With planning and thoughtful choices, you can follow your meal plan for
diabetes when you eat away from home, such as at a party or a restaurant. Here are some
At restaurants, check for online menus that include nutrition information before you go, or ask for this information when you arrive. Most fast-food restaurants have information about the carbohydrate, calorie, sodium, and fat in their food.
pocket guide of nutrition information for common foods at restaurants and take it with you.
Know how much carbohydrate you should have at
Before a party, eat some healthy food. You may be more likely to make healthy food choices when you're with your friends if you don't feel quite so hungry.
Ask if you can bring food to share. You'll have more control if you know there is a healthy choice you like and enjoy.
Plan what you'll do when people ask you to eat more. For example, you could take small servings, tell people you've had plenty of one food and want to try something else, or tell them that everything was good and you just can't eat any more.
Think about your portions
At restaurants, ask for a half-size or lunch portion. At parties, use the smallest plate available.
Avoid all-you-can-eat menus and buffets. Unlimited refills of soup or pasta may sound like a good value, but
they can make it easier to overeat. At parties, avoiding unlimited food might be a lot harder. Focus on talking with others at parties, not on eating the food. Find and join groups of people who are not near the food table.
Appetizers can add a lot of fat and calories (and
carbohydrate, depending on the item). Unless healthy choices are available, you
may want to skip appetizers, especially if weight loss is a goal for
At fast-food restaurants, choose the smallest-size meal
option instead of "super-sizing."
When at restaurants, try
putting half of your meal in a to-go box. Ask your server to bring the box with
your meal, so that you can split the meal before you even take the first bite.
Try splitting a meal with someone else.
Make your meals lower in saturated and trans fat
Foods that are grilled, baked, or steamed tend to be lower in fat
than foods that are fried. Limit foods that are breaded or that come with cream
sauce or gravy.
Control how much fat you use by putting butter, sour cream, gravy, and sauces
on the side of the food, rather than on top.
Instead of creamy dressings, pick reduced-fat or oil-and-vinegar
Choose hamburgers and
sandwiches without the high-fat extras, such as cheese and bacon.
Avoid cream sauces, such as Alfredo,
Add fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
Add vegetables to pizzas and
Choose vegetables, a plain baked potato, a side salad, or fruit instead of fried foods like fries.
Try vegetarian foods. Indian, Thai, and Japanese foods often have a wide variety of
Pick brown rice, whole-grain pastas, breads, and tortillas.
Choose your beverages carefully
Opt for water instead of sugar-sweetened soft
drinks. If you don't like plain water, try other sugar-free or low-calorie
beverages, such as fruit-flavored sparkling water or unsweetened iced
Remember that the calories in alcoholic drinks can add up. A
large cocktail, such as a margarita, can have as many calories as the meal.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.