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Tips for Dining Out When You Have Diabetes or Food Restrictions

It can be challenging to eat out when you have diabetes or follow a specific diet. However, with planning and assertiveness, you can enjoy restaurant meals while still adhering to your nutritional needs. Follow these tips:

Do your research

Many restaurants post menus online so you can study options in advance. Call ahead if needed. Making your choices before you get to the restaurant will make it easier to stay on course.

Modify menu items

Don’t hesitate to ask for sauces, dressings, and other high-carb items on the side. Request food be prepared with limited or no oil, salt, or sugar. Most restaurants are eager to prepare the food they way you want it.

Opt for grilled, poached, roasted

Select meats and seafood prepared simply without heavy sauces or breading. Get veggies steamed or roasted.

Watch portion sizes

Share meals or take a portion home for leftovers. Appetizers and side salads can make good meal-sized options. Order a salad with a piece of grilled fish on top.

Choose whole grain options

Breads, tortillas, rice and pasta dishes made with 100% whole wheat or grains are better blood sugar options.

Ask about ingredients

Don’t feel shy about asking how foods are prepared and what’s included. Ask if substitutions can be made. It is often okay to ask for modifications.

Limit alcohol

Alcohol lowers blood sugar so drink in moderation if at all. Also avoid sugary cocktail mixes. Alcohol also lowers inhibitions and negatively affects judgment when choosing better food options.

Request salad dressings and sauces on the side

Then you control how much you use. Ask for olive oil and vinegar rather than creamy dressings.

It just takes confidence and preparation for successful, diabetes-friendly dining out. With the right questions and choices, you can balance enjoyment and good nutrition.

Need help making good choices? Let’s chat.

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  1. Kebba Buckley Button on January 20, 2024 at 7:26 pm

    Karen, thanks for the great tips! I’m going out to dinner with a group tonight, and I need to ask a couple of menu questions before ordering. You always have great advice!

    • Karen Admin on January 21, 2024 at 3:34 pm

      I always check the menu before going to a new restaurant to see if I can cobble together something I’m willing to eat. More often than not, I can put together a nice meal without too much trouble. I hope you were able to do the same Kebba.

  2. Doug on January 21, 2024 at 2:38 am

    Thanks for the tips. These apply to everyone, not just those with special restrictions. Eat healthy to stay healthy.

    • Karen Admin on January 21, 2024 at 3:33 pm

      Well said Doug. Always choose wisely.

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