How to Host a Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Dinner

Main Course

Here’s some good news. If you were planning on serving turkey and stuffing for the main event, you’re halfway in the clear already. Turkey meat is a naturally lean meat with zero carbs, so your guests with diabetes can enjoy a healthy portion of the bird with no regrets. Traditional stuffing falls in the high-carb category, however, so consider skipping the stuffing this year. But if your Thanksgiving meal won’t be complete without it, you could try a new approach. Using a whole-grain bread and ingredients like walnuts and cranberries can help you provide a healthier (albeit still carb-heavy) alternative to your usual recipe.

Are you looking for a main dish other than turkey? Consider herb-rubbed roast beef, herb-crusted rack of lamb or a roasted pork loin with apples and cinnamon. Or if you’re looking for a meatless option, you can serve grilled eggplant and roasted fall veggies for a savory, vegetarian main course. 


Once you have decided on the main course, it’s time to choose the sides. Some traditional sides, like green beans and sweet potatoes, are already healthier options. Some, like mashed potatoes, are less healthy options for diabetics. If your meal won’t be complete without a fluffy white pile of deliciousness, consider replacing potatoes with cauliflower. And no festive fall meal would be complete without cranberry sauce!

Of course, no one says you have to stick with traditional side dishes, so why not add your own creative flair to the menu? From delicious roasted squash recipes to fall salads and toasted parmesan onion strings, there are plenty of options you can use to make this year’s holiday menu your own. And who knows? Trying a different diabetes-friendly dish could become your new tradition.


You know the taste of fall desserts by heart. Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg … and lots of sugar! Capping off a delicious, savory meal with a sweet seasonal treat is one of the best parts of Thanksgiving, which is why it’s a good thing that there are plenty of reduced-sugar recipes to round out a diabetes-friendly menu. Recipes for standard fall fare like apple crisp or apple pie can easily be adapted to reduce the carbs, and even the king of Thanksgiving desserts — the pumpkin pie — can be made with sugar substitutes. Just don’t go overboard with the whipped cream!

If you’re looking to complement your menu with flavors other than warm, cozy spices, consider using fruits and nuts. Cranberry almond tarts, hazelnut biscotti and roasted nuts can close out your dinner party on a sophisticated (and not overly sweet) note. Bonus: these dessert recipes pair really well with a nice cup of coffee — something you and your guests will probably need to stay awake after stuffing yourselves on all the gourmet, diabetes-friendly food served at your Thanksgiving feast!

The above content is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you have a medical condition. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.

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