TRAVELING TO PARIS WITH DIABETES
Let me guess: you’ve just bought a plane ticket to Paris, the most beautiful city in the World. And now you’re wondering if your diabetes will let you enjoy your dream destination as much as you deserve it?
Stop wondering: all you need before traveling with diabetes is a tiny bit of preplanning and organisation. And you’re in luck: Sweet Trip has done some research for you! Here’s what we’re gonna deal with in this article (click and jump to any part):
Did you know that Sweet Trip is also publishing country-specific diabetes travel guides?
Well, we’ve got the Paris one!
Check it out, here are some sample pages for you:
PARIS, FRENCH FOOD, AND DIABETES
French cuisine’s excellent reputation precedes it: ever since the Middle Ages, which were rife with lavish feasts, French gastronomy hasn’t ceased to inspire chefs worldwide. In 2010 the “gastronomic meal of the French” was even inscribed on the UNESCO list of The Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Diverse, sophisticated, flavourful, it will make up an important part of your stay in Paris. You will discover everything from local dishes, to Parisian bistro recipes, and maybe the magic of top-ranked chefs.
That being said, what really interests us here is to get some tips on how to enjoy French food within our diabetes-friendly diet.
French cuisine is generally well-balanced, and it should not be too hard to delight yourself and balance out your meals at the same time.
LOW-CARB FRENCH DISHES
French food is so diverse that you can find pretty much any type of food on a restaurant menu. From the most carby dishes to the best nutritional ones!
Lucky you, some of the best and most famous French dishes are actually quite low in carbs! Below are some of our favorite low-carb French dishes that you can enjoy without worrying too much about your blood sugar levels while in Paris!
As its name implies, this dish originates from the Burgundy region, renowned for its wines. The beef is immersed in a red wine, bacon, onion, garlic, and mixed herb sauce and prepared in a pressure cooker.
23% of the French population claims that if France were to be associated with any one specific dish, it would be the bœuf bourguignon. That is why you can not miss it! Normally, there are no carbs in sight! But ask your waiter just the same, since certain recipes call for carrots and potatoes.
A source of tremendous pride for inhabitants of Marseille, the bouillabaisse is more than just a fish soup. It was originally a soup concocted by fishermen, and it was made using unsold products. Today, it contains scorpion fish, red mullet, weever, and/or gurnard, generally accompanied by some seafood (mussels and shrimp) cooked in a stock of water and white wine. Traditionally, it will be served to you in two courses: the soup with croutons and bread with rouille sauce, followed by the fish served up on a plate.
Succulent and no counter-indications to speak of, so you’re free to enjoy yourself. The bread croutons will provide a few carbs if needed.
TARTARE DE BOEUF
Raw and finely minced beef avored with diverse condiments that you mix yourself (capers, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, minced onions, Tabasco) and topped with a raw egg yolk. The freshness of the meat is primordial to avoid any health issues, but French bistros have been preparing it for decades! Beef tartar is a harmless delicacy.
Most often, it comes with French fries on the side, but if you only have a few of them and get tasty mixed salad, it should be alright!
Slow-cooked ragout with sunshine vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, peppers), seasoned with olive oil and Provençal herbs, the ratatouille is the ideal deliciously low-carb side dish to (almost) any of your meals. It is completely vegetarian and vegan.
This will be your best bet in France!
Mussels cooked in a marinière sauce made from white wine and shallots. An unmissable French classic that you'll find in Parisian restaurants, especially around the Saint-Michel district.
You can go ahead and enjoy them with peace of mind. However, you will usually find them served with a bowl of French fries that is hard to resist...
DIABETES-FRIENDLY FRENCH DESSERTS
The French culinary journey wouldn’t be complete without its famous desserts. Colorful and flavorful, French pastry doesn’t cease to amaze us.
Yes, French desserts are generally sweet, but they’re far from being prohibited as far as diabetes is concerned, and especially if we have them at the end of a low-carb meal. And Oscar Wilde was right when he said:
“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”
To help you yield in a well-informed and guilt-free way, we’ve selected 20 of the most popular desserts found on French restaurant menus. You can find them all in our Full travel guide to Paris with diabetes.
And for this article, here are our favorite three common French not-too-sugary desserts:
The cream is made with milk, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla, then coated in a fine layer of crispy caramelized sugar with the aid of a kitchen torch.
The cream itself isn’t all that sweet, but its fine crispy layer is nothing but sugar!
It’s similar to yogurt but produced in the same way as cheese. Made with cow’s milk, goat milk or sheep’s milk, it contains more protein and calcium than regular yogurt.
A dessert we can indulge without guilt! It isn’t sweet, that is unless you drizzle some fruit coulis, sugar or honey on top.
A whole pear is poached in a syrup (sometimes in red wine!) and may be coated with cream and/or melted chocolate.
Quite sweet but it’s a lighter dessert option than most cakes.
PARIS DIABETES TRAVEL GUIDE
40+ French dishes
30+ French desserts & drinks
60+ tantalizing pictures
Meal balance tips and ideas
Carbohydrates and nutritional information
PARIS WITH DIABETES: FRENCH HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
In France, you will receive the necessary medical attention in case of a problem. Paris has competent and well-equipped medical infrastructures. Medical consultations are easily accessible and financially affordable.
You will be able to find most of drugs and pharmaceuticals. And you can also get all of your medical tests done on the spot!
Now you just need to find out how it all works over there. And that’s what Sweet Trip is here for!
DIABETES TRAVEL INSURANCES
No need to be repetitive, you’ve probably heard it already: it is strongly advised to take out travel insurance before traveling, especially when we have diabetes.
Before traveling to Paris with diabetes, make sure you will be covered in case of a medical problem. Depending on your citizenship, or residence, different coverage systems are available to you.
NON-EUROPEAN CITIZENS: DIABETES TRAVEL INSURANCES
Your social security system won’t cover the medical costs that you incur while in France. Beware that in the event of emergency hospitalization or a complicated intervention, these costs can run to several thousand euros. It is therefore strongly advisable that you take out a travel insurance to bear your medical fees.
Certain forms of travel insurance do not bear the medical costs associated with a ‘‘pre-existing disease’’ such as diabetes. Double check the terms of your contract and, if necessary, have it adjusted to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
If you are still unsure about the kind of travel insurance you need, I’d recommend you read our recent article about Finding the Best Diabetes Travel Insurance. It is, of course, applicable to your future travels to Paris with diabetes.
A FEW EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE
If you are a legal resident of one of the following countries, you’ll be happy to know that a special medical agreement has been signed with the French government. Before your trip, take some time to get informed about the advantageous conditions you might benefit from:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Congo, Korea, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guernsey, India, Israel, Japan, Jersey, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Niger, New Caledonia, the Philippines, French Polynesia, Quebec, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Serbia, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay.
EUROPEAN CITIZENS: BRING YOUR HIEC
If you are a national from a member state of the European Union or from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, the European Health Insurance Card entitles you to receive on-site medical treatment in France’s health centers and hospitals. Before your travel to Paris, be sure to request your very own EHIC from the social security organization of your country.
To find out more about how to use your EHIC in France, please refer to our Paris Diabetes Travel Guide, where everything is explained step by step.
You can also visit the CLEISS website. It is the public French establishment responsible for informing you with regards to your social protection in France. Their website is an excellent source of information and is available in French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Polish: www.cleiss.fr
MEDICAL EMERGENCIES WHILE TRAVELING TO PARIS WITH DIABETES
In our Full Guide to Paris with Diabetes, you will find a 32 pages chapter providing you with all the necessary information to deal with the slightest diabetes-related mishap. To give you an idea of what’s inside, here are some sample pages from our Healthcare chapter to Paris with diabetes:
DISCOVER PARIS ON FOOT FOR BETTER BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS!
“To err is human. To loaf is Parisian”Victor Hugo, Les Misérables.
Loafing is the favorite pastime of Parisians. And it means strolling without a care, and losing oneself in the beauty of the present moment.
You too should come and stroll the streets of the most beautiful city in the world, while admiring its historic, architectural, cultural, and natural treasures. And that way you will effortlessly get in your daily exercise while discovering Parisian wonders. Remember: physical exercise is key to diabetes management!
DIABETES AND EXERCISE
Whether or not you have diabetes, OMS advices adults aged 18–64 to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. That means we all should walk at least 30 minutes a day. And, the more we walk, the healthier we’ll be!
Walking helps stabilize blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and substantially reduces the risks of developing complications, in particular with regard to cardiovascular diseases. The faster the pace, the more effective it is. And climbing some stairs adds to the effort!
That’s why we’ve prepared 7 walking itineraries for you to discover Paris and its main sites of interest on foot! And we’ve identified the best parks and green spaces of the city.
PARIS LATIN QUARTER
6 MORE PARIS WALKING TOURS
There are 6 more walking tours of Paris awaiting you in our Paris with Diabetes travel guide:
Louvre, Trocadéro, Bastille, Opéra, Pont des Arts, République Square, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame de Paris, Moulin Rouge, Montmartre, Royal Palace, Champs Élysées, Concorde…It’s all in there!
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