Celebrating 4th of July with diabetes

4th of July BBQ

The Fourth of July is a great time to celebrate our nation's independence with friends and family, outdoor activities, and (of course) food. As Americans, this is a holiday where we traditionally love to go big. 

If you have diabetes, a little restraint and planning might be in order, but there's no reason you can't go big on fun. Here are a few tips from our clinical team to help keep you on track.


Get a sneak peek at the menu

Before going to a July 4th barbecue, do your homework. Check with the host to find out what will be served and if they are using catering. If so, visit the restaurant's website for nutrition information (more and more restaurants are making this information available).

If it's a potluck, you're in luck. Check out Diabetes Daily or some other friends in the diabetes online community for some mouthwatering recipes you can prepare and bring to the party. You'll be sure to have at least one dish with a carb count you know.


Check your sugar levels

On the day of the party, check your CGM (continuous glucose monitor) or BG (blood glucose) before the festivities begin and frequently throughout the day. Whether you've had well-defined meals, or it has been a day of "grazing," make sure to check your glucose data about two hours after eating. Also remember to keep an even closer eye on your glucose if you're active playing volleyball in the backyard, jumping in the pool with the kids, or doing any other high-energy activity.

Count your carbs

Don't forget to count your carbs as best you can and follow your healthcare provider's instructions on how much insulin to take to match those carbs. You can look at online resources for lists of popular foods/ingredients and their carb counts or mobile apps like MyFitnessPal that help you track calories and carbs.

If you’re using the MiniMed™ 780G system with Meal Detection™ technology, you can rest assured that even if you miscalculate a carb count, the system will automatically deliver a correction dose.


Take care of your pump and CGM

If you're one of the millions of people who head to the beach or the lake for the weekend, be careful to prevent moisture damage. For example, the MiniMed™ 780G and 770G insulin pumps are waterproof at the time of manufacture and when the reservoir and tubing are properly inserted. They’re protected up to 12 feet (3.6 meters) for up to 24 hours. 

For the Guardian™ 4 sensor and transmitter, after they are connected, they form a waterproof seal to a depth of 8 feet (2.4 m) for up to 30 minutes. CGM readings may not be transmitted from the CGM to the pump while in water. See user guide for more details.


Be careful with alcohol

Living with diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an alcoholic beverage. It just means you should be more vigilant because drinking can result in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). And don’t forget to count the carbs in your drinks as well. Check out our website for more info on diabetes and alcohol consumption


At the end of the day as you sit back and watch the fireworks, if you've had a good Time in Range, congratulations and job well done! If not, don't beat yourself up. Think back on what may have affected your diabetes, what you did to react to it, and what adjustments could have been made. Finally, take a mental note and file it away for the next time an event like this comes along.

We hope these tips were helpful! Check out these handy summertime tips for more resources.

[Originally published 2011-06-29. Updated 2024-06-19] 


Taking a bolus 15 – 20 minutes before a meal helps to keep blood sugar levels under control after eating.
Refers to auto correct, which provides bolus assistance. Can deliver all auto correction doses automatically without user interaction, feature can be turned on and off. 
Important safety information: MiniMed™ 780G system with SmartGuard™ technology with Guardian™ 4 sensor

The MiniMed™ 780G system is intended for continuous delivery of basal insulin at selectable rates, and the administration of insulin boluses at selectable amounts for the management of type 1 diabetes mellitus in persons seven years of age and older requiring insulin as well as for the continuous monitoring and trending of glucose levels in the fluid under the skin. The MiniMed™ 780G system includes SmartGuard™ technology, which can be programmed to automatically adjust insulin delivery based on the continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensor glucose values and can suspend delivery of insulin when the sensor glucose (SG) value falls below or is predicted to fall below predefined threshold values.

The Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G system consists of the following devices: MiniMed™ 780G insulin pump, the Guardian™ 4 transmitter, the Guardian™ 4 sensor, One-press serter, the Accu-Chek™ Guide Link blood glucose meter, and the Accu-Chek™ Guide test strips. The system requires a prescription from a healthcare professional.

The Guardian™ 4 sensor is intended for use with the MiniMed™ 780G system and the Guardian 4 transmitter to monitor glucose levels for the management of diabetes. The sensor is intended for single use and requires a prescription. The Guardian™ 4 sensor is indicated for up to seven days of continuous use.

The Guardian™ 4 sensor is not intended to be used directly to make therapy adjustments while the MiniMed™ 780G is operating in manual mode. All therapy adjustments in manual mode should be based on measurements obtained using a blood glucose meter and not on values provided by the Guardian™ 4 sensor. The Guardian™ 4 sensor has been studied and is approved for use in patients ages 7 years and older and in the arm insertion site only. Do not use the Guardian™ 4 sensor in the abdomen or other body sites including the buttocks, due to unknown or different performance that could result in hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

WARNING: Do not use the SmartGuard™ feature for people who require less than 8 units or more than 250 units of total daily insulin per day. A total daily dose of at least 8 units, but no more than 250 units, is required to operate in the SmartGuard™ feature.

WARNING: Do not use the MiniMed™ 780G system until appropriate training has been received from a healthcare professional. Training is essential to ensure the safe use of the MiniMed™ 780G system.

WARNING: Do not use SG values to make treatment decisions, including delivering a bolus, while the pump is in Manual Mode. When the SmartGuard™ feature is active and you are no longer in Manual Mode, the pump uses an SG value, when available, to calculate a bolus amount. However, if your symptoms do not match the SG value, use a BG meter to confirm the SG value. Failure to confirm glucose levels when your symptoms do not match the SG value can result in the infusion of too much or too little insulin, which may cause hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

Pump therapy is not recommended for people whose vision or hearing does not allow for the recognition of pump signals, alerts, or alarms. The safety of the MiniMed™ 780G system has not been studied in pregnant women, persons with type 2 diabetes, or in persons using other anti-hyperglycemic therapies that do not include insulin. For complete details of the system, including product and important safety information such as indications, contraindications, warnings and precautions associated with system and its components, please consult https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/important-safety-information#minimed-780g and the appropriate user guide at https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/download-library.

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Submitted by Cindy (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

GREAT article, Kerrie!!! It covers everything, EVERYTHING!!! =)

Submitted by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Glad you found these tips helpful, Cindy! We’d love to hear any additional tips you may have. Enjoy your Fourth of July weekend!

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