Traveling can be a challenge for those with diabetes because often time daily routines are up in the air and meals cannot be timed.
To complicate matters, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says changing your schedule can affect your blood glucose levels. Therefore, diabetics need to check their sugar levels much more often than usual.
Having diabetes should not stop you from enjoying your favorite meals. Here are some suggestions to help when gathering around the table with family and friends.
- Choose low-calorie drinks such as sparkling water or diet beverages. Limit alcohol to two drinks for men and one drink for women.
- Keep portions small and focus on dishes such as vegetables that are light with butter
- Watch your salt intake
- Try to select fruit instead of cake and pies that are high in fat, cholesterol and sugar
- If traveling for several days, the following are great reminders to assure a safe and happy holiday season:
- Pack twice the amount of diabetes supplies you need
- Make sure you keep your health insurance card and emergency numbers including your doctor’s
- Carry medical identification that says you are diabetic
- If you use insulin, make sure you also pack a glucagon emergency kit. Keep your insulin cool
- Have snacks, glucose gel or tables and bottled water available
- If flying, keep diabetic supplies in carry-on luggage
- If you are flying and have an insulin pump, talk to a security officer before walking through a metal detector
- If a meal will be served during your flight, call ahead for a diabetic, low fat or low cholesterol meal. If the airline doesn’t offer a meal, bring a nutritious meal yourself. Wait until your food is about to be served before you take your insulin.
The CDC also reminds us that living with diabetes is also about learning to keep in balance. Diabetes can cause health problems over time but many problems do not have to happen if you strive for balance. This balance includes your diet, physical activity and medications that will offer a better prognosis to your health.
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