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Dining out

    • The portions are often too large.
    • The amount and type of fat can be hard to figure.
    • If you are very hungry, you may be tempted to make poor choices or eat too much.


    Limit alcohol. It can affect judgment and cause overeating.

    How to eat out

    • Plan ahead. Do not go to a restaurant hungry.
    • Eat moderate portions. Share a meal. Ask for a to-go box when you are served and put half of the meal into it before you start eating.
    • Ask about child-sized portions.
    • Ask for salad dressing, sour cream, sauces, butter and mayonnaise on the side.
    • Choose foods that are broiled, baked, grilled or steamed.
    • Do not panic if you eat too much. Just get back on track.


    If you are pregnant, check with your dietitian about a meal plan that is right for you.

    Other tips

    • You may eat or drink calorie-free and sugar-free foods. Be careful about sugar-free foods that have more than 20 calories per serving. Eating a lot of these foods may raise your blood glucose.
    • Try to eat three to five servings of carrots, green and yellow beans, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers every day. These nonstarchy vegetables have vitamins, minerals and fiber but not much carbohydrate.
    • Low-fat on a food label does not mean it is low in carbohydrates or calories.
    • Sugar free does not mean it is carbohydrate free.
    • High-fat meals tend to make your blood glucose stay up for a longer time.
  • Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes, sixth edition
    Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
    First published: 12/01/2006
    Last reviewed: 01/09/2015

  • Allina Health Diabetes Education Program

    Many Allina Health clinics have an outpatient diabetes education program.

    Call 612-262-4314 or visit for more information or to find a location near you.  

    People of all ages, gender and races benefit from diabetes eduction