How to Eat Out as a Diabetic

How To Eat Out as a Diabetic

I struggle to know what to put down on forms for ‘dietary preference’. While I’m not diabetic, my husband has been through the wringer with being told he’s type 1, type 2, and now sort-of-maybe-a-type-two over the past few years. Needless to say, our eating has gone through many changes with each (mis)diagnosis. We don’t follow any sort of diet program, but we focus on lean meats, low GI multigrain carbs, and fresh local vegetables.

I have a feeling this is called “clean eating” in order to repackage it as a fad. I call it “food”.


The problem I have now is that if I eat anything I’m not used to, it makes me feel sick. Which presents a challenge when it comes to eating out, as  most foods are fattier and higher GI than what we eat at home. Not to mention the distinct lack of vegetables on most menus! And how do you describe the way we eat? I usually get stuck at “not crap food”.


For ProBlogger Event 2013, I put down a dietary preference as ‘diabetic’. I think someone said about 25% of the attendees put down a dietary preference, one of the biggest amount that QT Hotels had ever seen. Seeing as there was no specific food labelled ‘diabetic’ (from memory they had vegan, vegetarian and gluten free) I ended up sampling bits of each.

How To Eat Out as a Diabetic
A sampling of food from ProBlogger 2013 at QT Hotel Gold Coast













I ended up preferring the vegetarian meals – I don’t know if it was the ‘vege’ part but they seem to be the only commercial style of eating out that has vegetables in it. I don’t mind vegan meals, but personally I find that too often they’re deep fried. In my head, that’s to “make up for” them being vegan, which is silly, because there’s nothing wrong with being vegan!


So, what is my main tip for eating out as a diabetic?


Peruse the ‘side’ options first – make them the base of your meal.


The sides are where you find the crisp, fresh veggies. Often these are the only thing in the restaurant that are of  an appropriate serving size. Then choose your main to go with the side you’ve chosen. I prefer to choose something that’s grilled and lean – fish and chicken are good options usually


Of course, eating out can be a nice time to indulge, and I’m not saying that I never do this. These days I find that the indulgence is not worth it though. It’s all about finding the right balance for your needs.


What’s your best tip to accommodate a dietary preference when dining out?

2 Replies to “How to Eat Out as a Diabetic”

  1. I think these are good tips for anyone ordering out who wants to eat heathily! Restaurants often have large serving sizes that are more than we should be eating anyway. And you should be looking to get more veg into your diet at any time, I’m going to take your tip of ordering a side from now on!
    My friend who is vegetarian often struggles to find something other than bread to eat when out, it is really sad to see sometimes, but I really do think restaurants and cafes are getting better at serving more varied food to cater for all tastes. Even the local pub in my parents’ home town does a good vegetable stack now!

    1. That’s what I miss most when traveling – after a day or two I find myself craving vegetables! A tiny salad in a cafe just doesn’t cut it.

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