JOPLIN, Mo. — This time next week, some of you will be enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner; many others will be gearing up for rounds 2, 3, perhaps 4. It is a day where we all indulge. But for diabetic patients, it also means setting limits.

“So we’re hitting the holiday season, which sometimes we even consider that to start at Halloween and go through the first of the year. But yes, Thanksgiving is upon us,” said Susan Pittman, Freeman Health System Diabetes Educator.

And that traditional menu can cause blood sugar issues for diabetic patients. Planning ahead can minimize the impact.

“So one of the things I really want to emphasize is not to go into that big meal hungry. So what we want our patients with diabetes to do but really would say this is for everyone is eat your normal meal pattern the day that you’re gonna go for the meal.”

In other words, don’t skip breakfast or lunch.

“If we get over hungry, we tend to overeat,” said Pittman.

Maybe the biggest priority is making good choices of what and how much you eat.

“We have our turkey which is protein. But things maybe are those side dishes that we want to kind of keep an eye on. So maybe mashed potatoes, the dressing, those are going to be carb-heavy, so just eat them, but maybe watch portion size on them.”

Consider bringing a dish that fits with your diet.

“Roasted vegetables. I think it’s something people maybe don’t think about. So you can be as simple as just cutting up your veggies, put them in the oven with just a little bit of olive oil, roast them with some seasoning and sometimes that makes just a really wonderful side.”

Monitor your blood sugar. And if you see there’s an issue, work in a little exercise.

“You know, maybe if the weather’s nice, get out and just take a walk with family and that may help bring down blood sugars a little bit,” said Pittman.