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Travelling with diabetes


My husband and I will be visiting Italy this fall. Does anyone have advice about managing diabetes, with the carb-restricted diet that requires, in the home of pasta? He doesn't use insulin, btw, just oral meds, diet and exercise. He doesn't want to have to pass up too many local delights, but of course he doesn't want to get sick, either!

We plan to walk a lot, which will probably help.



Posted by
13 posts

Salads, fruits, meat & cheese dishes are easily found without the high carb/starch content. Exercise will be easy to maintain, lots of stairs, just remember to stay hydrated. I brought some fruit & granola bars from home for when there ended up being extended time between meals.

Posted by
59 posts

The biggest problem I had was the irregular meal times, long lunches and late dinners. If you can get on a schedule close to what you have at home it would help. The breakfasts were mainly rolls and bread, so I bought meat and cheese slices for my hotel fridge. I stayed in apartments/agriturismos when I could that had cooking facilities for scrambling eggs or the nights when I needed to cook a simple meal.

There are alimentari/grocery stores everywhere to get some fruit or snacks.

Most of the restaurants had green salads, grilled veggies, and grilled meat or fish choices. When I had a pasta fix, I split it with a dinner companion. The pasta comes as a separate course and is usually a huge serving.

I was walking 4 to 6 hours a day and that helped.


Posted by
6898 posts

Jane, it's a challenge. I have adult onset diabetes. We just got back. A lot depends on where you stay. At some places, you just get rolls, yogurt, cereals and juice. Other places will include deli-sliced meats and cheese, your only real protein for breakfast. Eggs for breakfast is rare wherever we stayed in Italy or Switzerland. For dinner, you can avoid the pasta dishes as most restaurants have chicken, fish or other meat dishes. Still, I think I blew out my pancreas a couple of times. Note that you will walk 4-7 miles a day (wife has a pedometer). You will also go up approximately 400 stairs a day and down just as many (I counted them).

Posted by
23 posts

With type 2 diabetes, I worried about traveling abroad but found it much easier than expected! Although getting your meds on a transatlantic schedule can be complicated, it's possible. I stick to meat and salads with alittle cheese thrown in. My main piece of advice...carry your meter and peanutbutter crackers with you at all times, as well as glucose tablets. With all the excercise and being in unexpected places at mealtime, having snacks with me was really essential/reassuring. I've been to England, France, Italy, Portugal and now back to Italy again. No problems!!! Have fun!