Despite what many think, diabetes does not have to deter people who have the disease from enjoying Super Bowl Sunday parties along with everyone else, according to the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). In fact, managing your diabetes is often an exercise in moderation, more than anything else. With more than 24 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes, this is a very real issue, but there is no reason diabetics can't enjoy the festivities -- and the food -- at Super Bowl parties. The AADE put together the following tips for people with diabetes who want to enjoy the food - but need a little guidance about how to eat smart given all of the Super Bowl food temptations.

1. Don't run a hurry-up offense when you get to the table:
• Wait to see all the hors d'oeuvres that are available and then decide to have the two that look the best to you
• Pick the most healthful choices-shrimp cocktail, meat or vegetable skewers, and sushi
• Survey the entire table before you take any food. Decide what foods are worth eating and what can be ignored, and then stick to that decision. Why waste calories on foods that don't bring you pleasure?

2. Play the fundamentals of the game:

• Fill an appetizer plate with your favorite vegetables and enjoy
• Take a small spoonful of dip or skip it entirely
• At the buffet, concentrate on vegetables and greens; make lean proteins and starches your smallest portions
• Select chicken, meat, fish, or pork that is broiled, grilled, roasted, or seared

3. Don't play on an empty stomach:

• Eat a snack before you leave home. If you arrive at a party hungry, you'll be more likely to overindulge

4. Do an end-run around the bread and rolls:

• Save your calories, so you can later enjoy other foods that are more nutritious

5. Stay hydrated so you can make the big plays:

• Eat your calories instead of drinking them. Stick to lower calorie or calorie-free drinks
• Sip a large glass of water between every alcoholic drink. This will help keep you hydrated and you'll drink fewer calories by the end of the night.

6. Don't eat like a line backer:

• Drop out of the "clean plate club". Leave a few bites behind every time you eat, especially if you are eating something you don't really care for
• Enjoy your favorite treats but take a small portion
• Watch your portion sizes. Don't cover your plate completely with food. In most cases, especially when it comes to party sweets and alcoholic beverages, less is better

7. Go for the extra points:

• Allow yourself to have a piece of cake, decadent chocolate, or a delicious pastry-factored into healthful eating and living, you can include these as part of a good diet
• Taste a few bites of your dessert; if it is not delicious, do not eat the whole thing anyway


Source: American Association of Diabetes Educators

Originally posted by on January 28, 2011.