Making dinner plans with friends is a common activity – there is nothing quite like sitting down in a relaxed atmosphere, chatting and dining with your close pals. Unfortunately, if you have diabetes, eating at a restaurant could threaten your health. With high-fat, high-carbohydrates, high-caloric foods and huge portions, it can be challenging to maintain your blood glucose levels at your local restaurant establishments. However, there is hope – even if you rely on senior assisted living for your diabetic dining needs, you too can still make restaurant plans with your pals!
If you are planning on going out to eat, be sure to follow these tips to ensure you are managing your blood glucose or blood sugar levels. It is also important to verify with your doctor that these tips are safe for your specific circumstances.
Be Mindful of Timing
Timing is essential for a person with diabetes. You need to eat at equal intervals to ensure your blood glucose levels do not drop too low or rise too high. A great way to stay mindful of timing is to make reservations ahead of time. Once you arrive at the restaurant, it may also be helpful to ask your friends if you can order first, then relay to the server you need your food to come out promptly. Yes, timing is important to factor in but if you are not being cautious of what you are ordering, it could be futile.
In a senior assisted living community, the menu is generally diabetic-friendly. It is up to the management and community chefs to keep every resident’s unique dietary needs in mind when preparing meals. However, when you go out to eat at a restaurant, you cannot have the same confidence in the menu. It is important to follow these steps when ordering:
- Notify your server of your diabetic needs.
- Avoid all white bread – ask for whole wheat bread if needed.
- Avoid creamy, oily sauces – ask for all sauces to not be included or on the side.
- Swap out unhealthy sides for fresh roasted veggies.
- Be aware of the preparation method of your entrée – stick with grilled, broiled, or roasted menu items.
These are just a few steps to be mindful of when ordering to help you maintain your blood glucose levels. If it’s beneficial for you, it may also be a good idea to excuse yourself once or twice during the duration of the outing and check your blood glucose levels.
Don’t Forget Your Drink
You should be cautious when ordering your meal, but do not overlook the contents of your beverage. The best drink choices to manage diabetes while eating out are water or unsweetened tea. Juices and sodas are full of hidden sugars and can create unhealthy spikes in blood glucose levels. It is usually best to avoid alcohol, but certain liquors and wines can be enjoyed in moderation.
Portions Are Important
As mentioned with alcohol, moderation is key. Unlike senior living communities, most restaurants overserve portions in entrée size. Even if you are eating healthy, overindulging can create a spike in blood glucose as well. You can ensure you are getting the right portion by splitting a meal with your pal or boxing up half of it to take home with you.
Even if you are a senior in an assisted living community, you can still enjoy eating out with friends even with menu challenges. Be mindful of your timeframes when making reservations and ordering, be sure you are ordering food with your blood glucose in mind, always be aware of hidden sugars in drinks and remember portion size matters. If you want to reside in an engaging community that is conscious of residents’ dietary and assistance needs, then be sure to schedule a visit today!