Eating Out…With Diabetes

Posted by on Sep 8, 2021 in Staying Active | 0 comments

Your aging parent may be one of the growing numbers of seniors with Type 2 Diabetes. More than 800,000 seniors have this disease and the number will rise as Canada’s population continues to age.

Eating out is one of life’s pleasures and it does not have to stop because of Diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, you can enjoy eating out and take care of your diabetes at the same time.

It’s a matter of making the right choices, asking for what you need, and balancing your meals out with healthy meals at home.

Not everyone with diabetes has the same nutritional goals. A meeting with a Registered Dietician or Diabetic Educator can help sort out what to do when dining out.

How to find a restaurant
You can help your parent by picking a restaurant that offers a variety of choices. This will increase the chances of finding appropriate foods. You can phone ahead and ask about the menu. Also, make a reservation to avoid waiting and ensure that your parent can eat on time. This is particularly important if your parent uses insulin.

How to order
The American Diabetes Association makes these suggestions, based on sound principles of nutrition: You might also adopt these guidelines to prevent diabetes and heart disease. Discuss these ideas with your parent.

  • If you do not know what is in a dish - ask.
  • Ask whether food has been prepared with liquid oils rather than solid fats (that can be high in saturated and trans fats).
  • Choose food prepared with minimal salt, no extra sauce or butter
  • Choose dishes that are broiled, grilled or steamed instead of fried.
  • Try to eat the same portion as you would at home.  Share one order if the serving size is large, or take the extra food home.
  • Ask for sauces, gravies, and salad dressings on the side.
  • Order the baked potato - but top it with a teaspoon of low-calorie yogurt or sour cream instead of butter.
  • Limit your intake of sugar, caffeine, alcohol and soft drinks.

    Need more information?

  • Call the Canadian Diabetes Association’s toll-free information line at 1-800-226-8464 
  • Email a customer care representative at [email protected]
  • Visit the Canadian Diabetes Association’s .website:

Vol. 4, No. 5
© ElderWise Publishing 2008.
You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO article, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise, Canada’ go-to place for “age-smart” planning. Visit us at and subscribe to our FREE e-newsletter.


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