Dining Out With Diabetes

Johanna Hicks
Johanna Hicks

By JOHANNA HICKS, Texas AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health Agent, Hopkins County, [email protected]

The title actually has two meanings: 1) for persons who have diabetes, they take diabetes with them when dining out; 2) for persons with diabetes, there are some tips for dining out. When eating out, you do have choices. The following tips for eating healthfully in restaurants are based on suggestions from the National Diabetes Education Program.

  • Take time to look over the menu to make a healthy choice. If you don’t see what you want, ask about it. The worst your server can say is no, and it is possible he or she will say yes.
  • Ask whether the restaurant has nutrition information available for menu items. Chain and fast food restaurants often do. Look on-line ahead of time if you know which restaurant you will be visiting.
  • Choose steam, grilled or boiled dishes instead of fried or sautéed items to help lower the fat content.
  • Be the first at your table to order so you aren’t influenced by what others are ordering.
  • At fast food restaurants, order the smallest entrees, sides and caloric beverages – not the large, “value sized” versions.
  • Eat half your order, then think about how full you feel. If you are not longer hungry, ask for a carry-out box for a second meal or snack later.
  • Order salad dressing, gravies, sauces and spreads on the side and then use sparingly.
  • Order a salad for starters and share a main dish with a friend.
  • When you crave high-calorie foods such as desserts or high-fat snacks, have a small portion or share a serving with a friend. Permitting yourself an occasional treat, rather than always denying yourself, can help you stick to your meal plan more often.
  • Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants or buffets where it’s difficult to control portion sizes and how much you eat.

With warmer weather making its way to us, many people will have vegetable gardens. Here’s a great recipe for your garden cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes!

Gazpacho

Ingredients

  • 6-inch cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • ½ medium green bell pepper, seeds, pith and stem removed
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 cups chopped tomato
  • 1 cup low-sodium tomato juice
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 drops hot sauce, optional

Directions

  1. Quarter cucumber and pepper; place in blender or food processor. Add all remaining ingredients and blend or pulse until well combined and mostly smooth.
  2. Add hot sauce if desired and stir. Pour into a container with a lid and chill for 2 hours before serving.

Serve cold. Makes 4-6 servings.

Per serving: 99 calories, 15 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 3 g fat, 189 mg sodium, 3 g fiber

Closing Thought

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality

– Warren Bennis

Contact Johanna Hicks, at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, at P.O. Box 518, 1200-B West Houston St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75483; by phone at 903-885-3443; or by email at jshi[email protected]

Author: Faith Huffman

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