Essential Tips for Dining Out with Diabetes

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor and dietitian may have recommended a low-salt, heart healthy diet that will keep your blood sugar levels in check. People with diabetes need to eat foods that are low on the glycemic index because these foods do not have a significant impact on blood sugar levels. When it comes to dining out, diabetic patients need to be especially careful about the types of foods they select at restaurants, cafes and fast food venues. Many dining destinations use extra salt and fats to flavor their foods and these foods can wreak havoc on the diabetic diet.

If you have diabetes, you’ll need a plan when you are going to eat out. A nutritional counselor can provide you with some basic guidelines for choosing the right foods at your favorite restaurant, and you will find that you do have a number of different types of healthy foods to choose from.

1. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables as an appetizer.  Many appetizers are very high in fat and calories and can be the equivalent of a small meal. Stick with fresh fruits and steamed vegetables as an appetizer so that you don’t overdo it at your meal.

2. Avoid seasoned meats and cheeses in your salads. Meats cured with salt and other salty flavorings, and certain types of cheeses are full of sodium which can be detrimental to your diet. Avoid these foods altogether when you have diabetes and stick with low-fat, low-salt cheese when its available and white meat that has been roasted, grilled or broiled.

3. Ask for your meats to be grilled or broiled. When you are ordering your entrée or meats for a salad, always ask for them to be grilled or broiled. Meats that are prepared in this way will be free of excess salts and condiments that can add too much sodium to your diet.

4. Request low-salt food options when reviewing the menu. Some restaurants and eateries to cater to diabetic patients with a low-salt menu. These foods are typically prepared without extra salt added and may be more plain in taste.

5. Skip condiments at fast food restaurants. Condiments are usually full of sugar and salt and can add  extra calories to your meal. If you have diabetes, skip the condiments so that you can keep your blood sugar levels under control.

6. Ask about sugar free dessert options. Many restaurants do offer several sugar-free desserts including pies, cakes and even brownies. Ask about sugar-free dessert options or desserts made with sugar substitutes so that you don’t have to worry about blood sugar.

7. Exercise portion control. Don’t be afraid to wrap up half your food to go so that you can enjoy another healthy meal at another time. Most restaurants and cafes serve oversized portions that are enough for two meals. Split your entrée in half to share it with a friend or take home half of the meal so that you can keep your calories and blood sugar under control.

Many people with diabetes chose to get bariatric surgery, a surgery designed to lose weight and studies have found it could cure Type Two diabetes. Contact a bariatric surgeon in your area.