Most of the people when we go out to dinner do not worry about choosing the restaurant that we like the most, we arrive and while they take note (that sometimes they do it by putting a basket of bread or snacks beforehand) we start to peck. This ritual that may seem totally harmless, can have certain “stickiness” in case we are type II diabetics.

In case of suffering from type II diabetes , there are a number of points that we must watch over so as not to scare us later and to continue enjoying going out to dinner with family or friends.

Some tips to continue enjoying meals away from home being a type II diabetic

In recent years, the number of people who have been diagnosed with diabetes has increased alarmingly , and at least in the short term it does not seem that this data is going to remit taking into account how the number of overweight or obese people has multiplied in the last ten years in Spain. Therefore, it is important that we begin to learn what we can and can not (better said, we should) eat if we are type II diabetics .

In addition, diabetes can bring associated other health problems (increased cardiac risk, higher levels of LDL cholesterol, kidney damage, vision problems …), so we must pay special attention to it.

Use social networks in your favor

With the rise today of social networks where everyone usually uploads a picture of their plate, their menu or their dessert when they go out to dinner with friends, colleagues or with their partner, we can take advantage of all this information in our favor in order to get an idea about the way of cooking the dishes , the size, the amount of sauce served in them, the size and quantity of desserts … Even to see how they look the dishes that we will meet later when we go to dinner.

In addition, it is very common today to see restaurants with profiles on social networks where, in addition to advertising, they offer photos of the dishes to customers who choose to use technology to choose their lunch or dinner place. And another point in favor of the use of technology is that many restaurants already offer a menu on their web pages where they can consult the nutritional information of their dishes .

Take advantage of snacks to stop hunger

Having a reservation in a restaurant is not going to guarantee that we sit down on time at our table, so that the hunger may end up appearing and we end up hitting a binge of food that causes us an excessive rise in the level of glucose.

To avoid this, we can take a small snack of nuts by hand while we wait or order a drink at the bar while we wait and take advantage of the small snack that they usually put in each drink to appease the hunger while we wait our turn to sit down table.

Pay attention to the way you cook the dishes

The gratin, breaded or crunchy label on a plate could be indicative that the dish is richer in carbohydrates than those that appear on the menu as grilled or sautéed (do not forget that the body metabolizes carbohydrates in glucose, and if we take an excessive amount of these, we will have an excess of glucose).

In addition, we should note in those dishes that come accompanied by garnishes , the size of them, and if possible we can ask the waiter if there is a possibility of changing the garnish for something healthier (for example change a serving of chips for a salad or grilled vegetables could be a good option).

Be very careful with the buffet

If there is a place where we are not going to have measure at lunchtime, they are the super well-known buffet. The danger for a diabetic here is huge if we do not orient ourselves well and we are aware of the amount of food we can eat.

The main problem of these restaurants is that the vast majority of the food present is fried food, empanada, pasta or high in fat , so we must monitor very well the quantities we serve . On the other hand, and as a positive point, these buffet also have a steamed food area and a good assortment of vegetables to choose from (we can make the vegetables steamed or wow or ask us to grill them).

And although for dessert there is usually some fruit to choose from, the general rule is that they consist of portions of cakes, ice cream, profiteroles and other types of sweets.

Try to learn the glycemic indexes of the best foods

A good way to control what you eat and enjoy a meal away from home is to try to learn the glycemic indexes of the foods that best suit our situation:

  • Vegetables : some vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, spinach or cauliflower have glycemic indexes that are quite healthy for a diabetic.
  • Be careful with refined grains : Whenever possible, try to select the integral options of bread, rice or wheat pasta instead of the refined versions , since the latter have a higher glycemic index and will not suit us well.
  • Take care of the meat : meat is an excellent source of protein, but we must monitor the way of preparation and the accompaniments. If possible, we can ask that the sauce be served separately (this way we will control the quantity that we put to it) and ask if that dish has other options of accompaniment.

Inform staff of our condition

In the same way that more and more restaurants are reporting products that contain or can contain their dishes (mostly because the law requires them), we can also inform the waiter of our condition of type II diabetics in order to find the menu option or the menu that best suits us .

Another option, provided we have the possibility, would be to eat only half of our ration and ask us to save the other half to take it home. Normally they do not usually put a lot of problems to this, but we can always find a restaurant that does not support this option.

Pay attention to the amount of sugar we consume

Especially if we are going to drink soft drinks or alcoholic beverages (remember that alcohol is metabolized in the liver as sugar). We must be very careful if we ask for a combination, since mixing an alcoholic beverage with a soft drink will exponentially increase the amount of sugar that our body ingests.

If we decide to take more than one soft drink, we can choose to have a dessert that is natural fruit , not to have dessert or, if we want to have dessert, we can choose to share it .

And if you are type II diabetics …

Something you can not forget if you are type II diabetics is the inclusion of physical activity in your daily routine, since sport is a great ally in the fight against this disease. In the following article by my colleague David Díaz Gil , you can see how the sport affects blood glucose peaks .