by Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL
You can enjoy all of the fun of a summer fun while staying within your healthy eating goals! Summer barbeques and picnics can offer a tempting range of choices that are high in calories and sugar. Don’t get burned! Here are some summertime tips to help you keep your cool and create a well-balanced meal to keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible:
Choose lean, grilled meats. Pass on the fried chicken and go for grilled chicken, turkey or fish.
Veg out. Grill up some veggie burgers, veggie kabobs, or sliced vegetables in foil. Or, have raw veggies with hummus or other low-fat dip.
Skip the Mayo. Add flavor to your sandwich with tomato slices, lettuce, bell peppers, or mustard. Mayonnaise adds fat and calories so try to avoid mayo-based dips, salads and sauces.
Pick a Side. Move away from the chips and dips which draw you in for more than you realize. Choose vinegar-based coleslaw, sweet potatoes, greens, and seasonal vegetables instead.
Consider the Recipe. Barbeque sauce and baked beans can throw off your carb intake. Many of these recipes often contain added sugar. Recipes with cream cheese are often high in fat. If you do choose to indulge, try just a taste or opt for a smaller portion.
Drink water. Stay hydrated. Avoid soda, fruit juices, lemonade and alcoholic beverages that are high in sugar and calories. For extra flavor, add a wedge of lemon, lime, orange or even a cherry.
Stick to your routine. Skipping meals may make it harder to manage your blood sugar, so don’t try to “save” calories and carbs for that summer party.
Have fun. Make healthy choices and being good to yourself.
Get regular exercise. Go for a walk on the beach, bring a Frisbee to the picnic, take a hike, play volleyball, jump on a bike, grab a baseball glove and play catch, swim like a fish!
Source: American Association of Diabetes Educators
And one more hot tip: Don’t forget a hat and sunscreen!