Diabetes Tips

You’re on your way home after a long day at the office, you’re at a stop light, and spot your favorite fast food restaurant out of the corner of your eye ... it’s so tempting to drive through for a quick bite.

It’s Saturday, you’re at the mall, it’s noon, and you’re only half finished with your shopping. The food court beckons you.

Today’s reality is that eating away from home is a part of most people’s lives. The average American eats four meals per week away from home, and spends nearly half their food budget on such meals. Whether the foods come from a drive-through or a fine restaurant, making good food choices is possible, and essential to staying your healthiest.

Eating healthy is even more important if you have diabetes because a multitude of other issues need to be considered: matching medications, schedules, food, and keeping your blood sugar in your target range. Eating well for good health while away from home is easiest if you can plan ahead. Try some of these handy tips for healthy eating on the go:

1. Select a dining establishment that has a broad assortment of food selections, so you’ll be likely to find foods you enjoy that are healthy.

2. Make reservations, and arrive on time. Plan the time for your meal so you can eat on schedule and avoid being overly hungry and overeating.

3. Look for words on the menu that indicate lowfat, lean, grilled, or broiled preparation methods. Then ask for sauces, gravy or toppings on the side.

4. Enjoy the salad bar — as a meal! Request lowfat dressing if available and go easy on other high fat toppings like cheese, bacon and croutons.

5. Try and eat about the same amount as you would if you were eating at home. Restaurants often provide portions large enough to serve 2 - 3 people. When you place your food order, ask for a takeaway container too. Then when your food arrives, set half aside for another meal before enjoying your new reasonable portion.

6. Ask for substitutions. Most restaurants are happy to provide steamed vegetablesin place of French fries, for example.

7. If you choose to order dessert, be sure to eliminate an equivalent amount of the other carbohydrates you would have eaten instead. For example, a slice of pie is about the same as 3 carbohydrate choices.

8. When a late dinner at a party puts you off your schedule, help maintain good blood sugar control by eating what would typically be your bedtime snack at your normal mealtime, and then enjoy your dinner later on with the rest of the guests.

9. Always keep the ground rules of good nutrition in mind: all foods can fit, using variety and moderation.

10. Challenge yourself to healthy on-the-go eating that include on-the-go meals while you stay in good diabetes control.


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