You can’t do much to control the amount of sugar your liver makes, but you can control the foods you eat. Here we are sharing some useful diet tips to manage diabetes, particularly when you are making plans to dining out.
First things first, it is very important that you stick to a diabetes meal plan. The key to eating healthy food when you are out is knowing what foods to eat and which cooking methods will promote your health and not deteriorate your condition.
Manage diabetes while eating out
As you know, many foods are a combination of two or all three macronutrients. And, we often group foods according to whether they are mostly;
- Carbohydrates l Diabetes and Carbohydrate Metabolism
- Protein l Diabetes and Protein Metabolism
- Fat l Diabetes and fat metabolism
People don’t just have to “manage” their diabetes as it progresses. Instead, they can often lower their blood sugar to normal levels with diet alone to avoid or discontinue most medications.
Dine On Time
If you are already taking medication or insulin for your diabetic condition, then it is important for you to plan your outdoor meal at the right time. In other words, make sure you eat on time even when you go out.
So, what you can do is look for restaurants that accept reservations so that you do not have to wait for your turn during peak hours or weekends. And if are going to a place that does not take reservations, avoid going there during peak hours.
In case you have to wait, ask the waiter to get you a fruit serving or bread while you wait or go to a nearby place and order an appetiser.
This is the only way for you to know how healthy the meal you are getting is. Make sure whatever you order from the menu is included or fits your diabetes meal plan.
One important thing here is that it is very normal for a person to shy out. Well, don’t. Ask if there is butter or salt added and make sure to exclude those ingredients from your order. And the same remains for side dishes.
Pay Attention To Carbs
The body needs carbs for energy, so they are a vital part of every diet, along with one for type 2 diabetes. When you have too many carbs at once, it affects your blood sugar, i.e., glucose, thereby, causing problems.
Eat low-carb foods such as vegetables or high-quality ones such as whole grains to make sure your blood sugar level is in the target range. There are three main types of carbs.
Sugars: They can either be natural sugars that come in fruits or added sugars in processed foods.
Starches: Contained in whole grains and legumes.
Fiber: It is the indigestible part of plant foods. When eating out, you should either stay away from or limit sugars.
The same goes for refined grains and white bread. Have a limited quantity of high-quality starches and fill up on fiber, which actually helps in controlling your blood sugar.
Choosing a spinach salad with added protein, some of which are grilled chicken or fish make for a good low-carb option for lunch or dinner.
Beware Of Hidden Sugar
Well, when you hear the word Sugar, you will obviously be thinking Desserts, and yes, you are right. Most of the dessert part has ‘sugar’ written all over. But you may be surprised about how much sugar content is present in other items on the menu.
Just one tablespoon of honey contains about four and a half teaspoons of sugar, and 1 cup of fruit in heavy syrup has 12 and a half teaspoons of sugar. Therefore, you would want to avoid food items that use sweet ingredients.
If you did not know, even salads could have sugar content in them. Make sure to ask for dressing on the side or add some oil and vinegar as dressing to your salad to avoid the hidden sugars.
When you’re ordering healthy meals at restaurants, watch what’s in the beverages, too. Further, even regular sodas, natural fruit juices such as orange or grape juice have sugar content.
Have It Cooked “Your Way”
Remember that you are a person with type 2 diabetes. You should not hesitate to ask if any of the dishes you ordered can be grilled, baked, or broiled instead of fried. These cooking methods can remove a lot of extra calories from your dishes.
However, if you find yourself eating fried food, remove the outer breading or dab the food with a tissue to get rid of the excess oil. Doing so will help you cut back on calories and fat.
Eat It Plain
When the dish your order is served with a lot of dressing, butter, creamy or cheesy sauce, or sour cream, you are taking in a whole lot of calories. And this is not something you want to be a person with type 2 diabetes.
We recommend you ask to be served plain and if any sauces, serve them on the side so you can choose how much to have. A tip you can follow here is to dip your fork in the sauce and then in your food.
Pay Attention to Portion Size
Restaurants offer very generous portions, unlike the servings you take at home. Therefore, it will be difficult for you to stay on your required portion. So what you can do is split the meal with your mates so that you can pay attention to how much you are eating.
Or if you are eating out alone, then you can ask your server to pack half of it so that you can take it home with you.
Also, you need to watch how much of that entree you are munching on – chips and salsa, bread baskets, and appetizers as they add to your total carb and calorie count for the meal as well.
Limit High-Sugar and Alcoholic Beverages
Because you are following a type 2 diabetes diet when eating out, you might not want to use up all your carbs and calories on alcohol or sugary drinks. You can replace those with lemonade, tea or water with a slice of lemon.
Further, we recommend that you talk to your doctor if it is okay for you to have alcohol on an empty stomach as they lower the blood sugar.
If you decide to have a drink or two when you are eating out keep some things in mind, make sure you read the ingredients to make sure you include all those carbs in your overall diabetes meal plan.
It is a fact that home-made meals help you to have full control over your carb and calorie count. We cannot deny that eating out once in a while has its own pleasures. Gathering with your loved ones or folks can introduce you to new cuisines while also helping you spend some quality time with them.
However, people with diabetes may often be afraid of eating out. They fear that it will affect their sugars or their weight. Living with diabetes does not mean that you cannot eat out (1).
If you could able to stick to your diabetes meal plan and could able to follow these mentioned tips to manage diabetes, you can fulfill your taste buds when you go out with your friends or family or significant other.