Summer is coming to a close, and that means a lot of family picnics. However, with these picnics and feasts come large amounts of food. Watching what you eat as you get older becomes more important, especially if you have become diabetic. Being diabetic doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun with food and family. With these five simple tips, you can have wonderful picnics and still keep your blood sugar under control.
5. Know Your High Glycemic Index Foods.
As a diabetic, there are certain foods you should avoid, simply because of the high impact they have on your blood sugar. As an older diabetic, high glycemic index foods have a greater impact on you. When you get to the picnic, make sure to look at what foods are being served so you can make a game plan about what foods to avoid or take smaller portions. Bring your own diabetic-friendly dish that you have prepared. There are plenty of great alternatives to high glycemic foods that may be found at a summer picnic. A great alternative to picnic baked beans is a traditional three-bean salad.
4. Eat a Small Snack Before You Go.
Splurging on foods that you love is okay as long as you don’t overdo it. Hunger can influence you to make some poor decisions, however. Remove the temptation by eating a small healthy meal or snack beforehand. With your hunger pangs satisfied, you can make healthy choices and keep your blood sugar under control.
3. Stay Hydrated.
When you’re at your family gathering, make sure you are drinking plenty of water. Other alternatives, if you aren’t a fan of water include unsweetened iced tea or club soda with a slice of fruit in it. Remember to avoid drinks with a lot of sugar, like sodas or fruit juice. If alcohol is going to be served, try to avoid it. If you are going to partake, remember always to do it in moderation.
2. Focus on Other Things.
Your family gatherings shouldn’t be all about the food. One way to help keep you from sending your blood sugar into spikes is to avoid the food line altogether. Enjoy the company of family and/or friends at the gathering and take the opportunity to reconnect with people you haven’t seen for a while. Additionally, just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t take part in activities that can keep you moving. Badminton, horseshoes, or bocce ball are all great low impact activities that focus on fun and not the food.
1. Talk About It.
While most of your family probably knows about your diabetes, there may be some who aren’t aware of it. Make sure to talk to your host about your situation, so that they can try to provide alternatives. Inform them that you will be bringing your own tray of snacks or a veggie burger as an alternative to fatty burgers or sodium-laden hot dogs. Diabetes is a serious condition, however, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on summer picnics and the fun and camaraderie that come with them.
With these five tips, you can ensure that you are part of the festivities and taking care of yourself.