May 19, 2012

Summer Eating Tips for Diabetics


GREENVILLE--The summer season means barbecues, picnics, amusement parks, and road trips.  As a diabetic, you may worry about how to eat healthy while still enjoying the festivities. 
Knowing how to create a well-balanced meal will allow you to keep your blood glucose level as close to normal range as possible during barbecues and picnics. 
Choose lean grilled meats such as chicken breast, turkey burger or fish, instead of fried chicken. 
Veg out.  Grill up some veggie burgers, veggie kabobs, or sliced vegetables.  Try snacking on raw vegetables with dip or hummus.
Hold the mayo.  Mayonnaise adds fat and calories to your plate.  Add flavor to a sandwich with sliced tomatoes, lettuce, bell pepper, or mustard.  Limit mayonnaise based dishes such as dips, salads and sauces.
Watch out for sauces such as BBQ sauces since they can raise your blood glucose.  Food items with cream cheese are high in fat.  Limit these items and go for fruits and vegetables. 
Choose a healthy drink.  During the summer it is important to stay hydrated.   However, summer quenchers such as soda, lemonade, sports drinks, and large amounts of fruit juice contain a lot of carbohydrates.  It is better to drink unsweetened iced tea, or water.  Fruit wedges such as lemon, lime, orange and cherry can add flavor to your water. 
Desserts are not off limits.  However, make sure you limit your portion sizes.  These items should only be tasted after you have eaten healthier options.
Add regular exercise to your summer events to help maintain blood glucose.  Consider these ideas to get moving: bring a Frisbee to the picnic, take a hike, take a bike ride, or grab a baseball glove and play catch.
This information was adapted from the American Diabetes Association.
To learn more about healthy eating and diabetes, consider attending Group Diabetes Classes at Wayne HealthCare.  Group classes meet once a week for four weeks. During the classes you will learn the following: 1) facts associated with diabetes, 2) the relationship between diabetes and healthy eating, 3) the value of monitoring and using the blood glucose results, 4) the importance of exercise, 5) how diabetic medications work, and 6) ways to reduce risk of complications.  
The cost of each class is $10 or $40 for the series of four classes.  The next group classes will be held June 5, 13, 20, and 27, 9 to 11 a.m.  Pre-registration for the classes is required. 
If these dates do not work with your schedule, the classes will be held at alternating times throughout the day.  Morning classes will be held 9-11 a.m. in October and December.  Afternoon classes will be held from 1-3 p.m. in July, August, and November.  Evening classes will be held from 6-8 p.m. in September.
If you prefer to meet individually with the Certified Diabetes Educator, you can receive education regarding Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) and Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT). 
For more information regarding the programs offered by Wayne HealthCare Diabetes Self Management Program call, 548-5750.

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