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Dining Out with Diabetes: 5 Starters to Avoid

Heading out to eat when you have diabetes or struggle to control blood sugar doesn’t have to be complicated.

With a few simple menu tweaks, you can still indulge in delicious dining experiences without spiking your glucose levels.

As you peruse the appetizers section at your favorite restaurant, be mindful of these 5 starters that can wreak havoc on healthy numbers.

Bread Baskets – Just Say No

Warm, fluffy bread right out of the oven – what’s not to love? As tempting as it might be, go easy on the bread basket. Especially refined white varieties, bread breaks down quickly into blood sugar.

Ask your server to take the bread away so you’re not faced with the temptation to dig in and spike those levels.

Fried Foods – Skip the Fryer

Anything crispy and golden straight from a vat of oil does look awfully tasty. However, fried foods like mozzarella sticks, french fries and onion rings contain hidden health traps.

Frying adds a tremendous amount of calories and unhealthy fats while offering zero nutrition. Plus, fried fare can really do a number on healthy blood sugar regulation.

Sweetened Drinks – Just One Will Do

When scanning drink options, it’s easy to overlook how much sugar sweet teas, specialty lemonades, sodas and cocktails can contain. The sugar in these sweet sips can easily tally up to an entire meal’s worth!

If you must, have just one sweet drink then switch to water or unsweetened tea.

Cream-Based Soups – Proceed with Caution

What’s wrong with a little creamy soup to start? Rich broths like potato soup, chowders and bisques could contain hidden thickeners like flour or cornstarch. Pair that with dairy and you’ve got a starter that can play games with your blood sugar.

Ask about broth-based soup options for a safer bet.

Cheese Fondue – Share with Friends

There’s nothing cozier than dipping a crispy piece of bread into a pot of ooey-gooey cheese fondue. But all that cheese and bread together can do a number on blood sugar regulation. It is high in saturated fat, sodium, and calories, which can raise blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, as well as cause inflammation and insulin resistance.

As these five starters show, dining out with diabetes or high blood sugar concerns can be confusing and challenging.

But with a few simple food swaps for less carb heavy options, it’s easy to keep levels balanced and still indulge in delicious meals.

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