Summer time! Enjoy the beautiful weather, do nice things and maybe even go on holidays. During summer it can be more difficult to keep your blood sugar level stable. For example, high temperatures can lead to higher or lower sugar levels. And a different eating, exercising or sleeping rhythm can also influence your blood sugar. Therefore we give you 8 tips to keep your blood sugar level under control as much as possible during summer.
1. Drink enough
When temperatures are high, there is a risk of dehydration. You lose more body fluid due to the heat. If you don’t replenish this loss, you can become dehydrated and your sugar levels may rise. And higher sugar levels can then cause you to urinate more often and dehydrate even further. Therefore, drink enough, especially water. Soft drinks and all those tasty summer fruit juices are rich in (fruit) sugars and therefore not good for your sugar level. And when you’re done with water, spice the water up with herbs and fruit. For example with a twig of mint, slices of strawberry and a slice of lime. Make a carafe right away and put it in the fridge or add ice cubes for a wonderfully refreshing drink.
2. Choose non-alcoholic
Alcohol also increases the risk of dehydration. It causes you to urinate more often. And too little fluid in your body can, as mentioned above, lead to higher blood sugar values. Not to mention the amount of sugar in summer cocktails, refreshing beers and mixed drinks. Therefore, do not drink alcohol or a maximum of 1 glass per day.
3. Go for red summer fruit
In the summer there is an abundance of fruit. Melon, peach, apricot, nectarine, berries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are now the tastiest. Fruit is very healthy, but also contains carbohydrates / fruit sugars that raise your sugar level. Therefore, do not eat too much fruit at one time. And choose strawberries or raspberries, for example, because they are lower in fruit sugar. Are you hungry? Eat a handful of nuts or quark with it. In the table below you can compare the types of fruit per 100 grams. Do realise that a banana weighs 135 grams on average and that a slice of watermelon could weigh 300 grams. You quickly get too much fruit sugar in one go per portion of fruit.
Fruit type: carbohydrates (per 100 grams)
- Currants: 4.4 g
- Strawberries: 5.1 g
- Apricot: 8 g
- Apple: 12 g
- Banana: 20 g
- Blueberries: 6 g
- Raspberries: 4.5 g
- Galia melon: 6 g
- Nectarine: 6.5 g
- Peach: 7.2 g
- Watermelon: 8 g
4. Keep moving (quietly)
One takes it easy, while the other becomes more active during holidays. Both have an effect on the blood sugar levels. It’s always a good idea to keep moving. Be mindful of the heat. For example, plan physical activity in the early morning or evening when it has cooled down a bit. Or exercise in an air-conditioned room.
5. BBQ? Try something different than baguettes and potato salads
Summer means BBQ. Lean meat, fish and vegetables are great choices for your sugar level. Baguette and potato salad, on the other hand, are less good. French bread is often white and 3 slices with herb butter quickly contain 15 g of carbohydrates. That is as much as 1 sandwich. And due to the lack of fibres in white bread, your sugar level will rise faster. So, keep it to a maximum of 1 or 2 slices. And for example, make the following salad instead of the potato salad (source: Diabetes Meal Plans). Guaranteed just as tasty and much better for your sugar level.
- 500 grams short cooked (frozen) cauliflower
- ½ finely chopped red onion
- 4 chopped hard-boiled eggs
- ½ red pepper in pieces
- 60 grams ham strips (leg ham or gammon)
- 2 sliced scallions
- Dressing: e.g. 2 tbsp mayonnaise and 2 tbsp yoghourt
- Pepper and salt to taste
6. Stick to a rhythm
During holidays, your daily routine often changes. You get up a little later, eat at different times and maybe exercise more or less. This can affect your sugar levels. If you have a late breakfast, but lunch at the same time as normal, you may start your lunch with a higher sugar value and then peak. And if you are going to dinner late, it may be wise to eat a nutritious snack in between your lunch and dinner. This is to prevent you from being very hungry by the time you have dinner. Then it’s more difficult to keep your portion of carbohydrates small and to not let your sugar level rise too much. Your holiday rhythm can be quite different from your home routine, but try to stick to a rhythm during holidays as well.
7. Modify foreign dishes a bit
Holidays often mean eating differently than at home. So, how can you take your diabetes into account? By making smart adjustments! Below are some nice alternatives.
- Italy. Pizzas and pastas, or in other words a lot of carbohydrates! Go for a caprese salad or a delicious meat or fish dish with vegetables. Still pizza? Then don’t take a whole pizza but 1 or 2 slices and eat vegetables with it.
- Germany. Schnitzels, bratkartoffeln and flammkuchen. Pay attention to your portion size here. A little less potato and fries, and a little more salad from the salad bar.
- France. Baguettes, croissants and French cheeses. The first two are not so good for your sugar level. Opt for a savoury breakfast with eggs instead. Other good choices are ratatouille and a salad niçoise.
- Thailand. Noodles and mango sticky rice. And also lots of stir-fried vegetables. Take a lot of these veggies, along with chicken, shrimp and fish. And possibly omit the sauces, because they often contain a lot of sugar.
8. Check your glucose values
To find out how your blood sugar reacts to higher temperatures, different daily routines and foreign dishes, use the Clear.bio Check and get 100% personalised tips and guidance of our dietitians in the chat. Even when you are on holidays!
The Clear.bio team wishes you a nice and healthy summer!