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Out and about

Eating well when you’re out and about can be a bit of a challenge. Who isn’t tempted by treats? Who doesn’t sometimes get carried away in restaurants?

Having diabetes shouldn’t stop you grabbing a great lunch, enjoying a takeaway or dining out at a restaurant. The important thing is to keep to a healthy, balanced diet most of the time.

There’s no such thing as a diabetic diet – we recommend that people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes follow a healthy, balanced diet, which will help you to manage your blood sugar levels.

Making healthy choices whilst eating out

Learning how labels on pre-packaged foods and drinks work can help you make healthier choices. These tell you the amount of fats, calories, sugar and salt in the product, and how much they contribute to what you’re eating each day. With colour-coded ‘traffic-light’ labels, go for green most of the time, amber occasionally, and only have red on special occasions – and in small portions.

If you're having lunch, why not choose wholegrain bread, or go for a wrap with chicken, turkey or fish? If you’re having mayonnaise, choose a low-fat mayo or low-fat yogurt dressing. A healthy lunch can still be a very tasty lunch.

Eating out at a restaurant? You could choose a steamed or grilled option rather than a fried one with no compromise on flavour. It’s the same story for takeaways… You can swap deep-fried fish in batter for a steamed version, perhaps go ‘bun-less’ on your burger, or choose a thin and crispy pizza over deep-pan.

There are many reasons why we eat – and hunger is only one of them. In her series ‘Food, family and diabetes’, Dr Jen Nash looks at the psychology of food and eating and provides helpful tips on learning how to say no.

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