Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

As the publisher of, Costco Healthy Living with Diabetes, I have edited and published dozens of healthy living articles around the holidays. With Thanksgiving coming up, I’d like to take this opportunity to communicate some of the tips I have picked up over the years from our award-winning staff of writers, which includes two former Diabetes Educator of the Year winners.

People with diabetes, just like most everyone else in the US, have begun to shop for the foods they plan to cook and share with their family and friends. Every year, families gather together to reconnect, and to reflect on all that has happened since the last Thanksgiving. The holiday is about giving thanks for the wonderful things in our lives–including, hopefully, good health. Stay on track with your weight and blood glucose control by following these three simple tips:

  1. AA006858Stick to a schedule

Thanksgiving can throw off your meal schedule, since a lot of cooking and socializing takes place throughout the day. People with diabetes can be successful if they make a plan for eating right during the holidays, before they get caught up in the festivities. It might be a good idea to bring a few healthy snacks along to ensure that you can put something diabetes-friendly in your stomach at your usual mealtime, even if the people around you aren’t ready to eat.


  1. 200294501-001Watch your carbs

 Thanksgiving dinners are notorious for their high-carb content: mashed and sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, turkey stuffing and, of course, dessert! Try to instead fill your plate with the greener things on the table that are low in starch and calories. These healthy foods will help satisfy your hunger without causing you to crave something sweet and calorie-rich. Allow yourself a small sweet treat–but only after you’ve filled up on turkey and vegetables.


  1. Stay active before you eat

AA033558We all know that after Thanksgiving dinner, the last thing we want to do is exercise! That’s why you should get it in before then. Physical activity can even be a fun way to spend time with family before the meal. Keeping active, whether by playing an outdoor sport, or taking a walk with a family member, can go a long way towards keeping the holiday pounds off.

Your whole family can also eat healthfully by following your lead on Thanksgiving. Or, they can stuff their faces full of turkey, stuffing, string bean casserole and pecan pie, and leave the table with a bellyache. Everyone has to make smart choices to stay at a healthy weight, to prevent obesity and to be a good role model. Including yours truly.



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