Sticking with a low-sugar lifestyle during the holiday season certainly isn’t easy, but it can be done. With a plan in place for the foods you will and won’t eat, you can avoid getting sucked into the sugar cravings cycle and leave the dinner table feeling confident you made the right choices. Need a little extra guidance? Here are five Thanksgiving foods you should avoid.
Don’t Pass the Rolls
It’s easy to assume savory foods like dinner rolls are fair game when you’re avoiding sugar. Unfortunately, many store-bought rolls contain sugar. For instance, one popular brand has 4 grams of sugar for a single roll. Steer clear of cornbread, too. This popular Betty Crocker recipe contains half a cup of granulated sugar.
Skip the Cranberry Sauce
If you’re planning a sugar-free holiday, make sure cranberry sauce is on your list of foods to avoid. Canned cranberry sauce contains 24 grams of sugar in a single serving and most homemade versions have at least a cup of granulated sugar in the recipe. If you love cranberry sauce, try these low-sugar versions instead.
Beware of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes may have a naturally sweet flavor, but the sweetness of this popular holiday casserole is anything but natural. Even if you skip the traditional marshmallow topping, most recipes contain heaping amounts of brown sugar, maple syrup, or other sweeteners in the ingredient list. Stick to plain roasted sweet potatoes if you love having them in your buffet—and eat the skin, which has extra fiber and other nutrients.
Pick the Right Wine
Many wines have a high sugar content, but that doesn’t mean you have to skip a drink with dinner altogether. If you’re living a low-sugar lifestyle, avoid white and rosé wines, which have 1.4 to 7 grams of sugar in a 5-ounce glass. Instead, go with a dry, red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, which typically have less than a gram of sugar in a 5-ounce glass.
Avoid Glazed Ham
Don’t assume you're safe just so long as you fill your plate with meat. Sure, ham might be high in protein, but it’s often high in sugar, too. Many spiral hams are covered with a sweet glaze that contains brown sugar, honey, or white sugar. Brown-sugar glazed ham contains 4 grams of sugar in each serving. If the ham is glazed, stick with turkey instead. And of course, the array of pies and desserts are the elephant in the room. Eat a small slice of your favorite, then have a Sweet Defeat so you don’t go back for seconds. Or if you want to be even more virtuous, use a Sweet Defeat right after you finish dinner to avoid dessert altogether. You’re already full, so you don’t need dessert, and instead of fighting off sugar cravings, you can focus on spending time with family (or watching football!) instead.