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11/18/22 blog post

diabetes management during the holidays

timely food tips to help you prepare for Thanksgiving

Guest blog by: Danielle Brooks, RDN-AP, LD, CDCES

Holiday gatherings, with many food options prepared by different people, can make tracking carb counts tricky! Prepare for your upcoming holiday gatherings with these tips!

  • Avoid grazing
    • Stick to your regular structured 3 meal and 2-3 snack pattern and avoid grazing, unless you are choosing carbohydrate-free foods.
  • Use your resources to estimate carbohydrate amounts
    • Many recipes now have the nutrition facts information included. It may be helpful to try to choose recipes that already have this information prepared for you.
    • Use “create a dish”
      • Add each food/ ingredient to the dish, then add how many servings the recipe makes to get total carbohydrates per serving or for the total recipe.
    • Use the Calorie King Food Search smartphone app to compare food items you are eating to similar foods
    • If you will not be eating at your house, consider bringing your own serving utensils that you are familiar with. This will help you feel confident in determining the size of your portions.
  • Ask family/ friends to share recipes in advance
    • If you will be eating food prepared by other people ask them to save food labels, or take pictures of the items used in the recipe or the items purchased from the store.
    • Ask family/friends to share the recipes they will be using in advance. You can then use the   “create a dish” in advance so you have the information ready for the day of.
  • Practice portion control with high-sugar food items. Consume them with a meal, and accurately count the quantity of carbohydrates consumed.
  • Remember sugar-free does NOT mean carbohydrate free
    • Sugar-free foods and sweets can be nice options for people with diabetes, but it is important to understand that sugar-free does not mean the food item is carbohydrate free.
    • It is always important to check the nutrition facts labels on packages for serving sizes and total carbohydrates. Count this toward the carbohydrate intake for that meal or snack, even if the item is sugar-free.
      • For example, sugar-free cookies are not a “free” food. They will add carbohydrates and must be worked counted in the total carbohydrate intake at that meal or snack.