Dining with Diabetes: Tips for Eating Out

A restaurant can be a veritable mine field for diabetics. Don't fall into a trap that could lead to dangerous blood sugar fluctuations or unnecessary calories. Here are some tips.

Quality over Quantity

Forget the fast food, the buffets and greasy spoons. When you're going to go out, go for someplace that will give you a variety of healthy offerings.

Know What to Look For

When glancing at the menu, avert your eyes from high-carb meals with lots of breads, pasta, starchy sauces, sweet desserts and fruity drinks. Also avoid anything fried. Instead, feast your eyes on dishes made with lots of fresh vegetables, lean meats, light dressings and those that get their flavor from spices and herbs.

Divide Your Portions

Most restaurants serve portions much larger than you need. Order the 'doggie bag' up front with your food, then transfer half of your plate into it before you even take a bite. That way, you won't overdo it.

Easy on the Alcohol

Remember that alcohol is high in calories and carbs-- a glass of wine or light beer makes for a nice treat, but don't overdo it.

Don't Skip Dessert

There's no need to deprive yourself. If the menu doesn't list 'no sugar added' desserts, go for some fresh fruit, or split something with your dining partner.

Photo: North Tahoe Business