Dining Out With Diabetes

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Dining out is one of the biggest challenges of being a diabetic. While many restaurants are making waves to be more healthy, there is still ample temptation around with items on the menu. Instead of feeling like the odd person out at the next celebratory dinner, learn to plan ahead and follow these tips for last minute dining out with diabetes.

Plan Ahead When Possible

If you have a special event coming up where you will be dining out, call ahead during a slow time at the restaurant and discuss menu options with the manager or chef. Many restaurants feature the menu online which allows you to narrow down which items would be most suitable for your diet. If you are eating at a restaurant that makes everything from scratch, it will be easier for the chef to cater to your special dietary needs. When it comes to dessert, remember that sweets are ok for diabetics in moderation. If possible, consider a small bowl of fruit with whipped cream over an ice cream sundae or cake.

Always be Prepared

Always be prepared with your kit to test your insulin level to help you better choose what to eat. Keep healthy snacks in your car or bag so that you have a suitable snack if your blood sugar levels are low. If you fear that the place you will be eating will not offer a meal that is suitable for you, then bring something from home. Even though many restaurants are making efforts to be friendlier to patrons that have special dietary needs, not all are prepared. Many people with food allergies choose to bring their own meal and have the restaurant heat it up, the same can be done for someone who is diabetic.

Order a Simple Meal

If all else fails, order a simple meal from the menu. For example, nearly every restaurant you go to carries chicken. You can order parboiled or gilled chicken with no butter or seasoning; have sliced tomato, green pepper, onion, mushroom and low-fat mozzarella or Swiss cheese melted on top. Then choose a side of rice or steamed vegetables. Avoid bread, oils, fats while dining out. Ask for dressings on the side and dip your food into the dressing instead of pouring it all over the meal. If there is not a suitable dessert or appetizer option, then simply skip them. If part of your diabetes management is to cut your portions, then ask for a take out container when you receive your meal. Put half of the meal into the box to take home. This will allow you to have more control over the amount of food you eat as well as the type of food that you eat.

Additionally you should eat slower to allow your food to digest properly without overloading your hormone levels and causing blood sugar levels to skyrocket quickly. When possible, choose low fat dipping sauces and condiments such as oil and vinegar or salsa over butter, sour cream, ketchup and bleu cheese dressing.

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