If your diabetes can be controlled by your diet, or by taking tablets, then you can still hold a licence to drive a HGV. But how can you keep it under control when you’re on the road – and surrounded by unhealthy and extremely high in sugar food options at every service station that you turn into?
Here’s our guide for HGV drivers driving with diabetes…
As you will already know, whilst a diabetes-friendly diet doesn’t mean that you have to eliminate sugar all together, the chances are that currently, you’re consuming more sugar than is really necessary.
It can be time consuming, but what you really need to do is cut out the hidden sugars from your diet so that you’re having everything in moderation – that after all is the key!
Sugar can be hidden in nearly anything that you buy, like tinned soups, pasta sauces, ketchup and there is often, not surprisingly, a very high content in fast food meals (as tempting as they might be).
By being aware of these hidden sugars, you are able to make a conscious effort to cut them out – doing this could even allow you to eat more of those sugary snacks that you’re craving, or even a high in calorie, fancy takeaway coffee to keep you going.
Schedule your stops
We know that you plan your stops already, but making sure that you time them right with when you need to eat, is essential.
The point of scheduling in your food stops is for two reasons, it will make you eat less as you won’t be as tempted to snack and you will also be less tempted to eat badly – if you do this properly, you can choose service stations that offer certain types of food so that you don’t pick up the things that aren’t good for you! You already plan your breaks ahead of schedule, so why not do the same with your diet?
Now you know what you should steer away from, what foods would actually be good for you to eat?
The ideal foods
Some of these foods you might not be able to just pick up from a shop on your journey, so make the most of any preparation time you have and take advantage of the cooler in your cabin!
Fruit and Veg
Might be an obvious choice – they can be used as great snacks rather than in what you’re probably thinking and making a big meal with them! Why not go raw – and keep yourself full of the good stuff.
Eating fruits can satisfy your cravings for all things sweet like chocolate, a perfect healthy alternative. And they don’t have to be boring, you can pick up some weird and wonderful fruits these days, make the most of the variety.
These items aren’t as ‘refined’ as what you’re normally used to eating… It means choosing the brown option over the white most of the time (pasta, rice and bread). This might be where you would have to prepare tasty meals in advance so that you can eat them on the go, however more and more service station shops are starting to stock meals that make use of these ‘unbroken’ grains, so look out for them!
But not too much protein… Studies have shown that eating too much protein can actually cause insulin resistance, which would cause you a lot of problems.
A healthy diet is a about balance, so you need to make sure that you’re eating all of the food groups, but when it comes to protein, stick to the good stuff! This means beans, fish and skinless chicken – all will help to keep your levels in check!
On the run
We know that it would be unrealistic for you not to grab food on the run when you spend all of your days driving up and down the country – and that you won’t always have time to prepare meals either.
So when you do have to stop for food, replace the bad things for more sensible options and when you have no other choice than to get fast food, pick nutritious.
Photo Credit: SteFou!