FOOD & FITNESS / FEB. 26, 2015
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How to Manage a Diabetic Diet at Work

People with diabetes follow a carefully planned eating regime. This is relatively straightforward at home, but what about when you’re out and about at work?

If you’re busy running around all day, make sure that you have your blood glucose meter to hand so that you can monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. Make sure you carry an emergency carbohydrate source too; glucose tablets, hard candy, sugar cubes or non-diet fizzy drinks are all handy and easily tucked away in your desk, handbag or briefcase.

Even if things get hectic, always take time out for a quick healthy snack at regular intervals during the day to help keep your energy levels up and your blood sugar stable.

On the Road

If you have a job that takes you out of the office for all or much of the day, you’ll probably find yourself eating on the run. Prepare for this by investing in a small cool-box and packing it with suitable snacks, sandwiches, water and fruit. Put a small bottle of still mineral water in the freezer overnight, wrap it in a kitchen towel and pop it in with your lunch. This will help to keep your food cool and fresh and will be ready to drink by the time you stop for lunch.

Remember to put a pack of baby-wipes in too in case of sticky fingers.

Fast food outlets aren’t the healthiest choice for lunch but most offer salads these days, and supermarket delis have a good selection of healthy, ready-to-go meals. Some large shops like Boots the Chemist, for example, offer a good range of diabetic ready meals and snacks that you can pick up while you’re out on the road.

In the Air

If you commute by plane as part of your job, eating right can be a problem. The meals and snacks on offer will vary depending upon the duration of your flight, the airline and whether you’re in Business Class or Standard. Phone the airline at least 24 hours ahead of your travel time to check out what’s available. You may be able to order a special diabetic meal if you’re on a long-haul flight. Otherwise, the best plan is to pack a small snack box of your own in your hand luggage. Include healthy nibbles like unsalted nuts, fruit and granola bars, rather than chocolate and biscuits.

In the Office

A busy office job can mean long hours, especially for newly graduated employees who are out to impress. Be very wary of working through meal breaks and not eating properly; it’s easily done, and you could end up suffering for your dedication.

If you have access to a refrigerator in your office, take in some suitable snacks, soups and chilled meals and bring plenty of fresh fruit to keep you going. Office vending machines don’t generally contain healthy snacks that fit well with a diabetic diet so bring your own selection and keep it in an airtight plastic box in your desk drawer.

Packed lunches are usually the best way to go rather than using the office canteen. You can put together a well-balanced lunch in line with your diabetic menu rather than having to mix and match food that might not be suitable. Keep your provisions in the office fridge if there is one, or get yourself a small cool box to keep under your desk. Always label your stuff clearly “diabetic diet only” to deter any would-be office fridge bandits!

Whatever your occupation, if you’re diabetic, it’s essential that you maintain a healthy balanced diet while you’re at work. With a little thought and pre-planning you can keep yourself healthy and fit without having to resort to unsuitable junk food that could unbalance your blood sugar levels and compromise your health.

Are you a diabetic in the working world? How do you manage your diet? Your thoughts and comments below please...

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