Ginger Vieira was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 13, celiac disease a year later, and fibromyalgia in 2014. Ginger provides great insights into life with multiple chronic illnesses, including how to make the most of your life despite your health setbacks.
Making good choices for diabetes in a restaurant can be tricky, but it's definitely possible. The trick? You need to choose wisely and keep the not-so-friendly foods out of your way. From the moment you sit down at the table, temptations and blood sugar traps will present themselves, so it's up to you to make your dining experience what you want it to be for the sake of your diabetes.
Three foods to avoid when dining out:
1. The bread basket. Simply put, whatever is in that basket is just not what you want or need if you have serious goals around your diabetes. Either ask the server to take it away or move it to the other side of the table where it's out of reach. No matter how whole-grain or tasty that bread may appear, it's primarily carbohydrate and will just become glucose the moment it hits your lips.
2. Gravy and sauces. While they may be delicious, the sauces and gravy that are poured over your dish are probably made with flour and sugar, giving you far more carbs than you bargained for when you ordered that chicken with veggies on the side. Ask for any sauces and gravy to kept in a dish on the side so you can dip your fork in with each bite, saving you tons of calories and carbohydrates.
3. Potatoes. French fries and mashed potatoes are probably two of the most common side-dishes in any restaurant, and while you probably tell yourself that you'll just have "one or two bites" of that pile of potato, the truth is that once you start, it's hard to stop. Packed with carbs and not-so-healthy fat, mashed potatoes and french fries are simply a blood sugar disaster. Keep those carb-heavy foods off your plate right from the start by asking for a substitute salad or side of steamed veggies.
While you absolutely want to enjoy your meal when dining out, it's important that you choose your carbohydrates wisely. For example, if you want to share a dessert with someone, then skipping the carbs in the first part of the meal will save room for a little something sweet later on. In the end, it's all about balance and being in charge of what's on your plate.
What are your personal dining out tips? Share with the community in the comments section.