The Only Eating-Out Guide You Need If You Have Diabetes
It is common knowledge that people with diabetes need to be extremely careful with their diet. If you have diabetes, you need to give up on foods containing high carbohydrates, cholesterol or saturated fats and opt for a heart healthy nutritious diet.
What you eat can play a major role in blood sugar levels and every diabetic patient needs to be wary of these fluctuations in order to maintain their overall health and reduce the risk of complications such as heart and kidney disease.
Even though a healthy diet and regular physical work out are necessary to manage type 2 diabetes, it doesn’t mean one has to give up on eating out altogether.
If you’re committed to a diabetes care regime including following healthy eating habits on a daily basis then eating out should not be a problem as long as you know your limitations. Remember, diabetes care means having a lifelong commitment to healthy choices no matter where you are or who you are with.
So, if having a busy life does not give you enough time to prepare your own meals, and you get take-outs or eat at restaurants, don’t let this be an excuse for eating unhealthy food. Instead, stick to what’s good for you and what helps you keep your blood sugar levels down.
Here’s an eating-out guide that can help you achieve this:
- Look for healthier options: A lot of restaurants have healthy options on their menu and some even specialise in fitness food. Experiment with a few and observe how the food affects your blood sugar. Eat out at places that have low-fat dishes or fibre-rich food available.
- Be consistent: If you have diabetes, you would understand the importance of maintaining a consistent eating schedule. Factor in your timings for medication and meals when you’re eating out.
- Carry essentials: If you’re not sure about a place, their menu or even the timings, carry some snacks with you to avoid low blood sugar. It might also be helpful to carry your regular sweetener and testing kit.
- Speak up: You should let the server and your company know about your condition. Before ordering, make sure you ask about the nutritional information of the dishes on the menu, if you are unsure. You can also look to make special requests such as less salt or sugar in your dish to avoid a spike in your blood sugar.
- Control the portion: It’s better to order less first and reorder if required rather than ordering what you can’t finish to avoid overeating. Stay away from all-you-can-eat buffets and large portions.
- Pay attention to the cooking style: While picking your choice of food, it’s better to choose recipes cooked in vegetable oil instead of butter. Go for grilled, steamed or baked items instead of fried and ask for healthier alternatives of your favourite dishes.
- Watch your sides: Apart from paying attention to what you consume as your main course, a careful selection of sides, dressings and gravies is also important. Firstly, check if you can switch the fries with salad or get low-fat condiments like garlic, lemon, onions etc.
- Avoid drinking: If it’s not absolutely necessary, try avoiding alcohol as it might fluctuate your blood sugar levels. If you choose to drink, make sure you count in your drink’s calories as well and order low-calorie drinks like dry wines or a light beer.
- Plan ahead for dessert: Just because you are diabetic, it doesn’t mean that you have to skip the dessert. If you plan ahead and lower the intake of carbohydrates in your meal and choose fibre-rich food options, you can have some in moderation.
- Walk them calories out: It might be helpful to park a few blocks away from the restaurant so that you can get your post-meal exercise. Walking for 10-15 mins after your meal can help burn the extra calories and keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Living with diabetes is not easy but if you learn all about your condition and the ways to keep your blood sugar levels on target, it also doesn’t get in the way. You can still enjoy a healthy and happy life if you commit to diabetes care. Yes, it may be tempting to let go at times but make sure whatever you do, you follow an addition and subtraction rule.
If you’re eating dessert, you might want to skip the alcohol or if you’re going all out on the meatloaf, make sure you have enough fibre intake to absorb the carbs – no matter what you do, take care of your blood sugar and keep yourself safe from the complications associated with diabetes.
So, the next time you’re eating out, remember this simple guide to keep yourself in check!