There is no doubt that we enjoy going out to eat. In fact, according to a recent Zagat survey, Americans dine out on an average of 4.9 times a week! Eating out is a convenient option for those who may have busy schedules and can’t find the time to cook a meal. Meals cooked at home tend to be healtheir than the ones we get from a restraunt, so what do you do if you're a diabetic with a crazy schedule?
Diabetes Self-Management has a few tips to help you choose the right foods when dining out.
If soup is your choice of an appetizer, steer clear of any that may contain a fatty/creamy base (like chowders) and choose a soup that is broth based like chicken noodle.
If you’re ordering a salad, make sure to ask for dressing on the side. Having the dressing on the side lets you portion control the dressing and only use what is needed. Make sure to ditch any add-ons such as bacon or fried noodles. Even though these add-ons may taste delicious, these foods are not ideal because they’re high in fat and calories.
Shrimp cocktail is a great low carb option
Chips and salsa are a popular starter item, just make sure to not over eat!
In the mood for seafood? Ordering broiled salmon, tuna or cod are great choices to get your omega-3 fatty acids.
Remove the bun if you’re ordering a burger. This helps remove the unnecessary carbs.
Chicken with broccoli, tofu-based dishes and steamed shrimp and veggies are a good option if you’re in the mood for Chinese. Chinese food and mexican foods tend to include rice and rice contains a lot of carbohydrates, so the next time you want to order something with rice, ask for no rice or substitute it with a bed of lettuce (if available).
Most pasta dishes are high in carbohydrates, so if you’re in the mood for italian, order pasta primavera or a dish with a marinara sauce. If the place you’re eating at offers whole grain or vegetable noodles, substitute with those instead.
When it comes to ordering pizza, choose a thin or cauliflower crust, load up on the vegetables and go light on the cheese.
Roasted or grilled vegetables are a great side. If vegetables are not your thing, you can always ask for sides that are whole-grain based like quinoa.
Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes are healthier choices, but because potatoes are high in carbs, go light on the condiments on top.
When it comes to ordering dessert, if you want something sweet try to order a dish that contains fresh fruits. This will be able to quench your sweet tooth without any chococlate but if you cannot pass up a slice of chocolate cake, make sure you split it with a friend.
Remember, these are just suggestions, please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet. Your physician will be able to assist you and let you know what you should stay away from depending on your health.