Keeping sugar levels under control is a lifelong task for people with diabetes. Irrespective of their surroundings and daily routine, they have to adhere to a particular lifestyle that involves healthy eating habits to keep their sugar levels regulated throughout the day. With a hectic work schedule, this can become a challenging task, which may cause people to overlook what they eat during the day, ultimately resulting in increased sugar levels.
Dr. Ratan Kumar Vaish, Senior Consultant Physician from Astha Multi Specialty Center, Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, offers mindful eating tips and some healthy snack options for those who tend to have a busy work schedule.
Never skip your breakfast – If your blood sugar levels have dropped during the night and you skip your breakfast because you are running late for work or because you are headed for a meeting, it could lead to serious consequences. Your sugar levels can drop drastically and you may experience dizziness, weakness and a blackout. Therefore, eating right at work begins even before you start your day. You should have your first meal of the day within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning to regulate your sugar level. The first portion of food could be either one small chapati or a sugar-free biscuit.
Avoid eating heavy meals at work – Spread out your meals over the day in small portions instead of having three heavy meals in a day. Eight small meals spread over an interval of 2 hours will help keep your sugar levels steady throughout.
Avoid eating in the cafeteria – Food served at many workplace cafeterias is oily, fatty and processed.This can disrupt your eating habits and increase your sugar levels. So, don’t rely on it. Carrying home-cooked food and snacks is the best option.
Healthy eating options at work – There are several healthy options to choose from for snacking.
- Whole wheat bread sandwich with vegetables – You can easily pack a sandwich made of one medium-sized slice of whole wheat bread with some vegetables like spinach, peas, and tomatoes. Avoid including potatoes in them.
- Fruits – Including fruits in your diet can be tricky since they contain natural sugar. So, the best way to include fruits is by monitoring the portion size. For example, one small-sized apple or one small-sized orange can be included in one meal portion for the day. Other fruits like papayas and mangoes should be limited to 100 gm in one portion for the day.
- Nuts and dry fruits – Walnuts, almonds and other nuts come handy and don’t need the extra effort of cooking. You can always carry them with you and munch on them when you are travelling.
- Legumes and vegetables – Fibre-rich vegetables and legumes should form a part of your meal during the day. You can include them in your afternoon meal or during dinner with one whole wheat chapati.
Be careful while you are travelling – There are many airports and good hotels that offer low glycemic index food options for you to choose from. Always look for meal options before you plan your travel and stay, so you can be stress-free after you reach your destination. If you’re going on a long business trip, it’s better to discuss your diet with your dietitian or your doctor.