A huge issue many people have is how to eat healthy on the go. Or, how to eat healthy when dining out.
"How do I enjoy a dinner out with friends and family without undoing all the good I've done eating today?"
Here we will cover 5 tips you can use the next time you plan to have a night out on the town.
Tip #1: Cooking Method
One food myth that many people believe to be true is that fried food is unhealthy.
However the problem is really not how you cook your food, but rather the medium in which you cook it.
I say this to make the point that the medium in which you have your foods cooked, whether it be canola oil or olive oil, is the determining factor of how healthy your meal is.
Not the mode of cooking.
Since we've covered oils in The Most Hazardous Food In Your Kitchen post, you understand the damage seed oils can do. With that said, opt to have your meal prepared with olive oil, coconut oil, or real butter when eating out.
If for some reason it looks like this will be a problem, opt for a dish that is grilled or baked.
Tip #2: State Your Sensitivity Over Your Preference
Most restaurants you'll visit have a standard seed oil in which they cook all of the foods on their menu. It’s a safe bet to assume that oil is probably canola oil, soybean oil, or peanut oil if you’re dining at an Asian oriented restaurant.
Unless this place is all about customer service or are more on the upscale side, the waitress that you have is probably going to give you a snarky look and tell you “no-can-do” when you say you prefer for your salmon to be cooked in coconut oil.
So rather than ask with a preference, ask with a sensitivity. If you simply explain to the waiter you have a sensitivity to vegetable oils and need your food prepared in olive oil, he will be more willing to have understanding for you and work with your needs.
Tip #3: Know Your Go-To Options
When that menu slides under your nose and your roaring appetite is exposed to the abundance of sweet, savory, spicy, creamy, chocolatey, crunchy yummy options that lay before you (most often with drool-worthy photos), it’s pretty easy to let your eyes do the selecting.
9 times out of 10 you will go for one of the options that isn't so great for you.
To rule out the chance of you experiencing the negative effects of your blood glucose level shooting through the roof, follow this method.
Read the description of the options you'd like to have and rule out any options that mentions having
- a sauce
- a cream filling
- a glaze
- being breaded
- being smothered in a rich...
Tip #4: Skip The Junk Traps
This tip may not win me any friends but my general rule is to skip the appetizers.
Appetizers have the tendency to be loaded with carbs, sugar, and empty calories. With names like pot stickers, mozzarella sticks, and green-bean crispers, most appetizer options can be equated to adult junk food before dinner.
Instead of trying to tip-toe around the options and still end up making a not so healthy choice, skip the appetizer and sip on some water until your main dish comes to the table.
I would go into skipping dessert, but you can already imagine what you're getting yourself into there.
Tip #5: Stick To Hard Liquor
It goes without saying that anyone with diabetes should not be drinking soda of any type, not even the diet stuff (which is worse off than regular soda because of the aspartame artificial sweetener). With a quarter cup of sugar loaded into a small can of coke, I don't even suggest people who don’t have diabetes drink soda.
I understand that when you go out to eat you may want to allow yourself an alcoholic beverage. I say go for it, just avoid beer.
What tends to be forgotten is that beer is made from grains; usually barley. If you Google “how is beer made” you will learn that the 4 basic ingredients for beer are water, a grain, yeast, and hops. The entire purpose is to extract the sugar from the grains so that the yeast can turn them into alcohol and carbon dioxide, thus creating beer.
If you've read the Are Grains Bad For Me? post you will understand how grains are a no-go for your gut health nor your diabetes.
If you want alcohol I suggest you reach for the hard liquor. Liquor has none of the grain and hardly any of the sugar gotten from other alcoholic beverages, before the juice is added.
A vodka mixed with a spritz of cranberry juice and a little seltzer water is great. My personal favorite is coconut rum and pineapple juice topped with a squeeze of grapefruit on the rocks.