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Diabetic restaurant food

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by livabet1, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. livabet1

    livabet1 Type 1 · Member

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    Greeting to everyone.
    I've just come back from a very nice Sunday lunch on the Isle of Wight.
    When I looked at the menu, I noticed lots of dishes for Vegetarians and Vegans but nothing considering Diabetics.
    I had today a Sunday roast with Honey roast parsnips (cant have) and cornflower thickened gravy (cant have). It was very nice but not the cant haves. There was no desserts offered that were not sweet.
    There are probably more Type 1 and 2s in the the UK than veggies and Vegans so why are we not considered by in restaurants?
     
  2. StewM

    StewM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Well, in a nutshell, cause there isn't really such a thing as a Diabetic Diet in the same way there are Vegan and Vegetarian diets.
     
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  3. Dr Snoddy

    Dr Snoddy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    And if there were a Diabetic Diet it would probably be based on the modified Eatwell Plate like it is in hospitals. No thank you!
    However I hear that some restaurants are starting to cater for people on keto diets .
     
  4. Andydragon

    Andydragon Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    Well some stats imply there are more meat free eaters in the UK than diabetics and the stats also seem to indicate a general increase to this form of diet hence the increasing dietary demands in restaurants. After all, if no demand then capitalist society wouldn't support them

    https://www.finder.com/uk/uk-diet-trends discuss about 14% compared to 6% diabetics (https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-prevalence.html)

    Also as @StewM indicates there is no such thing really as a diabetic diet. Some insulin dependent can eat pretty much normally but I do appreciate that's hard to do without the nutritional knowledge of the food.

    But of course restaurant food is generally a treat, we can look hopefully at menus beforehand and get an idea of the least impactful.

    I don't suspect many cater really in most places for health. Hence the push to display nutrition info and to legislate on portion sizes etc. Bit contrary given "eat out to help out".

    That said, a good restaurant will be able to take your requirements into account. Unless they are those that batch book and heat up, customising meals is something that with planning (phone ahead for example) can make for specific meals for you maybe?
     
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    #4 Andydragon, Jun 6, 2021 at 3:45 PM
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
  5. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have Type 1 diabetes and find that is no reason not to eat honey roast parsnips, cornflour thickened gravy or sweet desserts. I just need to dose my insulin appropriately.
    Ok, so “just” maybe down playing it a bit as it takes trial and error and calculations, but I eat what I want, maintain a healthy weight and a below target HbA1C.
    I would not touch a restaurant’s idea of a diabetic meal with a barge pole. I would expect it to be full of substitutes (such as artificial sweeteners) rather than fresh fruit and veg which I am used to.
     
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  6. sleepster

    sleepster Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Exactly this.
    I eat honey roast parsnips and cornflour-thickened gravy. I usually ask for extra gravy :D
    I tend not to have puddings out as I'm lactose-intolerant. A lactose-free and "diabetic" pudding would probably be sugar-free jelly, but then that's not vegetarian/vegan. It's just not possible to cater for every dietary requirement or combo of requirements, especially if they vary from person to person.
     
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  7. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek I reversed my Type 2 · Expert

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    T2 here with a currently insane diet, so... If you're finding it hard to bolus for restaurant food, have you tried asking for modifications? They'd rather change your meal than throw 60% of it in the trash, after all. I ask whether it's okay for me to be difficult, in the most apologetic way I can, and then ask them to leave stuff out and/or add stuff in. Like eggs, extra meat, or salad with olive oil or something instead of dressing, when that was still an option for me etc. I have a few places I frequent, and they know I tip well for the extra effort. (And leave positive reviews as well). As an introvert, having to ask for something special was, and remains, really hard, but I have never encountered a kitchen that didn't want to help. (One place even stuck a smiley face dessert decoration on my steak, so it wouldn't feel lonely on the plate, haha).

    Ask, and ye shall receive.
     
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  8. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    You are lucky to be able to eat what you want with insulin. I really have to watch my carb intake even though on Basal/Bolus, BMI of 21 and low body fat mass.
     
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  9. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    One of the problems is the obsession with Calories which are meaningless for food intake. If there was more focus on the problem Carbs some places could list them. McDonalds do this on their tray sheets which I use for Bolus amounts. With a focus on Carbs (hence the resulting glucose in the body) it would highlight that diabetics are 'glucose intolerant' and guide menu choices. I find desserts a real problem with far too much added sugar (why?) and difficult to measure.
     
  10. searley

    searley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Irrespective of diabetes going back even before diabetes I’m a fussy eater.. lots of dislikes

    I typically talk to the staff and discuss substitute items. Most places are more than happy to accommodate this as they want happy customers

    Every diabetic is different I don’t low carb and don’t need to.. I will still happily ask for the sticky toffee pud and custard

    If places had to accommodate every possible diet variation the menus would be unreadable or so big to accommodate that you’d never be able to read it

    I know someone that only eats raw and dehydrated food.. should that also appear?

    I think talking and discussing options is simply the best way and decent chef can find a suitable substitute
     
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  11. TashT1

    TashT1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Unlike vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets it would be very difficult to produce a one size fits all diabetic diet. The crux of the issue is that unfortunately no two diabetics are the same so we have to cater to our specific needs.

    But as others have mentioned, in general places that cook with fresh produce & to order are more than happy to substitute items, especially if it’s a conversation had in advance.
     
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  12. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    What would you like to see on the menu specifically considering diabetics?
     
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  13. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I am carb intolerant and lactose intolerant.
    My old job took me all around the country, overnights in hotels and travelling quite long distances.
    Every hotel including a really 5 star +, couldn't do enough for me, including cooking fresh meat and salad. The breakfasts in some well known hotels were excellent and lasted till the evening. Ever eaten three poached eggs with bacon piled high with mushrooms and tomatoes? Heavenly!

    As others have already said, ask the waiters if you can see the chef on duty and I will tell you I've only been knocked back once and that was a hotel outside Wembley station by the stadium itself. They're idea of breakfast was creamed scrambled eggs, and cereal, nowt else, even the tea tasted different.

    Stay safe and ask, if they want custom, they should be obliging.

    Keep safe.
     
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  14. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    In my experience all but the cheapest places are obliging. The others cook with piles of starch because it is cheaper.
    My favourite burger option involves a 'salty streakier' namely burger, halloumi, avocado smash plus bacon.
    I've never had a problem requesting a swap of 'seasonal veg' instead of chips/rice.
    That's low carb sorted anyway. Any place that knows precisely how many carbs it's dishes contain is likely to be serving food freshly reheated from a factory and as for 'diabetic' options that sounds like an artistic interpretation and if I play that card perhaps they wont let me have sticky toffee pudding...IMO a non problem anyway.
     
  15. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I for one, am glad that there are no 'diabetic foods', what exactly would it consist of anyway, lower 'sugar', fewer 'carbs' or simply no puddings on the menu? People with diabetes are normal people as far as I am concerned, they do not require any 'special' food and if anyone told me that 'here you go, you should be eating that, here's your special menu' I wouldn't be happy about it. Having said that, it would be nice if places had a wide variety of foods, some could be lower carb for example for those that prefer it, diabetic or not, some could be vegetarian for those that want that, again diabetic or not, some could be meat only. All any of us really want is a wider choice which then allows us to pick for ourselves dependent on our wishes. Labelling something 'for diabetics' means classing us as a breed apart, or all the same, or all requiring a set menu, and there are so many differences between us all that it would be meaningless.
     
    #15 KK123, Jun 6, 2021 at 6:29 PM
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
  16. Scimama

    Scimama Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    I am a vegetarian who controls my blood sugars by low carbing, no medication. If you've ever looked at the vveggie options on many restaurant menus they are not low carb!
    I usually politely ask for a mix up of what is On the menu, so maybe a salad with a halloumi and avocado starter options as a main course.
    I might order a veggie burger if it's real grilled veg rather thaI a bought in party and ask for a bit of salad instead of chips and ask for no bun..
    This is isn't a new thing for me, as a life long veggie I remember when there wasn't any veggie options at all.
    don't be afraid to ask in restaurants, they want their customers to be happy.
     
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  17. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yep, I absolutely agree, a whole other level of nuisanceness (if there is such a word!). That's part of the point I reckon, some vegetarians prefer lower carb, some don't, some diabetics want low carb, some don't, it becomes impossible to cater that specifically for 'diabetics' hence just give us a wider choice so we can pick for ourselves. I don't expect all restaurants to serve endless variations of all of the above of course and to get back to the initial poster's question, in the end we have to pick for ourselves. x
     
  18. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi, & greetings back.

    I was diagnosed back in an era of "medieval" device insulin administering.
    The only "diabetic friendly" stuff on offer was on a "special shelf" down my local chemist. (Most of which had a laxative effect & could only be sampled in small quantities due to it.)

    By no means am I a fussy eater. But I will give certain food stuffs a miss.
    So yah. The honey roast or the desert menu wouldn't be my "thing" either..
    The vegetarian option. I may just possibly go for, if I know what I'm dealing with on the carb count front..?
    I quite like celeriac steaks..

    Dispite your disappointment regarding what was on offer regarding your dietary choice & requirement.
    I sincerely hope your experience at the resteraunt was a pleasant distracting one with good company & your BGs faired well with what you did choose..

    Kind regards.
     
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  19. livabet1

    livabet1 Type 1 · Member

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    Hi
    Thanks for all the discussion form my posting re diabetic food in restaurants. My wife is a veggie and restaurants we go to have things like of a veggie option offered of haloumi instead of fish for fish and chips and veggie sausages in an all day breakfast.
    I would like restaurants to offer for example for a Sunday roast options of non glazed parsnips, reduced gravy instead of cornflower thickened gravy and fresh fruit desserts instead of sweet desserts. There is no need for a 'diabetic menu' just some options for people who are diabetic so that we don't have to cope with managing a large calorie intake or indeed for folk just who don't want loads of unnecessary carbs
     
  20. carty

    carty Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I can't. really comment on large restaurants but most of the smaller ones that I have eaten in will quite happily change what they have on the menu to accommodate your needs
    Carol
     
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