Strategies for diabetes and healthy eating in the workplace

October 9, 2015

It seems that every day or so, well-meaning co-workers bring homemade treats. Sometimes it's easier to eat up rather than hurt feeling so having a kind "no" prepared in advance can keep sugary treats from sending blood-sugar levels soaring.

Strategies for diabetes and healthy eating in the workplace

Have an office-party strategy

Supplying your own foods when there is an office party or food-related event so you can healthfully join in whatever event your co-workers are celebrating — especially when there are cakes, or scones, or puffy croissants that everyone is sharing. Have fortitude — and a diabetes-friendly treat that you bring for the occasion. It could be a single-serving item just for you or maybe a small tray of no-sugar treats for anyone wanting a healthier alternative. Bring in fresh berries or cut-up fruit. Who knows? In time, the whole office might change to healthy alternatives!

Avoid take-out temptation

If you work at a place where your coworkers order off of a takeout menu and eat together, you probably don't want to be the unsociable one. Do your homework by scanning all the office takeout menus privately, choosing healthy options for each. Without glancing at the menu again, ask for one of those dishes, and you won't even have to look temptation in the face.

How to eat healthy at a restaurant

In the office, you can use these excuses: "No thanks, but I've already been snacking at my desk," or, "I appreciate the offer, but I have a delicious supper planned for tonight, so I'm saving room for that". Those will work in the office but what do you do if your co-workers decide to go out together for a meal? When dining out, try following these healthy ordering rules:

  • Drink water with your meal. Not only are soft drinks, lemonade and sweetened iced tea loaded with sugar and calories, they detract from the food. If you want a cocktail, that's fine. Just remember that it adds 100 calories to your meal.
  • Have nothing fried. Frying is an incredibly unhealthy cooking method. It adds large amounts of fat to any food and can more than double the calorie count.
  • Order soup or salad. These are often creative, delicious and among the healthiest choices, assuming you skip creamed soups and keep salad dressing on the side.
  • Share your dessert. It only takes a few bites to satisfy your craving for sweets. A whole dessert is often as calorie, carb, and fat-dense as the main course.
  • Choose healthy sides. A serving of French fries is roughly 500 calories — often more than the feature food it accompanies. Choose vegetable side dishes that aren't creamy or buttery, and your side dish will be under 100 calories.

Even if you say "no thanks" to candy, desserts and sweetened beverages like soft drinks, iced teas and fruit punch, be careful of other places sugars can hide, such as in salad dressings, ketchup, bread, yogurt and more.

With these healthy tips at your fingertips, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to join in on the fun.

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