Game Day Tips for People with Diabetes

Millions of Americans will soon be viewing the big game, eating, drinking and socializing.  And, many of these fans and partygoers are people who have diabetes, or are at risking of developing diabetes.  Game day parties for these people can be challenging.

The traditional game day menus are loaded with unhealthy temptations that are high in fat, sugar and possibly alcohol. These foods represent serious risks for people with diabetes. But experts at the American Association of Diabetes Educators say that there are simple measures for people with diabetes to take so that they can enjoy the game safely.


  1. Eat a small, balanced meal or snack before you leave home for the game. If you arrive at a party hungry, you’ll be more likely to overindulge
  2. Choose raw vegetables – such as broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower and tomatoes that are usually on the buffet table – take only a spoonful of dip or skip it entirely
  3. Choose lean proteins that are not breaded or fried. Select chicken, veggie or lean turkey burgers, or baked vegetarian beans
  4. Take only a small portion of cheese – 1 oz is approximately 5-7 small cubes
  5. Take chips and crackers out of the package and put a small portion on the plate
  6. If you want a chicken wing or piece of pizza take a small portion, but fill up on the healthier foods first
  7. Check your blood glucose before mealtime and as needed
  8. Sit away from the food
  9. Stick to calorie-free drinks, eat your calories instead of drinking them. Limit your alcohol intake, 2 drinks for men, 1 drink for women.
  10. Take a walk at halftime and after the game. Even moderate amounts of exercise can help stabilize blood glucose levels

Enjoy the game!

“There is no reason for people with diabetes to avoid game day parties and events and not enjoy them to the fullest,” 

What are you having to eat during the game? Any tips you would like to share to stay healthy during times like this??

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  1. Thanks for thinking of us diabetics! This advice, unfortunately, is coming from an organization that’s stuck in the mindset that derives from bad science from the 70s. I’m speaking, naturally, of the notion that dietary fat is tied to coronary disease (a disease that plagues diabetics). High cholesterol is one indicator that’s been tied to heart disease. The misguided thinking behind these guidelines (you’ll all be familiar with this) is that eating fat—particularly animal fat, i.e., cholesterol—will cause elevated cholesterol in humans.

    This is incorrect. What causes high cholesterol is ingesting carbohydrates that are then turned into triglycerides in the liver, as well as lack of exercise.

    What ameliorates high cholesterol is to stay away from carbohydrates, for one thing, and to exercise, for another.

    What will really help diabetics is to avoid “low fat” dressing, or anything else labeled “low-fat,” contrary to the advice above (instead, stick to the high fat dressing on your crudites, for the same reason that anybody else would: you want a lower carbohydrate snack than something that’s been stripped of fat and is therefore higher in carbs).

    Eat high-fat meat. It’s good for you.

    Exercise, for sure, that’s good advice.

    A wonderful book on all this is Gary Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories.” It’s insanely thorough, but man o man, is it worth it!

    I’ve had Type 1 diabetes for 49 years and care passionately about getting diabetics away from the misinformation out there. Thanks for doing whatever you can to help!

    • Hear, Hear!!! While most of the advice in this is harmless, from a blood sugar standpoint I would caution against baked beans, vegetarian or not. Virtually all of them are cooked with brown sugar (if not High Fructose Corn Syrup), and beans are a complex carbohydrate, which is just a long chain of sugar molecules linked together. These links are broken by our digestive enzymes, and the sugar enters the bloodstream the same as eating Fruit Loops. Avoid the chips and crackers, too.

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