Traveling with Diabetes: Tips to Keep Your Diet-and Your Health-On-Track

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You may be more tempted to ditch your healthy eating habits when you’re traveling and not follow your normal diet, but don’t do it. On the contrary, try to be extra aware of what you’re eating and how it affects your blood sugar. The following tips can help you make smart choices that won’t sabotage your blood glucose control.

1. If your flight serves food, request a diabetes-friendly meal from the airline in advance. On airplanes, wait until the food is coming down the aisle before administering a fast-acting insulin.

2. When dining in an unfamiliar environment, be careful about what you are eating. Whether you’re on land in the United States or overseas or on a ship in the middle of the ocean, a fruit is a fruit, a carb is a carb, and a fat is a fat. Do your best to calculate the amount of carbohydrates you are eating, whether it is rice, roti, or papaya. Watch out for oils and fats, and remember, if a food or drink tastes sweet, it is probably high in carbohydrates. And always, of course, beware of the water you drink. Bottled water bought from a reliable source is the rule.

3. Keep in mind that checking your blood glucose while traveling is even more important than when you are home. The food, the physical activity, and the time changes can all wreak havoc on your control of your diabetes. The only way you’ll know-and the best way to prevent emergencies-is to check your blood glucose regularly.