For most of us Thanksgiving is all about food. Each year we look forward to eating our favorites including turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. But for many of us Thanksgiving is filled with many pitfalls, particularly if we have diabetes or gout. Eating the wrong thing or too much of our favorites can elevate our blood sugar or cause foot pain.
This year we have the added problem of a pandemic. While we might normally be able to ask our families to cook special treats to meet our dietary needs, this year there is already a lot of stress and strain on everyone. We may not want to bother those who are already going out of their way by making special home deliveries during Covid.
If you are doing the preparation and you have people with these health conditions in your family it doesn't need to take more effort, just more forethought. If you're the one with diabetes or gout, there are some steps you can take to avoid pushing your health into the red zone this holiday season.
Making Healthier Turkey
While turkey is usually a healthy food for anyone, there are ways to make it healthier. Try this turkey recipe by Eating Well to benefit those who want to reduce their fat and salt intake.
Limit Foods that Contain Purines
Foods with purines can cause those prone to gout to experience pain, particularly in their big toes. It's not the purines themselves that are the problem but the uric acid they turn into to. Foods high in purine are: mussels, scallops and tuna, red meat, and liver. Drinks with high levels of purines are red wine and beer and drinks containing fructose. Drinking lots of water can help flush the uric acid from your system.
Cut Back on Sugar
Most of us eat way more sugar then we need to make our food taste good. Many of our Thanksgiving foods are full of them. Consider the classic yam dish with marshmallows on top. Yams already contain sugar which is what makes them super delicious. If you want to make them special without the added sugar, add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. You may also consider substituting white sugar with Splenda or Stevia, both better options for people with diabetes.
Choose Your Carbs Wisely
Besides turkey, most of us relish eating mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing, and gravy. Carbs can be a minefield for someone with diabetes. Eating too much of them can lead to a sharp increase in blood sugar.
You have a couple of choices this Thanksgiving. Either you can eat small amounts of each of your favorite foods or decide upfront which foods are a must have. Then ask your host to only deliver those foods. Another idea is to apportion these favorites out over several days.
Eat Ahead of Time
One way to moderate how much you eat on Thanksgiving is to eat ahead of time. Don't skip breakfast. Instead make your morning meal one with protein like eggs instead of having your usual coffee and toast. Protein is more satisfying and lasts longer in the body.
If you're a diabetic or experiencing foot pain due to gout, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.
In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly. You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!