Tuesday, April 13, 2021

How to Eat Out When you Have Diabetes

September 29, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured

older group at a restaurant

Eating out has become a part of our everyday lives. If you have diabetes it is possible to go out to and still stay on track with your blood glucose levels.

Unless you have an underlying medical condition, it is possible to continue to enjoy the foods you did before, you just have to manage the portion sizes and the amount of carbohydrates ingested. Here are a few tips for eating out.

Fast Food

Fast food is not known for being a healthy option. There are ways to make sure you can stay on track with your blood glucose and your diet.

  • Choose the smallest sandwich available. Part of portion control is understanding that while we may want the big burger, we do not need to eat that much. For example: A Classic Double with Cheese from Wendy’s has 700 calories, 38g carbohydrates, and 39g fat. A Jr. Cheeseburger has 290 calories, 26g carbohydrates, and 13g fat.
  • Order chicken or fish instead of beef. At Carl’s Jr.(Hardees) A ½ LB Six Dollar Burger is 1,060 calories, 60g carbohydrates, and 72g fat. A Grilled Cod Fish Sandwich is 400 calories, 37g carbohydrates, and 31g fat. And a Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich is 320 calories, 48g carbohydrates, and 6g fat. Be sure to avoid words like crispy, breaded, and crunchy as these typically describe deep fried items.
  • Drink water or tea. You are already splurging on the food, so it is best to cut the calories out when you can. A regular coke has 140 calories and 39g carbohydrates. A Diet Coke might have zero carbs or sugars, but they will encourage you to eat more because the sweetness tricks your brain into expecting sugar and when you don’t ingest it, you brain continues to tell your body you are hungry. Water or unsweetened iced tea are your best options to accompany a meal that already includes too many carbohydrates.


In the past going out to eat was reserved for special occasions. Now it is something we do on a regular basis. You can enjoy going out to eat as long as you make smarter choices. Here are a few tips.

  • Look at the menu before you arrive at the restaurant. It is much easier to make a healthy choice if you have a plan. We tend to make bad decisions if we wait until we are hungry to decide what we are going to eat. We all know that you should not shop for groceries on an empty stomach, and the same goes for looking at menus at a restaurant.
  • Try to not fill up on bread or chips before the meal. Ask your server to bring the basket with your meal. It is a great way to make sure you are not ingesting excess carbohydrates.  
  • Try to take at least half of your meal home. More often than not, the portions at restaurants are way too big. Asking for a box before your meal arrives and placing at least half of the food in the box before you eat. This will ensure that you do not overeat and you will get to enjoy the leftovers later!

Keep in mind that it is important to be able to splurge every once in awhile. One meal is not going to undo all the good choices you make day in and day out. As a diabetic, when you splurge, it is very important to make smart choices when you eat out. Concentrating on portion sizes and carbohydrate intake will allow you to manage your blood glucose levels and stay on track of your diet.

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