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.

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.

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 non-starchy 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
First Published: 11/27/2006
Last Reviewed: 10/23/2019

  • Limit alcohol. It can affect judgment and cause overeating.
  • If you are pregnant, check with your dietitian about a meal plan that is right for you.
Allina Health Diabetes Education Program

Many Allina Health clinics have an outpatient diabetes education program.

Call 612-262-4314 or visit allinahealth.org/diabeteseducation or more information or to find a location near you.

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