Thanksgiving is a holiday most Americans spend with family, over-indulge in food and share thanks, but not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving the same way.
Being a type 1 diabetic isn’t all that different, except for the fact that insulin and syringes are involved. A type 1 diabetic is a person whose body doesn’t produce any of its own insulin because the body sees insulin cells as an enemy and destroys them.
A good way to celebrate and be healthy is to lower the intake of sugar and calories, but that doesn’t mean delicious food is not on the menu.
Just eliminating half of the regular sugar that would be used in food and substituting Splenda or another artificial sugar will benefit both heart and body.
Another way to eat healthier on Thanksgiving is to use smaller plates. It can trick the mind into thinking the stomach is full because it just finished a whole plate.
Not eating second or third helpings and leaving room for dessert can avoid over-indulgence.
Substitution in holiday staples is easy. Candied yams, a Thanksgiving classic, can be improved for diabetics by substituting lightly-sprinkled raw brown sugar instead of marshmallows. The yams still have a sweet flavor without weighing down the body with sugar.
Mashed potatoes are another carbohydrate overload that can be easily transformed to keep the heart healthy. Take cauliflower, roast it in the oven and mash it just like potatoes. There is a similar texture, and the cauliflower will soak up whatever spices put into it. Sour cream also helps smooth out the consistency if used in small amounts.
Finally, dessert can’t be forgotten on Thanksgiving. A sugar-free blueberry pie doesn’t taste all that different from a regular one, especially if its lack of real sugar isn’t mentioned to non-diabetics. The blueberries themselves have enough natural sugar for flavor to coincide with the Splenda.
Other than looking for alternatives to sugar, Thanksgiving can be an easy and stress-free holiday for those with diabetes.
As long as carbs are counted, insulin administered and a stomach is full, anyone would be happy with a diabetic Thanksgiving.
Recipes can be found online at The Puyallup Post Facebook page.
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