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Health and Fitness News

Dining Out with Diabetes

Making wise menu choices can be difficult. Here are a few smart pointers.

Whether fast food, carry out, or sit-down dining, eating out is a luxury that’s now an everyday occurrence for many people. No grocery shopping, food prep, and meal cleanup are appealing, but eating out comes at a price. It’s not just more expensive, but it also makes it more difficult to stick to a diet plan.

For those with diabetes, this can be particularly dangerous. Because it’s not just your waistline that’s at risk with diabetes. An excessive change in blood sugar could be deadly.

Does this mean those with diabetes should never eat out? Not necessarily. Because while eating out can be a challenge and poses new risks and temptations for diabetics, if you follow a few rules and make wise food choices, you can enjoy eating out safely, even if you’re living with diabetes.

Plan Ahead

It’s harder to make wise food choices when you’re super hungry or when the rest of your party is ordering unhealthy options. Before going out, check out the restaurant’s online menu to decide on dishes that fit your meal plan. Once you find something that fits your needs, plan to order it no matter what.

Timing Is Important

In order to keep blood sugar levels balanced, especially if you take insulin or medications, it’s best for diabetics to eat on a regular schedule each day. This can be tricky when eating out. Long lines or slow service can throw things off. Make reservations or plan ahead by bringing a small snack to hold you over until your food arrives. Or go ahead and ask for a to-go box to put most of your food in before you begin eating.

Look for Key Words

To avoid unhealthy fats, unnecessary calories, and high carb menu items, look for foods that are described as grilled, steamed, broiled, poached, or braised.

Avoid dishes that are breaded, fried, crispy, crusted, or creamy. Menu items with words such as honey, glazed, teriyaki, BBQ, sauce, and sweet indicate a high amount of added sugars. Ask the wait staff to explain how a food is prepared if the menu is unclear.

Watch Out for Carbs

Some carbs in moderation are needed for energy, but too many will raise your blood sugar. Since many restaurant foods are extremely high in carbs and diabetics should eat no more than 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal, you’ll have to be careful. To do this, avoid or limit carbs such as pasta, white rice, fried foods, and potatoes and choose whole grains, unprocessed grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits low in sugar instead.

Don’t Forget Your Drink

You may do well at keeping sodas and alcohol out of the house, but high-calorie, high-sugar drinks may be tempting to order when you eat out. Choose water with lemon, unsweetened tea, or a low-calorie alcoholic beverage if it’s allowed with your eating plan. Avoid sodas and other tempting drinks.

Portion Control

Recognize and reduce large food portions to help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Many restaurant meals are nearly double the size of what’s considered a healthy portion size. Ask for a take-home container or split a meal with a friend to prevent accidental overeating.

Buffet Dangers

Buffet diners may seem like a good deal on your wallet, but they’re highly dangerous for anyone on a strict meal plan. When a buffet full of unhealthy options is staring you in the face, it’s difficult to say no. Even if you’re at a buffet, order off the menu. Or only the buffet’s your only option, fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, a quarter with a lean protein, and a quarter with a whole grain starch. Enjoy your meal and don’t go for seconds.

About Training with Mr. America
About my programs: Mr. America Jason Kozma's Personal Training is a triple threat of body shaping weight workouts, precision fat-loss cardio and holistic nutrition using regular foods. Using his system, you can radically upgrade your fitness, health appearance and self-confidence. Clients routinely shed 20 pounds of body fat in eight weeks or less, increase their strength and flexibility, and achieve extreme cardiovascular fitness.

Even if you've never had success losing fat or gaining muscle before, my individually tailored program will work for you! Call now at (310) 772-5105 and find out how quickly you can get in the best shape of your life!

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