Dining with Diabetes

Discover a few strategies to make dining out with diabetes simple.

While there is no cure for diabetes, there are ways in which you can help manage the disease. You can help control your diabetes and avoid complications by eating a healthy diabetic diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Wondering what that means when eating out? Here are a few things to remember when it comes to dining out with diabetes:

Monitor your blood glucose. Managing blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels is an important step in knowing what and how much to eat.

• Know that just about anything, even dessert, can have a place in a diabetic diet. A diabetic diet is not about deprivation; it’s about making smart, healthy choices.

• Pay attention to portions. Many restaurant meals are actually made up of enough food for several meals. And even too much of “healthy” foods can contribute to weight gain. Consider sharing an entrée or ordering from the appetizer menu.

• Focus on healthy fruits and non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, carrots or broccoli. When possible, make these the majority of your plate.

• Choose whole grains over processed grains whenever possible. For example, ask for brown rice instead of white rice with an Asian-style entrée, or whole-wheat pasta instead of ordinary pasta at your favorite Italian restaurant.

• Look for other healthy ingredients such as beans, fish and lean meats. Avoid fatty and processed meats, cheesy casseroles and other calorie and fat laden dishes.

• Consider cooking method. Choose foods that are steamed, broiled, baked, grilled or stir-fried over those that are deep-fried.

• Choose dessert over deprivation. When it comes to dessert, try satisfying your sweet tooth with fruit, as opposed to cake or pastries. Or simply have a bite or two of your dessert of choice instead of indulging in the entire thing.

• Watch what you drink. Opt for water or low-fat milk instead of sugary sodas or alcoholic beverages.

• Ask questions. Ask to see the nutritional profile of fast food offerings, or ask your server about how something is cooked, what healthy substitutes are available, or if the chef can make a healthy recommendation.

To learn more about diabetes, visit our online Health Library. To speak to a nurse or schedule an appointment with a doctor, call our Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5119.

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