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Diabetes Diet Plan – Surviving a Restaurant

One of the most difficult challenges for people on a diabetes diet is surviving a trip to a restaurant. It’s easy to let an evening out be an excuse to stray from a diet plan. But in most cases there’s no reason that a restaurant meal should require patients to break the rules of their diabetes diets.

Just because you are on a diabetes diet doesn’t mean you have to avoid going out to restaurants. Here are some tips from Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder of The Center for Medical Weight Loss, the nation’s largest network of weight loss physicians, and an expert on how to order properly while dining out, says, “Anyone on a diabetic diet plan can survive a restaurant, even if the food is delicious, and not stray from the diet if they follow a few rules…”

Diabetes Diet Plan: Tips for Ordering at Restaurants

Avoid Bread: Carbohydrates raise the amount of insulin in the blood, which can lead to extreme fluctuations in blood glucose levels. That’s why type 2 diabetes patients must strictly limit the amount of carbs they consume each day. One easy way to make sure they don’t overload on carbs at a restaurant is to avoid eating bread—not only complementary dinner rolls, but also hamburger buns, sandwich bread, etc. If you do eat bread however, select whole grain over white.

Carbs and Pasta: The same goes for carb-rich pasta—diabetes patients must try to minimize their pasta intake, but if they do want to order pasta, whole grain pasta is a much better choice than regular pasta. Another example: Go with sweet potatoes over regular potatoes.

Choose Your Fats Wisely: Select foods with heart-healthy fats. Many nuts, for example, are rich in unsaturated fats, which are good for the heart. Always go for fish over meat. Salmon, for instance, contains heart-healthy fats, as compared to a steak, which is loaded with unhealthy fatty acids.

“Diet” foods not the answer: “Dietetic” alternatives to foods containing sugar—such as diet soda— do not contribute to the goals of a diabetes diet. They may be lower in total calories, but they still raise glucose levels in the blood. If they contain sugar alcohols, they may also have an unpleasant laxative effect.

When in Doubt, Order Fruit? Fruit is a great food choice for people on a diabetes diet plan, as it contains lots of healthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Fruit also tends to be a “high volume” food, meaning that it makes people feel fuller, quicker, and helps them not to overeat. But just as with any other food, fruit consumption needs to be moderated. Fruit contains carbs, and calories. Eating too much fruit can cause blood sugar levels to go up and down, and cause patients to put on weight.

The physicians at The Center for Medical Weight Loss have been posting impressive results with individuals with diabetes. As per Dr.  Kaplan, “We have thousands of patients in the program with type 2 diabetes, and it is almost a certainty that when they lose just 5% of their body weight, which usually happens in the first 6 weeks in the program, in many cases they can reduce their need for insulin and sometimes completely reverse the diabetes.”

To find out if there is a Center in your area, just plug your zip code into the Find a Center box above. Many Centers provide special introductory offers for first time visitors.