Summer is here and the lifestyle is easy. As you head to barbecues, amusement parks and vacations, consider a few sensible nutrition tips. People with diabetes avoid negative eating patterns by being well-prepared for summer soirées.
Barbecue and Picknics
Barbecues and picnics serve an array of selections you might want to avoid. The American Association of Diabetes Educators recommends you choose grilled meats and skip the fried chicken. That could be a once in a while treat! Better choices include turkey burgers, grilled chicken, fish, lean beef, veggie burgers and veggie kebabs.
Sides and Snacks
Sides and snacks are also tempting. Nibble on healthy snacks such as sliced non–starchy vegetables with hummus and low-fat dips. Think moderation in foods that have mayo, small amounts of baked beans with brown sugar and go lightly on barbecue sauces with added sugar.
Drinking for Hydration
Learn how to beat the heat by drinking water rather than sugary beverages. Perspiration depletes your body of fluids in the hot weather. Drink water with a wedge of fresh fruit such as an orange, lime or lemon. Alternatives include sparkling water, mineral water, Crystal Light, diet soda and unsweetened ice tea.
Alcohol is considered a diuretic and can contribute toward dehydration. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. For a one-day period, men should have no more than two alcoholic beverages if under the age of 65 and women should have just one. Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach as it can cause your blood sugar to drop. Always drink with a snack. Straight alcohol with seltzer or club soda is the best. Never use sweet mixes, fruit juice or regular soda as a mixer.
Beverages with caffeine such as soda, caffeinated coffees and caffeinated teas are considered natural diuretics. Five to seven cups of caffeinated beverages can lead to diuretic effects and dehydration. Only have one or two of these beverages daily.
Cakes, Cookies and Ice Cream
>High calorie desserts such as short cake, layer cake and ice cream lurk in every corner at summer gatherings. Choose fresh summer fruit for dessert. Take sugar free cookies, sugar free candy and sugar free desserts with you to ward off temptation. Bring your own low-calorie salad or dish to share with others and ensure you have something healthy to nosh on.
Fight the Temptation for Fast Food
The temptation of fast food restaurants is compelling on road trips. Pack plenty of healthy snacks to keep your blood sugar from fluctuating. If you decided to stop at a fast food restaurant for a meal, choose salads with non-fat dressing, a small hamburger or plain grilled chicken sandwiches.
Find Excuses to Exercise
Think of summer parties and picnics as an opportunity to exercise. Bring a ball, baseball glove and Frisbee to encourage outdoor games. Walk on the beach with shoes, go swimming, take a hike or go for a bike ride. Get into an animated game of volleyball or badminton. Having fun burns calories and encourages improved fitness. Wear sunscreen.
Observe Proper Food Preparation
Make sure hot foods are served hot and cold foods remain chilled. Proper food preparation, consumption and storage are essential during the summer. Put leftovers away immediately and never eat foods that were left out. People with diabetes are particularly susceptible to food-related illnesses. If it looks or smells questionable, skip it.
Don’t Forget Your Testing Supplies and Medicine!
Remember to pack testing supplies, insulin and medication. Never get them wet and keep them out of direct sunlight or heat. Continue to monitor your blood sugar on a regular schedule during the carefree days of summer.
Summertime is a season of good times, outdoor living and gatherings. Monitor your nutrition and blood sugar for a fun and healthy summer. Take advantage of these nutrition tips to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables and get more exercise!