3 Easy Diabetes-Friendly Hosting Tips

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3 Easy Diabetes-Friendly Hosting Tips

Are you having a get-together, maybe a family reunion, or a holiday party and you’re wondering how to accommodate a friend or family member who is living with diabetes? Here are a few key things to keep in mind.

1.    As a general rule, beer is not off limits for adults living with diabetes but…

Adults living with diabetes need to get the OK from their doctor before drinking alcohol. Medical history, medications and blood sugar control are some of the factors that need to be considered.  

What you can do
Offer a variety of beverages including non-alcoholic options:

•    Regular beer in a variety of styles (there are so many!) light beer and non-alcoholic beer;
•    Infused water and sparkling water; 
•    Diet soda, lemonade or iced tea;
•    Tomato juice;
•    Fruit spritzers. 

Good to know: There are many ways to celebrate and enjoy the company of others without alcohol.

2.    Serve carb-rich healthy snacks 

To guard against low blood glucose (sugar), offering carb-rich snacks can go a long way to help people living with diabetes enjoy the party and keep their blood glucose levels on track.

Here’s a reminder of what foods have carbs: fruit and starchy veggies (potatoes, yams, corn, peas), pasta, breads, cereals, crackers, rice, milk, yogurt, beans, lentils, peas.

What you can do
Try offering these snacks: 

•    Baked pita wedges with refried bean dip and fresh tomato salsa;
•    Hummus with bread sticks and veggie sticks;
•    Air popped popcorn mixed with nuts and raisins;
•    Whole grain rye crisp crackers topped with a dollop of ricotta cheese and fresh berries or sliced fruit. 

Good to know: Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines apply to folks living with diabetes. 

3.    Know the signs of low blood glucose (sugar) and how to treat it.

Alcohol can increase the risks for low blood glucose which can be dangerous and should be treated right away. Your guest will know these signs but trusted friends and family members should know them too: 

Signs to watch for: 
•    Weak, drowsy, light-headed;
•    Nauseated;
•    Confused, irritable;
•    Sweaty, shaky;
•    Heart racing; 
•    Numbness, tingling in lips, tongue.

What you can do
If concerned, ask your guest if they have a blood glucose meter to check their reading. If in doubt, treat for low blood sugar. Help your guest take some fast acting sugar: 
•    3 glucose tablets or; 
•    6 Lifesavers® or;
•    ¾ cup of regular pop. 

Good to know: Low blood sugar can happen hours after drinking alcohol, even up to a day after drinking. Of course, if your guest passes out you should immediately call an ambulance. 

Following these simple tips can help to support our friends and family members to manage their diabetes while taking part in get-togethers.

Find out more…

Review the new Diabetes Canada and Beer Canada joint resource, Your Guide to Diabetes and Beer. It’s a helpful resource for folks living with diabetes as well as friends and family members. 

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