You are probably aware that managing diabetes goes hand-in-hand with eating carefully. Of course, being cautious does not mean you have to swear off dining out for good! Stop treating dining out as your “cheat meal” and stay true to your nutrition with these tips!
You may have heard the phrase, “timing is everything.” Well, with diabetes management, timing may not be everything, but it is essential to dietary success. One of the roles that time plays in diabetes management is ensuring you eat at time intervals that support a steady blood sugar level. When dining out, one way to help you time things perfectly is to make reservations.
Another timing tip to follow is when with a group of people, ask to order first and ask for your meal to come out as soon as possible. If your order is still taking longer than anticipated, order whole wheat rolls or fruit while you wait.
Even when eating healthily, it is still important to not overeat. Often restaurants serve more than one portion in a single dish, which can be very misleading. The best way to eat proper portions is to split your main entrée with a friend. If you do not have a dining companion to split your meal with, ask for a to-go box when you receive your food. Upon receiving your dish, place half of it into a to-go box for a later meal. If you put a portion aside immediately, it will enable you to have better control over how much you eat!
Beware of Bread
Having better control over how much you eat is essential, but being aware of what you eat is critical. One of the biggest threats to a diabetic diet is white bread. Fortunately, you can still eat certain types of bread, such as whole wheat. Depending on your level of diabetes, it may be best to avoid bread altogether. Some suggestions for dropping the bun are to substitute it with a lettuce wrap or a large grape leaf.
If you follow a strict diabetic diet, you could still encounter issues when ordering a dish, you assumed to be “healthy.” One of the biggest giveaways of how unhealthy a dish is for you could be in the terminology. Certain words to look out for are - creamed, crispy, or even sautéed. Some other terms that signify hidden fats and sugars are crusted, breaded, cheesy, creamy, and smothered.
It is essential to know how food is prepared and to be alert for certain terminology that signifies hidden sugars. Favorable preparation terms included baked, grilled, roasted, and steamed. Don’t hesitate to ask to speak with a chef if you’re unsure of how an item is prepared.
Dessert & Drinks
Timing out your meals in correct portions, while avoiding “bad breads” and negative terminology can almost always ensure your meal will fit into your diabetic diet. However, it is also important to consider what is in your drink. Alcoholic beverages have a lot of hidden carbs and sugars that should be avoided. Drinks that are generally accepted with having diabetes are water, unsweetened tea, or seltzer water.
Most individuals with diabetes assume dessert is “off the table,” but that does not have to be the case! It is essential to consult with your doctor to ensure that these options can still work for your needs. The healthiest dessert option is generally fresh fruit, which contains natural sugar so be careful not to overindulge. If your meal consisted of lean protein and vegetables, it might be alright to indulge in a small sliver of pie or a single scoop of sugar-free ice cream!
The most important thing is that you stay educated, ask questions about the menu, and check your insulin levels often. If you are dining with a friend at a senior living community, you can generally order freely on the menu and be more confident when dining on a diabetic diet.
At Oaks Senior Living, we take into consideration all of our residents and their dietary needs and will adjust menus upon request. Discover security in your daily dining and contact us today!