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Dining out with Diabetes and open Q&A - Karen Gesell, C.D.E., October 22, 2013

KarenG@Unity:
Welcome to the Unity Diabetes Online Community! I’m Karen Gesell, a certified diabetes educator at Unity Diabetes & Endocrinology Services, and I’ll be hosting today’s chat. I’m glad you could join us today. We’re excited to answer all of your questions.
KarenG@Unity:
Before we get started let me just tell you how I’ll address your questions and comments today. I answer questions one at a time, in the order that they are posted to the site, and there might be a slight delay as I respond to each question. It may take a few minutes for me to type answers to your questions, so please stay logged-in to the chat to see my response, even if it takes a few minutes. And you might need to refresh every few minutes to keep up with the latest posts in the chat if you switch to another application on your computer.
KarenG@Unity:
Did you know that many restaurants offer nutrition information online?
lucyblue:
Hi Karen ~ I have a hard time counting carbs when I eat out - I lose track quickly and have a hard time estimating how much I'm getting at my meal. Any tips?
KarenG@Unity:
Great question lucyblue. This can be tricky but some tools that might help are:
-- Check out the restaurant's web site for a menu and nutritional information. Many restaurants have information on calories, fat, and carbohydrates
-- Use visual cues to help with portion sizes – a women's fist or a baseball is about a cup, which would be about 45 grams or rice or pasta or 30 grams of potato, a CD disc is the size of a small pancake or waffle which would be about 30 grams, a cupped handful is about 1/2 cup of fruit, veggies, or snack food.
sassy35:
Does ordering a kids meal help curb the carbs and calories when eating out?
KarenG@Unity:
You can also try calorieking.com to help you with counting your carbs.
KarenG@Unity:
Hi Sassy35. Eating a kids meal would help reduce carbs since the portion sizes are smaller!
lucyblue:
Thanks Karen, that's helpful. Do you know if there are any phone apps?
KarenG@Unity:
lucyblue – you can try the following apps:My Glucose buddy, or Lose It can help with weight loss.
KarenG@Unity:
Does anyone else have any apps they have tried?
lucyblue:
Somebody told me the MyFitnessPal was a good one, has anyone used that one?
Jane@Unity:
Someone in class tried MyfitnessPal and Fooducator.
KarenG@Unity:
When dinning out, you may also need to watch the fat in the foods you select. It is a good idea to call ahead and have a plan for what you will choose and try to stick with it after you arrive!
Jane@Unity:
Why does fruit have to be limited? Is it the fructose?
Jane@Unity:
What fruits are the lowest in sugar?
KarenG@Unity:
Hi Jane, fruit is high in carbohydrates and too many carbs can raise blood sugar. 
KarenG@Unity:
Fruits that are high in fiber like berries and apples with the skin have less carbs.
KarenG@Unity:
It helps to be a fat detective when eating out. Look for words like creamy, crispy, smothered, loaded, fried, cream sauce, southern style, buttered and piled high! Better choices would be broiled, baked, grilled, roasted, poached, steamed and stir fry.
Jane@Unity:
Is milk considered high in sugar?
KarenG@Unity:
Hi Jane, a cup of milk contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate.
KarenG@Unity:
It is the carbohydrate in foods as well as sugar that can raise blood sugar levels.
Jane@Unity:
Is almond milk, rice milk or soy milk better than cow's milk.
KarenG@Unity:
Another tip when dinning out is to ask for sauces, dressing, mayonnaise and gravy on the side.
KarenG@Unity:
Jane, rice milk, almond and soy milk may all contain carbohydrate so it is best to check the label. These are all good alternatives to cow’s milk.
Jane@Unity:
Is there a menu template for someone who has kidney disease and diabetes?
KarenG@Unity:
Hi Jane, great question. The National Kidney Foundation has a web site that has links to menus and tips for eating out.
KarenG@Unity:
When eating out, don't be afraid to ask for food to be prepared special for you.
Jane@Unity:
Thanks Karen for the great information!
KarenG@Unity:
Jane, you are welcome and thanks for the great questions!
lucyblue:
Thanks Karen, lots of good tips!
KarenG@Unity:
When ordering, ask if you can substitute french fries and chips with a side salad.
KarenG@Unity:
Another tip for dessert lovers is to share one with the whole table.
KarenG@Unity:
That’s all the time we have for today. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation and hope that I was able to provide some insight for you. If we didn’t get to your question today or if you think of another question later on – feel free to jump into the conversation in the forum, or submit a question using our “Ask an expert” feature. Be sure to join us for our next chat Wednesday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m. I’ll be back with Kelly Mueller from the American Diabetes Association. Kelly and I will be holding an open Q&A session to answer all of your diabetes questions in celebration of Diabetes Month in November! Plus, Kelly will share information about the ADA’s upcoming event called “Taking Care of Diabetes Head to Toe” on November 14.

 
 
 
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