When you have diabetes, eating out at restaurants can be challenging. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some helpful tips to make healthier choices while dining out. Check out these simple strategies:
- Plan Ahead: Before heading to a restaurant, take a moment to research the menu online. Look for options that align with your dietary needs, such as dishes that are lower in carbohydrates or higher in fiber.
- Control Portions: Restaurant portions are often larger than what we need. Consider sharing a dish with a dining partner or ask for a to-go box upfront and pack away half of your meal for later.
- Opt for Grilled or Baked: Choose grilled, baked, or broiled options instead of fried or breaded dishes. These cooking methods help reduce the amount of added fats and calories in your meal.
- Watch the Sauces and Dressings: Many sauces and dressings contain hidden sugars and unhealthy fats. Request dressings on the side, and opt for vinegar-based dressings or ask for sauces to be served on the side, so you have control over how much you use.
- Load Up on Veggies: Make vegetables the star of your meal. Look for dishes that incorporate plenty of vegetables or consider ordering a side of steamed or roasted veggies to add more fiber and nutrients to your plate.
- Choose Whole Grains: When possible, opt for whole grain options like whole wheat bread or brown rice. Whole grains are a healthier choice than refined grains as they provide more fiber and nutrients.
- Be Mindful of Sugary Drinks: Sugary beverages can quickly spike blood sugar levels. Stick to water, unsweetened tea, or choose diet options or drinks sweetened with a non-caloric sweetener.
- Practice Moderation with Desserts: If you want to indulge in a dessert, share it with others at the table or opt for a smaller portion. Choose desserts with fruit, like a fresh fruit cup or a fruit-based sorbet.
Remember, these tips are not about restriction but rather making healthier choices while enjoying dining out. With a little planning and mindfulness, you can navigate restaurant menus and still manage your diabetes effectively.