With the Summer Solstice fast approaching, many Americans celebrate Memorial Day, Father’s Day Fourth of July, Labor Day, birthdays, engagements and so much more with backyard barbeques. Traditionally, mac and cheese, egg salad, ribs, sausage, chili, macaroni salad, hot dogs, and hamburgers are the staple of an American BBQ but, for Type II Diabetics, making healthier decisions can allow for an enjoyable time while prioritizing a healthy life style. For instance, opt for carrots and celery over chips and dip. Or collard greens instead of Mac and cheese if you are craving a taste of the South. Choosing lean meats such as grilled chicken or turkey over sausage and hot dogs are great protein alternatives. Not a fan of white meat? Treat yourself to lean cuts of steak such as sirloin, round, tenderloin or flank. Excess sugar in sauces will set you back; alternatively, cook your meats and veggies in a dry rub.
The American Diabetes Association advises planning ahead to avoid sabotaging your blood glucose levels.
- Stay active – Know you’ll be attending a BBQ this weekend? Be sure to exercise at least 30 minutes per day throughout the week.
- Bring what you like – volunteer to bring a veggie dish you enjoy. Summer squash, bell peppers and corn are great additions to the menu and in season! Enjoy non-starchy veggies to fill you up.
- Eat smaller portions – Go for a smaller plate to keep portion sizes down. This will also help you avoid the lethargic feeling that accompanies over eating.
The CDC suggests avoiding foods and drinks that are high in sugar such as soda or sweet tea, using less salt and avoiding canned meats or vegetables. Instead, go for dark green veggies, orange veggies, beans and peas.
The variety of delicious temptation can seem endless at a BBQ but making healthy choices is possible while enjoying time with friends and family.
By: Danielle Floyd
Danielle Floyd serves as executive assistant, at The Risk Authority Stanford, to the CEO and Interim COO. In her role, Danielle also provides administrative support for TRA Stanford consulting, education seminars/ conferences, press and more. Danielle graduated with a BS in Heath Science from California State University East Bay with a concentration on community health. Prior to joining TRA Stanford, she worked in the nonprofit field focusing on improving the lives of children with chronic illness through arts and athletics