Be a savvy diner
Living with diabetes doesn’t mean you need to swear off eating out with friends and family. Just like anyone else, you can maintain a balanced diet at a restaurant, as long as you know the right foods to avoid. It’s not always easy: Often, menus are coded with mouthwatering language that actually translates to “fatty,” “high in sugar,” or “loaded with calories.” Not everybody with diabetes has the same meal plan, and it’s important to consult your doctor about the best strategy for you. For some people, it’s most important to limit calories, while others should focus on cutting saturated and trans fat. Once you’ve identified your own goals, keep an eye out for these sneaky menu words—they may mean what you’re about to order is a risky choice for your meal plan.
If an entrée is labeled “au gratin,” that means it’s been covered in breadcrumbs—and sometimes butter and cheese—and browned. A popular dish is potatoes au gratin, which can be extremely high in carbohydrates thanks to the starchy potatoes and bread coating. To cut down on carbs, ask for an entrée without the breadcrumbs or peel off the layer of crumbs (though this may be difficult with some dishes).
A “Farm Breakfast” generally refers to a plate of hometown classics that are loaded with carbohydrates and calories. A typical dish may include pancakes, hash browns, eggs, and sausage—adding up to more than 2,050 calories and 275 grams of carbohydrates. (The suggested carbohydrate limit per meal for people with diabetes is 45 to 60 grams—so that’s enough carbohydrates for five meals!). Opt for a “New American” breakfast instead, which is usually a quick, low-carb meal. A light dish of fiber-rich oatmeal and blueberries, along with protein-packed scrambled eggs, has just 294 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrates.