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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

Eating Out on a Diabetes Diet


My wife and I enjoy a meal out occasionally, although, with the high prices, we have taken the challenge to look at quality versus cost. That has affected our knowledge about menus and has allowed us to look at having a great meal while maintaining a diabetes diet.

In Canada, the latest statistics show that 54% of Canadians eat out. The reasons are varied, but for us, it is a nice convenience, fits our hectic schedule, and sometimes we want to relax.

Diabetes Diet & Eating Out

Before my diabetes symptoms and diagnosis, I did worry about any diabetes diet. It was sitting down and ordering a meal where I did not consider the carbohydrates and other bad things that most of us should limit with our intake.

Then diabetes hit, and the challenge was on to be able to keep our enjoyment of dining out while considering my diabetes diet.

The question I had to answer was, "Does eating out have to end because I have diabetes?” Going to our first new restaurant and looking at the menu, not much stood out for a diabetes diet. But, putting my thinking cap on and using a few rudimentary rules, I had some success. I looked at the menu and considered:

  1. Foods were almost eliminated that I knew were high in carbohydrates.

  2. What offerings were high in Protein?

  3. What about sauces? For "safety," I decided to take control of how much of what I had with my dinner. Sauces are typically high in sugars and other things that may not be good for folks like me on a diabetes diet. I now always ask for the sauces “to be put on the side.”

  4. Be careful with the dessert. There are desserts I have found I can eat, which helps, but it took some time to get to that point.

For you and me, enjoying a diabetes meal out does not have to be a thing of the past. Few restaurants have diabetes diet menus, but with some knowledge, we can all make our choices that satisfy what we can or cannot eat.

What is On My Plate?

Many suggest that as a diabetic, I use the kid's divided plate to decide the quantities to eat.

What do I do? Take the plate to the restaurant? That will not work, and second, eating my dinner, I do not want to have a plastic divided plate staring up at me.

I have quickly learned to balance my food, and you can too. For me, it is as simple as approximately 50% salad and vegetables, a quarter of a potato or a small portion of rice, and 5-6 ounces of meat.

A choice about fat; many suggest that as diabetics, we should only eat lean meat. I do not hold myself up as a martyr and have been researching adding fat to my diabetes diet. The American Diabetes Association suggests, " An important nutrient to consider as part of a balanced diet is fat. Even though it sounds counterintuitive to what you might expect, eating the right amount of the right type of fat plays an important role in our bodies." A great source of information on fat in our diabetes diet, can be found at this link

Adding fat to my diet has had a positive impact. I am not always hungry, as I was on a "lean diabetes diet," and I am still on target with my cholesterol and weight-loss targets. But I add a caveat: Please discuss any potential changes to your diet with your healthcare team before making any changes

My Menu Choices

We must recognize that each restaurant has its own menu challenges for diabetics. After a few times asking questions, I now feel quite comfortable "grilling" the server. Most are knowledgeable and friendly about sharing advice, and I stick to the basics. A salad with the dressing on the side and usually apple cider vinegar. A small piece of meat grilled and only sprinkled with salt. A double helping of steamed or grilled vegetables. For dessert, I have found I can eat cheesecake without my glucose spiking. I am so lucky!

All simple, but it allows for a sufficient variety of a meal, so it never becomes boring. For me, it was and continues to be, a journey of testing to find the best mix of foods that can provide me with a better quality of life living with diabetes.

And, you can have a similar success too.


At, our focus is helping our clients to achieve their goals while still being able to enjoy life with diabetes. If you would like some help "to sort out the wheat from the chaff," contact us today and experience how you can benefit from our services based upon the principles of E- A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust.

If you have diabetes and enjoy a meal out, "why stop?" With a little bit of planning and forethought, diabetics can enjoy a restaurant meal out as much as the next person.

Decide beforehand your carbohydrate, protein and fat intake limits and ask questions. As always, keep it simple, keep your food clean - sauces only on the side - and you may even think about a good glass of wine.

Why not call on today to help you on your path to a better quality of life living with diabetes?

Wayne Drury was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes more than one year ago. He quickly discovered there was scant diabetes information providing a roadmap to a better quality of life living with diabetes.

With his passion for learning, helping and providing Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust (E-A-T) to the diabetes community, Damndiabetes began. A boutique firm in Vancouver, they live and breathe the consequences of treating diabetes daily. If you wish help with your diabetes management, are frustrated and have nowhere to turn, call on Damndiabetes and experience their EAT today. We are always happy to help.

Passion for diabetes knowledge is our centrepiece; EAT is what we deliver.

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: Statements and opinions expressed on this Website do not constitute medical advice or recommendations. You should not rely on any information in such posts or comments to replace consultations and decisions with qualified healthcare professionals.

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