resistance. Based on the results from one study, participants added at least 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to their diet for 40 days. Cholesterol levels declined by 18% and blood sugar levels by 24%. Cinnamon contains a mineral called chromium that may be responsible for the body’s increased insulin response.

4.) Turmeric

 

Turmeric is another spice known to reduce the body’s resistance to insulin.

The active compound curcumin is responsible for turmeric’s yellow-orange color. Type 2 diabetes sufferers are prone to heart-related complications. Curcumin has been shown to prevent heart disease by hindering the deposit of fatty acids in the arteries.

 

5.) Bitter gourd

 

Bitter gourd is a vine-grown vegetable also known as bitter melon or bitter cucumber. According to Diabetes Health, bitter gourd contains vicine, polypeptide-P, momordin, and charantin, which are thought to have glucose-lowering properties.

Consuming the juice on a daily basis may also increase the body’s natural production of insulin. As the name implies, this vegetable has a very bitter taste. Adding bitter gourd to a stir-fry of your favorite vegetables is the best way to reap the benefits of this diabetes-friendly produce.

6.) Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes boast a high fiber content and low glycemic index. Dr. David J. Jenkins, a professor at the University of Toronto, developed the glycemic index system, which measures the effect of various carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. The lower the glycemic index, the less your blood sugar will spike. Food with a glycemic index of 55 and less is considered low; sweet potatoes have a glycemic index of 44.

Sweet potatoes come in many different colors, orange, yellow, and even purple! The color is caused by carotenoids, which can improve the body’s response to insulin.

7.) Avocado

Avocado is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which control blood cholesterol levels and slow digestion to prevent spikes in blood sugar.  Avoid pairing avocado with high-carb foods like nachos or taco shells. Instead, try adding a few avocado slices to your next salad.

 

8.) Fish

 

According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, consuming fish at least once a week can reduce the risk of diabetes-related heart disease by 40%. Fish provides an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can potentially decrease insulin resistance. Oily, cold-water fish like mackerel, salmon, and sardines contain the highest source of omega-3 fatty acids.