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How To Enjoy A Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Without Starving

Turkey and gravy, saccharin-filled cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and delicious pumpkin pie may have some salivating this time of year, but for those with a keto diet, your stomach may be running for the door.

Thanksgiving is typically an indulgent time of the year where diets and best intentions for the year go out the window. And, if you follow a ketogenic (keto) diet, this time of year can be especially tough.

Registered dietitian technician, Rachel Harrison, at Banner Health is here with some holiday hacks so you can enjoy the season without ruining your diet.

Bring Something Keto-Friendly

If you are planning on going to someone’s house for lunch or dinner, let the host know of your diet and suggest bringing a dish or two that are keto-friendly. Everyone wants to eat delicious food that day and you don’t want to be the only one eating out of a Tupperware container. Bringing a dish or two also guarantees you’ll have something to eat and your dishes may be a fun topic of discussion.

Eat Before You Go

If bringing food isn’t an option, eat something before you go. This way you won’t be ravenous and be tempted to make poor decisions. Also, there may already be keto-friendly options, such as nuts and raw veggies and salad to nibble on.

Keto-Friendly Options for Every Course

Here are some creative alternatives for every course that don’t rely on processed foods, refined sugars and carb-loaded ingredients.


Harrison suggested bringing a meat and cheese board, low-carb dip for veggies or deviled eggs.

The Big Meal

Good news! Turkey breast in the clear, but here are some alternatives for the side dishes:

  • For low-carb stuffing, sub the bread out with one large head of cauliflower.
  • For gravy, there are lots of flourless alternatives, Harrison said. But, if you are unable to make something, one to two tablespoons of the regular stuff won’t affect your overall carbohydrate intake too much.
  • For mashed potatoes, you can also swap out with cauliflower. You can even find some keto-friendly frozen mashed cauliflower in most local grocery stores.


“Instead of partaking in all the glorious pies at Thanksgiving, fruit is always a better option – whether you’re on a keto diet or not,” Harrison said. “Look for melon and berries as they have the lowest carb options.”

You can also bring sugar-free JELLO or keto-friendly pudding. It’s possible to have a keto friendly Thanksgiving, while still enjoying time with family and friends. Be thankful for your overall health and learning how to stay healthy through the holidays. For more healthy Thanksgiving tips, check out our other blog post. Cheers!

Nutrition Holidays

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