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Thanksgiving can be a troubling time for individuals with Type 2 diabetics or those with pre-diabetes and insulin resistance. If you have a member of your family has any of these conditions. According to Statistics Canada, 7.3 % of Canadians aged 12 and older (roughly 2.3 million individuals) were diagnosed with diabetes. If you are over 50 years old 15% of males have it and 10% of females. Once you are over 65 that number jumps to 20% of males and 15% of females. This gives you a rough idea of the great need to prepare Thanksgiving dinners that are better than the average sugar and carb-lade fare that can affect diabetic family member’s wellness.

Here are some tips for creating a more diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving holiday experience and meal.

Prepare diabetic-friendly snacks. It is not wise for a diabetic to go without food and encounter very low blood sugar with the idea that he or she is saving room for a big meal that is eaten all at once. Fasting the whole idea can lead to low blood sugar. Serve the diabetic raw vegetables with hummus, cheese, nuts, and shrimp cocktail to keep their blood sugar levels level.

Avoid using sugary glazes on the turkey. Turkey is an excellent source of protein. However, keep the seasoning simple and on the savory or herbal side, and avoid maple syrup brown sugar or sweet juice glazes.

Make whole-grain and nut stuffing. Avoid using white bread and dried fruit in your stuffing and opt instead for garlic, celery, herbs, and olives. Whole grain bread can be used to make bread crumbs.

Serve mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. Making this substitution will greatly help reduce the carb load of the meal, thus helping to keep the diabetic’s blood sugar stable. If you do serve potatoes try using a waxier thicker potato such as Fingerlings and top with Parmesan to add some protein.

Top vegetable casseroles with chopped nuts. Chopped cashews or almonds can add protein to starchier sweet potato or green bean casseroles. You might also want to consider serving more diabetic-friendly vegetables such as stir-fried celery, yellow onions, or Swiss chard.

Make a low sugar cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauces, canned and home-made are typically sweetened with lots of white sugar or juices. To level things out, add a dash of maple syrup and orange syrup and a handful of black grapes to make the bitter cranberries a bit sweeter without upping the sugar content.

Serve low-sugar pumpkin or apple pies for dessert. Skip the ice cream. High-fat whipped cream is better as long as you make it from scratch and sweeten it with a bit of maple syrup or a safe sugar substitute such as Stevia. You might also want to consider simply skipping pie altogether and serving fruit with Greek yogurt for dessert.

The good news is that a bit of turkey gravy is not harmful to the health of a diabetic, especially if you make it with the real drippings and avoid adding too much salt. If you need to thicken gravy, avoid the corn starch and use skim milk, tamari, or a sprinkle of chia seeds instead.

To address diabetes, insulin resistance, or any other health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products You can also call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. To contact our office in Pickering, Ontario, call (905)-427-0057. Send an email to and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services that includes anti-aging, naturopathic testing, infrared therapy, and Toronto weight loss programs.


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