Food and Travel

Web Resource Last Updated: 05-10-2020

Wherever you travel, you will find that the food usually consists of the same basic ingredients. The carbohydrate part of the diet of most countries is made up of a combination of bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, starchy vegetables and cereals.

The following points may be useful to keep in mind when you travel to another country: 

Food

  • Carry some biscuits or sandwiches with you when you travel to cover any unexpected delays en route.
  • Keep some food where it can be easily reached, e.g. in your hand luggage.
  • Take along a supply of your favourite artificial sweeteners, if you use them.
  • If you are keeping to a daily carbohydrate allowance it is useful to know that one small slice of bread contains 15 g carbohydrate, and one small potato, one heaped tablespoon of boiled rice and two heaped tablespoons of cooked pasta each contain approximately 10 g carbohydrate.
  • Airlines can tell you about the timing of meals on long-haul flights. They will provide a special ‘diabetic’ meal if you request this in advance but it may not contain much carbohydrate, so you will perhaps need to add a bread roll or some fruit. The standard meals are usually just as suitable.

Drink 

  • In a hot climate, drink plenty to replace the fluid lost as perspiration.
  • Don't drink alcohol on an empty stomach as it lowers your blood glucose level, and avoid low-carbohydrate beers which can be high in alcohol.
  • Sugar-free soft drinks can be difficult to find in some countries. You could take some sugar-free concentrate or squash with you and add it to local bottled water. Remember, however, the restrictions about taking liquids on an aeroplane.
  • When using bottled water ensure that the seal is unbroken.
  • Remember that a small glass of unsweetened fruit juice contains 10 g carbohydrate.
  • Some traditional drinks are always served sweetened, e.g. Turkish coffee, tea in India.

Stomach upsets

If you become ill, be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Try to eat little but often. If you have lost your appetite, you can use fruit juice, milk, sweetened yoghurts and fizzy drinks (not diet versions) to replace some of the carbohydrate you would get from a meal.

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