Food and Travel

Some tips to help you enjoy the local cuisine while travelling.


 Food in most countries consists of the same basic ingredients. The carbohydrate part of the diet will be made up from bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, starchy vegetables and cereals.

The following points may be useful to keep in mind:


  • Carry some biscuits or sandwiches to cover any unexpected delays en route.
  • Keep some food where it can be easily reached e.g. in hand luggage.
  • Take along a supply of your favourite artificial sweeteners, if you use them.
  • If keeping to a daily carbohydrate allowance it is useful to know that 1 oz (approximately 30g) bread contains 15g carbohydrate and 1 small potato/1 large tablespoon boiled rice/2 large tablespoons pasta all contain approximately 10g carbohydrate.
  • Airlines can tell you about the timing of meals on long haul flights. They will provide a special 'diabetic' meal if requested in advance but it may not contain much carbohydrate, so you may need to add a bread roll or some fruit. The standard meals are usually just as good.


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 sugar, and avoid low carbohydrate beers which can be high in alcohol.
  • Remember that when driving abroad the limit for drinking and driving can be lower.
  • Sugar free soft drinks can be difficult to find, the availability varies in different countries. Taking along some sugar free concentrates or squash can be helpful. These can be added to local bottled water.
  • When using bottled water ensure that the seal is unbroken.
  • Remember that a small glass of unsweetened fruit juice contains 10g carbohydrate.
  • Some traditional drinks are always served sweetened, e.g. Turkish coffee, tea in India.

Stomach Upsets

Should you become ill be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Try to eat little but often, make use of sweetened fizzy drinks and yoghurts, not diet types to replace parts of meals e.g. orange juice, milk, ordinary fizzy drinks which contain (20 -35g carbohydrate per can).

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