How To Eat Out at Restaurants and Stick to a Sugar-free Diet

Posted on: 15 September 2015

Ten to fifteen years ago, health conscious people were on a crusade against fat, and numerous low-fat and fat-free food items became available in the marketplace. But in recent years, it has become clearer that the devil behind poor nutritional health and obesity rests on the shoulders of sugar and not fat.  Amongst other things, eating excess sugar can cause insulin resistance and type II diabetes, its metabolic effect can contribute to cancer, and it doesn't lower the hunger hormone, so you end up over-eating and becoming obese.

When you consider that high amounts of sugar are found in cakes, biscuits, soft drinks, dried fruits, pasta sauce, breakfast cereals, and bread, you probably think that you have to prepare all of your meals yourself and be very vigilant about what you are consuming.

To an extent, this is true. It is definitely easier to control your sugar intake if you make fresh food at home, but life would be pretty boring without an occasional night out at with your partner, friends, or family. These are a few tips to keep you sugar free when eating out at a restaurant.

  • Remove the bread basket. A bread basket is a common thing to see on a dinner table before the main meal comes out. Unfortunately, even wholewheat breads will spike your blood sugar levels faster than a chocolate bar because they are so densely packed with carbohydrates. So imagine the kind of stress your body is put under when you munch away at the bread basket before your dinner even arrives. Err on the side of caution and ask for the bread basket to be totally removed.
  • Ask if sauces are handmade. Really, any good restaurant should be making things like pasta sauces and curry sauces from scratch, but it's worth asking the question because processed sauces contain huge amounts of sugar that act as preservatives.  But fresh sauces don't need the same amount of sugar as they are prepared and used on the same day. Even if the sauces are "handmade" they could include substances like canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes, so ask specific questions about the produce.
  • Ask if you can bring your own dressing. Salad dressings are another place where sugar lies, particularly in balsamic or honey based dressings. Call the restaurant up beforehand and ask if they would mind making you something that is sugar free, or you could even ask about bringing your own dressing from home.

After a sugar free experience at your favourite restaurant, you'll realise that it's really possible to eat delicious and healthy food anywhere.