Restaurant Tips if you Have Diabetes (Part 1)
by Roberta Kleinman, RN, M.Ed., CDE
August 28, 2013
There are many retirees living with diabetes in South Florida where I educate people in a self management program; a big proportion of them spend a majority of their time eating out in restaurants. They admit that eating out is a luxury, but after spending years raising young families they have disconnected from the kitchen and are willing to spend money for food.
Eating out can be a very social experience and often they live in communities where restaurants are readily available. I actually teach a couple who only make coffee in their kitchen and eat out for every meal! The husband always jokes that they should make the kitchen into an extra closet or large plant box. Surely this is very unusual, but I would like to share some restaurant tips with you that I frequently share with my patients.
Before you head out the door, search on-line for restaurant reviews and menus. Many restaurants, especially the chains, offer full menus with nutritional information (calorie/sodium/carbohydrate counts) as well as portion sizes. Be prepared before you go so you can make healthy choices. Take home printed copies of the menu to be ready for the next trip.Avoid buffets as often as possible. Although it sounds great economically, having too many choices with "as much as you can eat" can be dangerous for anyone - even more if you have diabetes. Calories, fat, sodium and carbohydrates pile up and you think you are "just tasting everything."