thanksgiving dinner

The holidays present numerous social opportunities for eating, drinking, and meeting with friends. For people with diabetes, holiday parties can be a minefield of difficult-to-make food choices.

Keeping blood glucose levels in check and not overeating are important for people with diabetes, and by following a few simple tips, it is possible to avoid both during the holidays.

  1. Bring your favorite healthy, low-fat, carbohydrate-appropriate dish to the party so if nothing else fits in with your meal plan, at least your dish will provide an option.
  2. Never attend a party on an empty stomach. Skipping meals throughout the day can result in your overindulging at the party.
  3. Have a plan for what, when, and how much you will eat. Survey the foods available at the party, and choose foods that fit into your meal plan.
  4. Eat slowly, and enjoy every bite. By pacing yourself, you reduce the chances of overindulging.
  5. Practice portion control. Use a smaller plate and eat plenty of vegetables. Skip second helpings.
  6. Convert your traditional holiday recipes to healthy recipes by using substitutions. Try using foods such as low-fat cottage cheese, yogurt, applesauce, shredded low-fat cheese, broth, and sugar substitutes.
  7. Alcohol is full of calories and therefore must be consumed in small amounts to avoid weight gain. Never drink alcohol without your doctor’s permission.
  8. Schedule your exercise and stick to it.
  9. Remember to test your blood glucose.
  10. Don’t forget to count your carbs.

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A Healthy Holiday Meal: Turkey Breast with Stuffing

Number of Servings: 6


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 package (8 ounces) corn bread stuffing mix
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • ¾ teaspoon dried sage, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme, divided
  • 1 boneless turkey breast (1 ½pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 450° F. Coat a 1 ½-quart casserole with cooking spray; set aside. Coat large saucepan with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes. Add broth bring to a simmer. Stir in stuffing mix, apple, ¼ tsp. sage and thyme. Transfer mixture to prepared casserole; set aside.

Coat shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Place turkey breast in pan, skin side up; coat with cooking spray. Mix paprika, remaining ½ tsp sage and thyme and pepper in small bowl; sprinkle mixture over turkey. Coat lightly with cooking spray.

Place turkey in oven; roast 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° F. Place stuffing in oven alongside turkey; continue to roast 35 minutes or until internal temperature of turkey reaches 170° F when tested with meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast.

Nutrition Info Per Serving

Calories Total Fat Carbs Cholesterol Fiber
304 3 grams 34 grams 75 mg 7 grams
Calories from Fat Saturated Fat Protein Sodium  
8% 1 gram 33 grams 580 mg


About Endocrinology

The UPMC Department of Endocrinology stands as a national leader in research of diabetes and endocrine conditions. We partner with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism for research and clinical trials. We treat diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, hormonal disorders, and thyroid disorders at several locations across western Pennsylvania. We also have specialized Diabetes Centers to help you manage your disease. U.S. News & World Report ranks UPMC Presbyterian among the top hospitals in the country for endocrinology and diabetes care.