At HarborChase, our menus consist of chef-prepared meals, much like that of a fine restaurant. The difference between our meals and that of fine dining, is that we also strive to keep our residents’ dietary needs in mind. Being a senior with diabetes does not mean that you have to refrain from restaurant dining at all. In fact, if you order correctly, you may not even need to rely on medication to control your blood sugar. It is important to also consult with a doctor before removing medication from the equation. By minimizing your sugar intake and opting for healthier options, you can safely dine out with diabetes.
Tips for Ordering
It may not be enough just to order menu items that appear to be “healthy.” Without having access to the ingredients or preparing the food yourself, you may not know what hidden sugars and fats go into a recipe. For example, the “kale salad at Panera Bread has 600 calories and 40g of sugar, that’s more than the Little Cheeseburger at Five Guys!” The best way to tackle ordering off of a menu while having diabetes is to notify your server of your condition. If they are familiar with the ingredients of entrées, and the needs of a person with diabetes, this may be enough. However, you should also follow these tips to ensure your diet stays on track!
- Make reservations and ask the server to have your meal to come out first.
- Skip the white bread and instead select whole wheat or a lettuce wrap options.
- Ask a lot of questions about ingredients and meal preparation.
- Have the chef remove any sauces or put them on the side.
- Watch out for hidden sugars that can be lurking in salad dressings.
- Ask for fish or meat to be steamed or grilled - never fried!
- Pay attention to portion sizes and split a meal in half, if necessary.
- Avoid sugary drinks or alcoholic beverages.
Fine Dining with Diabetes
There is still a chance your server is not as knowledgeable as they may be leading on or they directly respond with, “I don’t know.” If you find yourself in this predicament, you can have more confidence when ordering the following entrées.
Grilled Salmon and Zucchini – This dish has a plethora of health benefits in addition to being delicious! If you are seeking a little more flavor, try Irish Salmon with Dijon mustard - the sauce is a small mixture of lemon zest, thyme, oil, honey, vinegar, whiskey, and salt and pepper.
Marinated Octopus – According to the New York Post, a great way for those with diabetes to order octopus is having it “dressed with extra-virgin olive oil, capers, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, onions, and cucumbers.” It is important to remember that a lot of chefs will prepare this with butter so be sure to ask for this dish to be prepared with only olive oil.
Greek Salad – This salad is full of hunger-stomping ingredients such as Kalamata olives, large tomatoes, and feta cheese. However, when ordering a salad, it’s always important to be cautious of the dressing. A safe Greek salad dressing can consist of garlic, black pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil.
At HarborChase, our chefs proudly prepare meals similar to fine dining with our residents’ unique dietary needs in mind. If you would enjoy living in an engaging hospitable community with fine-dining daily, contact a HarborChase associate today and learn more!