Dining Out with Diabetes

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The more active the role you play in your health-care decisions, the easier it is to manage your diabetes. For instance, cooking your own meals allows for better blood-sugar control because  you know exactly what and how much is in your food.  However, it’s not always possible  to prepare home-cooked meals. And living with diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dining out.

Follow these tips for smart dining :

Plan ahead:
• Choose a restaurant with a large menu of healthy items.  Many chains have nutritional information available online.
• Call the restaurant ahead of time and ask whether they can handle special requests.
• Have a small snack before going to a restaurant, when you are dining later than usual, so you aren’t too hungry.
• Review your meal plan before going out, so you will know what your carbohydrate allocation is.

Ordering meals:
• If you aren’t sure how a dish is prepared, ask your server.
• Watch your portion sizes. For the main course,  order an appetizer and either split an entrée with your companion or eat half of it and take the rest home.
• Ask for substitutions. For example, order vegetables instead of French fries.
• Avoid breaded, fried foods and foods in heavy sauces. Try fish or poultry that’s grilled or broiled, without butter.
• Ask for salad dressing and sauces on the side.
• Limit to one serving drinks that contain alcohol.
• Be careful of all-you-can-eat restaurants. When you do eat at a buffet, fill up first on vegetable dishes.

With these tips in mind, you can keep your blood glucose in control and make dining out an enjoyable experience.

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