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Recipes and Tips for a Diabetes-Friendly Eating During the Big Game

CHICAGO, IL — January 24, 2012 — The news of celebrity chef Paula Deen having diabetes has triggered a national conversation about how diet affects people with diabetes or those who are at risk of getting it.   

And, with the Big Game right around the corner… hosting or attending a party and being tempted with a large number of “unhealthy” foods can can be particularly hard for people with diabetes trying to make healthy choices. 

However, if people with diabetes follow these strategies and recipes created by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, they can maintain blood sugar levels and enjoy the party along with everyone else. In fact, managing diabetes is often an exercise in moderation and planning, more than anything else.

Visit the online guide with recipes for turkey chili, chicken tenders and roasted red pepper dip at

And, get ready for the party by making a Healthy Eating Game Plan.

Here are five tips for Game Day:

1. Don’t play on an empty stomach.

  • Eat a small, balanced meal or snack before you leave home for the game. If you arrive at a party hungry, you’ll be more likely to overindulge.

2. Examine the playing field.

  • Study ALL of the selections, and think about what you are going to have before you put anything on your plate.
  • If you taste something that you don’t enjoy, leave it on your plate-don’t finish it!

3.  Focus on the fundamentals. 

  • Choose raw vegetables first.  Broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower, and tomatoes are good choices that are usually on the buffet table. Take only a small spoonful of dip or skip it entirely.
  • Choose lean proteins that are not breaded or fried.  Select chicken, veggie or turkey burgers, or baked beans.
  • Take only a small portion of cheese – 1oz is approximately 5-7 small cubes.
  • Eat chips and crackers in moderation. Don’t eat them straight from the bag, put some on a small plate and don’t load them down with creamy mayo-based dips.
  • If you want to eat a high-fat or high-calorie item- like wings, pizza or nachos-take a small portion and put it on your plate last, after you’ve filled up the space with healthier options.
  • Remember to regularly check your blood sugar the day of the game.
  • Try not to hang out near the food to avoid grazing.

4. Stay hydrated.

  • Stick to calorie-free drinks so that you can eat your calories, instead of drinking them. 
  • Drink only moderate amounts of alcohol (2 drinks for men, 1 drink for women).

5. Go for the extra point!

  • Before the game, play your own game of flag football, or participate in some other type of physical activity. Regular exercise is key to managing your diabetes.
  • If you ate more carbs or more food in general than you planned for during the game, shake it off.  Don’t replay the error; instead, make a plan to get back on track and stick to it.

About the AADE: 

Founded in 1973, AADE is a multi-disciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving diabetes care through education.  With more than 12,000 professional members including physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and others, AADE has a vast network of practitioners involved in the daily treatment of diabetes patients.  To learn more go to:

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