Don’t let diabetes sideline you at the cook-outBy
The summer months are a prime time for outdoor dining and entertaining. People living with diabetes may think that they have to miss out on, but there’s no reason to stay home and miss the fun. From holiday cook-outs to weekend barbecues, the fun time summertime gives people living with diabetes several opportunities to be social and healthy butterflies.
Elaine Blackwood, Diabetes Management & Supplies certified diabetes educator advises that you plan ahead and keep blood sugar and portion control in mind. “I always encourage looking for veggies but not the dip to munch on,” Blackwood said adding that a couple pieces of cheese is great finger food while mingling at a cook-out.
Chef John Wright’s collection contains a Shrimp Appetizer that can also be served over rice or pasta and used as a side dish. Served alone, the shrimp appetizer doesn’t contain any carbohydrates and can be a great substitute on the chip-and-dip table with the other crunchy snacks. Loading up on low-carb items and fruits and veggies will help control the blood-sugar spikes that can often occur after a cook-out or barbecue.
Blackwood also recommends bringing your own bottled water in case your hosts only have soda or alcohol. It is also a perfect time to drink flavored water or sugar-free soda as a treat.
Another strategy is to not leave home hungry. “Depending on the timing of the barbecue, I try to keep my timing the same and may eat ahead of time or have a snack so I’m not so hungry and want to eat everything.” Blackwood said.
If you are doing the meal-planning, remember that heart healthy items like salmon and tuna are also great for throwing on the grill. Check out this recommended recipe for Grilled Salmon Salad. It’s a quick, easy way to eliminate a lot of fat and calories, but it keeps the favor and variety high. Fresh fruit is a summertime treat and ending with something like Strawberries and Yogurt Sauce is a good way to keep things fresh and lite.
If healthy grill items are not available, Blackwood says you can always eat the hamburger (mustard and relish are free foods), but without the bun. This leaves carb exchanges for the corn-on-the-cob or potato salad. Pile on the salad fixings and dab a tiny bit of dressing. Blackwood adds “My brain will look at my plate and say ‘Wow, you have a lot to eat!’”
For more on summer picnic and cook-out ideas, check out “Get Ready for Summer Picnics and Barbecues” from the American Diabetes Association.
DMS offers diabetes self-management and diabetes education services. For more information on specific exercise needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.
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