Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Eating Out When You Have Diabetes

By Leslie Bogaerts

These days, in Canada, more than 800,000 seniors have Type 2 diabetes and this number will increase each year. For these people the diagnose will come with a restriction of what they can and cant eat and they will need to plan a diabetic menu for their meals. Diabetic menu planning at home isn't that difficult, but what if you love to go out for dinner?

For a lot of people eating out is one of lifes pleasures and it doesnt have to stop because you are diagnosed with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association has made a list of guidelines you can use so you can still enjoy a nice restaurant meal and still keep a good eye on your diabetes. It all comes down to making the right choices. Ask what you need to know and balance your restaurant meals out with healthy meals at home. Remember, diabetes is a condition that you can keep under control, you just have to put your mind to it.

Because not everyone with diabetes has the same nutritional goals you should seek help with a registered dietician or diabetic educator. They can help you sort out what to do when dining out. The first choice that can help you is picking a restaurant that offers a great variety of choices. The more you can choose from, the more chance you have in finding appropriate foods. You can always phone ahead and ask what is on the menu. You should make a reservation as this will avoid waiting and ensure that you can eat on time. If you use insulin, this is very important. When you make your reservation, you could also mention that it is important to be able to eat on time, because of your insulin. Most restaurants will make a note of this next to your reservation, so your table should be ready on time.

Making your order:

- Ask what is in a dish if you dont know for sure, they will give you the information you need.

- You should check if they used liquid oil instead of solid fats to prepare the food.

- Choose something that doesn't contain too much salt, and no extra sauce or butter.

- Don't choose a fried meal, rather pick a broiled, grilled or steamed one.

- Dont overeat, try to eat the same portion as you would at home. If its a large serving take the extra food home.

- Ask if your sauce, gravy or salad dressing could be brought on the side.

- Order the baked potato, you can top it with a teaspoon of low-calorie yoghurt or sour cream and vegetables from the salad bar.

- Put a limit on the amount of sugar, caffeine, alcohol and soft drinks you might consume.

And remember, enjoy the time you spend in the restaurant. Its not because you have diabetes, you can't enjoy lifes little pleasures. Having to live on a diabetic menu doesn't mean you can't live you life to the fullest.

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