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Tips to Eating Out

Having diabetes should not limit your enjoyment of eating out. There are a number of ways you can manage your diabetes and weight if you tend to eat out on a regular basis.

Asian Meals

Asian meals offer a great variety of healthy options – you just need to be smart with your menu choices. There are 3 steps to healthy balanced menu choices:

• Smart Carbs: choose low GI rice (avoid Jasmine rice), sushi, noodles or dahl
• Add some protein for fullness – marinated tofu, stir fry beef or chicken, steamed seafood or fish, tandoori chicken or sashimi
• Fill your plate with vegies (at least half your plate)


• Clear soups with wontons and vegetables
• Steamed dumplings
• Stir fry chicken or beef with a sauce based on soy, ginger, garlic or chilli
• Seafood dish such as whole steamed fish or stir fried prawns or scallops
• Stir-fried or steamed green vegies
• Smaller serves of steamed or boiled rice and fresh rice noodles


• Fresh spring rolls
• Tom Yum soup
• Noodles in soups rather than fried pad that – style noodles
• Thai salads
• Seafood and vegetable braised dishes
• Stir fried combinations of tofu, seafood, neat, chicken or pork with nuts, vegetables and sauce (avoid coconut milk based curries)
• Small serves of steamed rice
• Stir fried vegetables with Thai herbs and chilli


• Pho soup
• Fresh rice paper rolls filled with prawns, chicken or tofu
• Clay-pot dishes with eggplant or fish
• Fresh salads with rice noodles
• Stir fried beef, chicken with vegetables
• Steamed fish or seafood
• Stew or meat braised dishes


• Tikka or Tandoori based chicken, fish or seafood
• Beef, chicken, seafood curries
• Vegetable-based curries with chickpeas (channa) or cottage cheese(paneer), fresh salads and side dishes such as cucumber raita, pickles
• Dahl – a great low GI side dish
• Basmati rice – make sure you keep to ¼ of your plate and fill up with vegies


• Sushi with seafood, chicken or vegetables
• Sashimi
• Miso or Ramen soup
• Teriyaki or Teppanyaki style meats or seafood
• Shabu shabu (slices of beef cooked quickly in broth with vegetables)
• Sides such as seaweed salad or edamame (young green soy beans)

Mexican & Spanish

Mexican and Spanish meals based on fresh seafood and grilled meats and salads offer lots of healthy alternatives. Avoid loads of cheese and sour cream

• Bean and salsa dips
• Black bean or gazpacho soup
• Freshly cooked seafood or fish
• Enchiladas (white corn tortilla filled with meat, chicken or beans)
• Burritos (filled flour tortillas) and fajitas
• Salad based dishes
• Seafood Paella


Pasta cooked al-dente is low GI – just be careful of serve size. Often an entrée serve of pasta will be sufficient. Avoid creamy sauces and lots of cheese and stick to tomato or vegetable based sauces. Load up on fresh salad and avoid deep fried and crumbed seafood and meats.

• Minestrone soup
• BBQ or marinated seafood dishes
• Grilled seafood or fish
• Entrée-sized pasta with tomato (Napolitano), bean (fagoli) or seafood (marinara) sauce , without cream
• Cannelloni with ricotta and spinach
• Roast or chargrilled fillet of beef, lamb loin or poultry
• Garden salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
• Caprice salad with tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella
• Vegetarian pizza
• Gelato, sorbet or fresh fruit


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