Restaurant Like A Pro!
Diabetes is tough. Not only do you have to check blood sugars daily, even multiple times a day, you also have to make diet changes, lose weight, and count carbohydrates. Add to it the fact that this disease can often coincide with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and you may feel like life is too restrictive. Making small changes in the way you order meals when eating out may be an easy way to eat fewer calories and fat and may lead to lower weight and an easier control of your diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
How we prepare food is just as important as the food we choose to eat. Many people make the choice to avoid red meat to decrease their saturated fat intake. They choose instead to eat more chicken and fish. But did you know that the way the food is prepared can still impact saturated fat intake? Fried, breaded chicken and fish contain saturated fats from the oils used in the cooking process. To decrease your intake, opt for grilled or baked chicken with the skin removed.
Many people opt for salads at restaurants to make a healthy choice but then drench them in high fat creamy dressing. This increases empty calories, as well as saturated fats. Opt for oil -based dressings such as balsamic vinaigrette or Italian. Always ask for dressing on the side so that you can control the amount you consume. Also review the toppings, many salads contain lots of dried cranberries or other fruits that may raise your blood sugar. You can ask them to also put these on the side so that you can control the portion, or opt to remove them altogether. Do not be afraid to customize your entrée to better fit your health needs!
Restaurants have so many options for sides it can be hard to make a healthful decision. If offered coleslaw or salad, try opting for salad as often it contains other vegetables such as tomatoes that are loaded with vitamin C, and then you can choose an oil-based dressing instead of a mayonnaise based coleslaw topping. You can also ask them to substitute a side such as fries or onion rings for a small side salad. The fiber from the salad will help make you feel more full and satisfied!
Restaurants are notorious for large portion sizes. Consider starting with a side salad and then splitting an entrée with your friend or partner. Or you could plan to save half for another meal tomorrow. Try eyeing your foods to make the portion sizes more like what you would have at home. If you still feel hungry, finish your vegetables as the fiber can help make you feel more full.
Drinks and dessert
Often we are out at a restaurant to celebrate a special occasion. If you want to have a special drink or dessert, be mindful of your other choices. Try choosing a low carbohydrate meal or sharing a dessert with other people. Your best option may be to choose one or the other, the drink or the dessert, to watch the portion size, and to have it as close to your meal as possible to slow the release of glucose into your blood stream.
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