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Summer Cookouts: How to Make Your Plans Diabetes Friendly

Summer is in full swing, and the Fourth of July is just around the corner, which means it’s the perfect time for some backyard barbecues with friends and family! And really, there isn’t much better than eating delicious food outdoors, am I right!? We don’t want you to feel like you need to pass on these food-filled activities to stay healthy, so we’re here to help you navigate them without throwing your meal and activity plan completely out the window!

Choose Your Indulgences Wisely

mit Kse berbackene Burger auf Grill

Can’t resist a hamburger on the Fourth? We don’t blame you! Just make sure to account for the splurge with your sides. Want potato salad, too? Consider ditching the bun on your burger so you don’t overload on carbs. Make sure to fill your plate with primarily veggies, and try to avoid fried foods. Finally, remember to account for condiments (ketchup and barbeque sauce are loaded with sugar).

Consume Alcohol in Moderation

Portrait of group of friends toasting with bottles of beer.

If your cookouts include alcohol, try to limit consumption. Alcoholic beverages are typically high in sugar and carbohydrates. Also, don’t forget that alcohol dehydrates you, which is never good, but having diabetes makes dehydration even more dangerous. Make sure to drink plenty of water!

Get Moving!

People playing patanque in park

Headed to a party for the day? Exercise early to make sure you get some activity in, as it’ll help keep your numbers balanced throughout the day. Are you hosting? Consider setting up lawn games. It’s a fun way to keep you and your guests engaged with one another and out of your seats!

Rig The System

Spending time outdoors

Worried you’ll be hard-pressed to find healthy options at a cookout you’re attending? Take matters into your own hands. Most likely, your hosts have party essentials like chips and dip well taken care of. Offer to bring a fruit salad or veggie tray. Your host will be appreciative, and you’ll have some peace of mind knowing you’ll have a healthy option.

Are guests responsible for supplying their own meat? Bring ground turkey or chicken breasts, which are perfectly healthy, especially since they’ll most likely be grilled.

Cheat!

HAndsome male preparing barbecue

We don’t mean to suggest you throw your meal plan out the window. However, there are ways to enjoy some indulgences while staying on track. Try swapping out traditional potato salad for this delicious sweet potato salad. The alternative will have your friends thinking you’re a foodie, and the glycemic index is much lower for sweet potatoes than white potatoes. Plus, a serving has about half as many calories and carbs as its counterpart.

While grilling is an excellent way to prepare food, a lot of barbeque sauces are packed with sugar. Try out one of these recipes for a healthy substitute.

Make sure to check out our tips for beating the summer heat!!

Medianet DBS
L.D. and her ten-year-old lab, Eleanor Rigby Fitzgerald, moved to Seattle two years ago from Tucson, Arizona. They chose Seattle because they heard that's where they kept all the good coffee - plus Ella learned about grass. L. De Mello likes books, music, movies, running, and being outdoors as much as possible.