Eating out and diabetes

One of the greatest pleasures in life is to share a meal with family and friends, and having diabetes should not stop you enjoying sharing a meal away from home.

Obviously food choices we make away from our home table will be different to our usual choices – this is one of the intrinsic joys of eating away from home! How often you eat out is worth considering as it may influence the choices you make.Healthy eating has some basic principles – variety, portion control and frequency. For example, small portions of less healthy foods occasionally is fine; large portions all the time and there may be an issue!

Many food establishments have healthy choices available on the menu and with some clever choosing you can be eating beautiful food that works well with your healthy eating plan for diabetes.

Group Of Female Friends Enjoying Meal At Outdoor Restaurant
  • Choose meals that provide the right amount of carbohydrate for you. Add or subtract as required
  • Talk to your GP & diabetes educator about insulin adjustment for carbohydrate intake if you are using rapid acting insulins – this will give you more flexibility with food choices and better blood glucose control
  • Choose lean protein foods in moderate portions (palm size)- meat, fish, chicken, legumes, eggs
  • Go easy on fried choices – chips, crumbed & battered items
  • Ask for sauces and dressings on the side – then you are in control of how much you use
  • Tomato & vegetable based sauces can have less (saturated) fat than creamy ones
Portion control
  • Ask for smaller cuts of meat, choose entrée sized meals, consider sharing plates with others
  • Use the “hand-y guide” or plate models to help remind you
Other bits
  • Add salads and non-starchy vegetables to meals to boost nutritional quality and help fill you up
  • Eat slowly and enjoy your meal – switch on all your senses!
  • Take the time to taste
  • Drink alcohol in moderation and always with some carbohydrate in your meal
  • Choose soda water, sparkling water, or diet soft drinks

For more information on eating out and diabetes refer to the information sheets available.

If you would like to speak with an APD about the challenges you face when eating out contact us on 1300 342 238.

Diabetes NSW & ACT - Live your life