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Summer Parties and Diabetes

Summer's all about parties. This year, you can make most any meal diabetes-friendly - fast. It may be as easy as portion control, or as simple as getting more whole grains. Here's how you can help keep blood sugar stable and enjoy summer fun, too.

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Portion Distortion: Just Say No

All things in moderation: More than a cliché, it's great advice at parties. The key to enjoying your favorite summery foods - without tweaking recipes - is as easy as eating a little less and taking into account the total calories and carbohydrates. Not sure where to draw the line? The next tip can help.

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Know, Then Practice, Your Plan

A simple diabetes meal plan can do wonders to help keep blood sugar under control, so know yours. Your doctor or dietitian can give you quick tips on what to eat, when to eat and how to make simple changes that fit into your lifestyle.

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Pack for the Party

Once you know your meal plan, take the fuss out of party eating: Bring a tasty dish to the festivities - one that fits into your plan. That way there's at least one surefire treat you can enjoy while visiting with family and friends. Speaking of which…

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Focus on Family and Friends

While party treats are tempting, most of us say yes to invites because we want to be with those we love. So instead of focusing on food at the next summer soiree, turn your attention to visiting with the people you care about.

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Double Dose on Produce

Parties when the weather's warm may mean plenty of barbecue, but they also mean summer salads full of fresh veggies, fruit and protein-rich beans. Load up on these and other good-for-you summer staples to help you stay away from fatty, sweet, high-carb treats that may wreak havoc with blood sugar.

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Go for Grains

Whole-wheat rolls, whole-wheat pastas and brown rice: If you see these on the party buffet, dig in. Fiber-rich whole grains help regulate blood sugar and keep you feeling full. You can even bring your own whole-grain treats to the party. And remember: Multi-grain doesn't mean whole grain. Check labels, then pick foods with the word "whole" before the grain listed.

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Sensible Summer Food Selection

You can dig in to the meat at the next summer bash, but choose lean meat or fish that has been broiled or grilled. Chat with friends, eat slowly and enjoy the festivities while you enjoy the food.

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Get the Party Moving

Move it! Physical activity not only helps you manage blood sugar, but also serves as a distraction so you focus less on food. So gather some friends and go for a walk in the park, toss a Frisbee or play croquet.

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Derailed Diet? Don't Despair

Now and again we all overdo it - especially at parties. Don't get discouraged. Stop the diet damage as soon as you notice you've gone off track. Then get back into the swing by getting a little more exercise, monitoring your blood sugar carefully and eating right.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 02/23/2017 Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on February 23, 2017

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

1)  Image Source
2)  Tom Grill / The Image Bank
3)  LWA/Dann Tardif / Blend Images
4)  Harald Walker / Flickr
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6)  Jamie Grill / Tetra Images
7)  iStockphoto
8)  Dr. Heinz Linke / Vetta
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10)  Doug Armand / Photographer’s Choice

REFERENCES:

American Diabetes Association: "8 Tricks to Turn Decadent Dishes Into Diabetes-Friendly Meals," "Diabetes Meal Plans and a Healthy Diet," "Making Healthy Food Choices," "Seven Holiday Tips," "Table Tips."

Diabetes Association of Atlanta: "Enjoying the Holidays With Diabetes!"

Joslin Diabetes Center: "Diabetes and Alcohol," "How Does Fiber Affect Blood Glucose Levels?"

Rosenthal, M. The Type 2 Diabetes Sourcebook for Women. McGraw-Hill, 2005. pp118

Vermont Department of Health: "Diabetes and Physical Activity."

Waverly Health Center: "Balancing the Holidays With Diabetes."

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on February 23, 2017

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.