Endocrinologist gives tips for diabetics to have a healthy Thanksgiving

Diabetes is considered a growing epidemic in the U.S.

Kelsey-Seybold Chief of Endocrinology, Dr. Vinita Baghia, said Thanksgiving dinner is known for its abundance of rich food.

For those with diabetes, staying healthy during the holiday presents a necessary but difficult challenge.

“The focus shouldn’t be food,” Dr. Baghia said. “The whole idea is to cherish family and friends and, yes, food should be a secondary part of it.”

Your plate on Thanksgiving Day (and every day) should look like this: half vegetables like salad or roasted vegetables, one-quarter protein and one quarter carbohydrates.

Of course, that can be tough but Dr. Baghia said the most important thing to remember is it’s not about depriving yourself, just limiting portions.

“We never tell our diabetic patients ‘Don’t eat this, don’t eat that,’ because the more we stop them, the more they crave it. So, I always say try things but portion control is key. Just trying a bite or two of that pecan pie, trying a couple of bites of something you really like and not overindulging. That’s the key,” Baghia said.

The only two things she says you should try to avoid:

  • Mixers with alcohol. Most contain a lot of sugar, so if you’re going to have a drink, go for a glass of red wine.
  • Avoid dressing/stuffing if you’re concerned about blood pressure or heart conditions, since it tends to contain a lot of added sodium.