Tips for Eating Out with Diabetes

By Christine Stewart

Whether restaurant food or take out are an occasional indulgence or a big part of your life, having diabetes can make it hard to choose from a menu or buffet. Here are some suggestions:

Know your patterns. Keep track of what, when and how much you’re eating.

Watch your portions. Consider splitting an entrée, taking leftovers home, ordering a lunch-sized portion or appetizer for dinner and avoiding all-you-can-eat buffets. Remember that pasta portions are often all the starch a healthy adult will need in one day.

Make smart choices. Choose salad instead of fries, grilled chicken instead of crispy, vegetarian pizza instead of one with meat and tomato-based sauces instead of cream. Also, try dressing your burger with lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion instead of cheese or bacon.

Eat at the right time. Try to eat at the same time every day to manage blood sugar levels, but understand that food may not be available when you need it. Carry some crackers in case of delays if you take insulin or pills to increase insulin production.

Remember the basic nutrition rules. Choose foods that are higher in fibre, vitamins and minerals, and lower in fat, salt and sugar.

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