Buffets can be a fun way to share meals with family and friends. Whether at a potluck party or a restaurant, buffets offer lots of tasty dishes you may not eat every day. However, they also can be challenging, especially if you have diabetes. How can you stay healthy and still enjoy your favorite dishes? You can do it by planning ahead, choosing wisely, and watching how much you eat. So, grab your plate and head for the buffet.

WHEN YOU GO

  • Plan ahead. Before you go, think about the foods that might be served on the buffet. Decide which foods will help keep your blood sugar under control and which foods you want to avoid.
  • Check out all that’s offered on the buffet. Before you serve yourself, look at all the options first, then choose one or two favorite treats along with healthier items to round out your meal.
  • Watch your portions. Many of your favorite foods may have a lot of fat, sugar, or salt. Take very small portions of deep-fried foods, fatty foods like bacon or pork, cheesy foods, and desserts.
  • Come prepared. If possible, bring a low-fat main dish so you’ll have something healthy to eat. Let people know what ingredients you used. This will be helpful for your friends and family members who are also trying to watch what they eat.
  • Focus on family and friends, instead of the food. One trip to the buffet table may be enough if you make enjoying the company of your loved ones the focus of the day.

For more useful tips, view this resource from the National Diabetes Education Program.