Oh, the horror in your eyes: Thanksgiving is coming! And there is that: you’ve been doing so well eating a low-carb diet. But now pumpkin pie temptations abound, and all of the favorite fixin’s of this American holiday will surely wreak havoc on your total carb intake. Can you survive and even enjoy Thanksgiving as a low-carb eater? Of course you can!
If your family has grown up on Thanksgiving starchy sides, it’s time to introduce them to some healthier alternatives. Yes, the ketogenic and low-carb lifestyle is all about training your body to use fat as fuel based on what you eat. But it’s also about increasing your intake of green, leafy, cruciferous and other low-carbohydrate, high fiber vegetables to compliment the meats and other high-fat foods that are part of this way of eating. You’ll be ready for the great American Holiday with delicious keto-friendly thanksgiving recipes. But first…
What Foods to Avoid if You’re Eating Low-Carb On Thanksgiving
- Orange and yellow vegetables such as pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes
- Stuffing made with bread
- Corn and corn bread
- Wheat bread and biscuits
- White potatoes
- Packaged seasoning mixes that contain MSG and dextrose.
- Bottled salad dressings that often contain carbs – best to make your own
- Powdered gravy mixes
- Pies, cakes, cookies, puddings, and other desserts (unless they’re specially made to be low-carbohydrate)
- Dried fruits such as raisins, currants, figs, dates.
What Foods Can You Enjoy In Your Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes?
- Other salted, cured meats such as salami, pepperoni, jerky, prosciutto, Sopresatta (check labels for carb counts)
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
- Bone broth from chicken, turkey or beef
- Fish or seafood
- Green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, asparagus, salad greens, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower
- Other vegetables such as celery, cucumbers, radishes, spaghetti squash, mushrooms
- Moderate amounts of the following vegetables: eggplant, peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, green beans, turnips, onions. (Only small amounts of onions are typically added to recipes, so they won’t generally
- impact your carb counts significantly).
- Cranberries (unsweetened)
- Citrus – lemons, oranges, lime
- Berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Healthy oils such as olive, coconut, sesame
- Small amounts of cooking wine
- Herbs and spices; garlic
Gravy is a favorite on Thanksgiving, but it is made with flour or cornstarch, both of which contain carbohydrates. Use your judgment if you decide to treat yourself to gravy. You may be able to fit it into your overall carb count if you’re keeping track. Or you might opt to swap out the carbs in your gravy for a glass or two of red wine!