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Diabetic Recipes: Summer Meal Ideas



Summer Fun and Food: Tips for People With Diabetes

Tips courtesy of the AADE

Summer barbeques and picnics can offer a tempting range of choices that are high in calories and sugar. Knowing how to create a well-balanced meal helps keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible. Here are some summertime tips to help you keep your cool:

1. Choose lean, grilled meats. 

Bypass the fried chicken and go for lean meats such as a grilled chicken breast, turkey burger or fish.

2. Veg out.

Grill up some veggie burgers, veggie kabobs, or sliced vegetables in foil for a low-carb, low-fat entrée alternative. Raw veggies with hummus or other low-fat dip are great for snacking.

3. Hold the mayo.

To add some flavor to your sandwich, try tomato slices, lettuce, bell peppers, or mustard instead of mayonnaise, which adds fat and calories to your plate.Try to avoid mayo-based dips, salads and sauces. Use oil-based dressing in your favorite vegetable salad.

4. Pick a side.

You can enjoy a number of side items such as vinegar-based coleslaw, sweet potatoes, greens, seasonal vegetables and fruit. Limit your intake of breads and rolls. Try to move away from the chips and dips, as they can draw you in for more without even realizing it.

5. Consider the recipe. 

Barbeque chicken with extra sauce or baked beans can throw off your carb intake as these items often contain added sugar, and recipes with cream cheese are often high in fat. If you suspect a recipe is high in fat or calories, take a pass or choose a small portion and opt for more vegetables.

6. Bring a dish to share. 

Attending a party? Offer to bring a green salad or fruit salad to share. That way you'll be certain that there's something healthy for you to eat, and your host will thank you for helping out.

7. Drink water, not sugar.

It’s especially important to stay hydrated, however, summer quenchers such as soda, fruit juices, lemonade, and alcoholic beverages can be high in sugar and calories. It is better to drink water (sparkling, mineral or plain) or non-caloric beverages such as sugar-free lemonade, iced tea or coffee. For extra flavor, add a wedge of lemon, lime, orange or even a cherry.

8. Drink responsibly.

If you do decide to drink alcohol, drink in moderation. It is recommended that men with diabetes have no more than two alcoholic drinks per day (i.e. two 12 oz. bottles of beer), while women should have no more than one alcoholic drink per day.

9. Try just a taste.

If you want to sample a high-fat or high-calorie item such as ice cream, potato salad or chicken wings, take a small portion.

10. Stick to your routine.

Don’t skip meals or snacks earlier in the day to “save” calories and carbs for a summer outing. If you skip meals, it may be harder to manage your blood sugar.

11. Have fun!

When you make healthy eating choices, any summer gathering will be fun in the sun.


Published June 12, 2012. 


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