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Fitting In Dessert this Thanksgiving

It’s a special occasion; so it’s perfectly fine if you want to enjoy a small portion of your favorite holiday dessert.

Wondering how to make it fit with your plan without disrupting your blood glucose levels? The trick is not to add extra carbohydrates from sweets to your meal. Instead, simply substitute a portion of dessert for another carbohydrate-containing food in your meal. Remember that most sweets contain a large amount of carbohydrate in a small serving, so portion size is very important.

Here are some examples that show how some of the dessert recipes we’ve featured this month can fit with your Thanksgiving meal...

Let's say your original meal consists of the following (about 45 grams of carbohydrate):

  • 3 ounces of turkey
  • 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce (about 15 g carbohydrate)
  • ½ cup mashed potatoes (about 15 g carbohydrate)
  • 1 dinner roll with trans-free margarine (about 15 g carbohydrate)
  • 2 cups salad greens with tomatoes, cucumbers, and bleu cheese with 2 tablespoons of fat-free salad dressing

**To fit in a serving of our Low Fat Pumpkin Panna Cotta, half a slice of Scrumptious Pumpkin Bread, or two Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies (these are all right around 15 grams of carbohydrate), you could:

  • Pass on the dinner roll if you don’t consider it a Thanksgiving “must have”   OR
  • Season your turkey with a bit of freshly ground pepper and cut out the cranberry sauce   OR
  • Have half of a roll and just 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce with your meal

Here’s another example:

Let's say your original meal consists of the following (about 65 grams of carbohydrate):

  • 3 ounces of turkey
  • ½ cup Healthy Green Bean Casserole (about 10 g carbohydrate)
  • ½ cup Sage Stuffing  (about 30 g carbohydrate)
  • ½ cup mashed sweet potatoes (about 15 grams of carbohydrate)
  • 1 cup roasted Brussels sprouts (about 10 g carbohydrate)

**To fit in a serving of our Cinnamon Roasted Pears or ¼ cup of Quinoa Dessert Pudding (both about 20 grams of carbohydrate), you could:

  • Have just ¼ cup of Healthy Green Bean Casserole and skip the sweet potatoes.  OR
  • Have just ¼ cup of Sage Stuffing and ½ cup of roasted Brussels sprouts.  OR
  • Have just ¼ cup of Sage Stuffing and ¼ cup of Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Think you've got the hang of it? There are many ways to substitute in a small treat for another carbohydrate food in your meal. Just remember that Thanksgiving is all about choices. Remember to plan ahead and think about what is most important to you this holiday. You may also be interested in our articles: Navigating the Thanksgiving Feast and Easy Steps to a Happy and Healthy Holiday.

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