With vacations, barbecue parties and picnics, summer may be a challenging time for people with diabetes to stick with their regular diabetes management routine. American cooking star Paula Deen knows the temptations of delicious summer fare, like potato salads and barbecued meats, which tend to be high in fats and carbohydrates and can be a challenge for people with diabetes. But Paula, who has type 2 diabetes, has found a way to still enjoy her favorite summer recipes and stick with her daily diabetes management routine.
“Getting together with family and friends for summer barbecues is one of my favorite activities. Even with diabetes, I’ve learned that I can still enjoy all the traditional summer fare, but I just don’t eat as much of it,” said Paula. “I also make sure to get in my daily exercise, which is such an important part of a healthier lifestyle.”
Earlier this year, Paula announced that she has type 2 diabetes. Of the 26 million people in the US with diabetes, 90 to 95 percent have type 2 diabetes, which can be controlled by following a healthy diet and exercise program, losing excess weight and taking medication.
To help people with diabetes enjoy delicious meals with their family and friends, Paula, along with her sons Bobby and Jamie, teamed up with Novo Nordisk on Diabetes in a New Light™, a national initiative that aims to help people like Paula overcome common challenges associated with type 2 diabetes management. Through the campaign, they have been lightening up their favorite recipes to be diabetes-friendly, many of which are perfect for the summer. People can sign up for some of these recipes – including Strawberry and Spinach Salad in a new light and Maple Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Salsa in a new light – at www.DiabetesinaNewLight.com. Also available on the Web site is information on upcoming diabetes cooking events hosted by the Deens and tips and resources for diabetes management.
“It’s easy to slip out of your regular routine in the summer, but it’s important to stay on track by taking your medication daily, getting exercise and eating right,” said Stephen Brunton, MD, an adjunct clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an advisor on Diabetes in a New Light™. “It’s also important to keep your regular doctor’s appointments, which are crucial to ensuring that your diabetes management regimen is working for you.”
Along with changing her eating habits and exercising more, Paula takes her medication daily to help her manage her type 2 diabetes. Paula also sees her doctor regularly to make sure her blood sugar is where it’s supposed to be.
“I’ve realized that diabetes management doesn’t have to get in the way of enjoying life, even in the summer,” said Paula. “In fact, I’m really excited to take advantage of all summer has to offer: from the great fruits and veggies that are growing in my garden to the warm, sunny weather, which makes me yearn for a walk around my property or along the beach. I just love it all!”