Type 2 diabetics can still eat international foods, you just need to know which ones!
When it comes to gastronomic information for diabetics, there seems to be a dearth of guidance on the various international foods available in so many restaurants. You’ve probably read all about how to cut back on French fries, steak, and French fries … but what about falafel, sushi, and egg soup?
Like good American food, food from abroad is a double-edged sword. Some dishes are carbohydrate and saturated fat bombs, while others are perfect for people with type 1, or type 2 diabetes.
Here’s how to navigate an international menu if you are diabetic:
Mexican: Traditionally, Mexican food consisted of two main foods … corn and beans. Sadly, most American versions of Mexican food pile on additions like refined flour, oil, and sour cream.
Beans are an especially healthy food for diabetics, as they are full of fiber and minerals. Additionally, whole wheat and corn tortillas are also a healthy option in moderation.
One of the best dishes to order in Mexican restaurants is vegetable-laden fajitas and grilled beans … but be sure to avoid tortillas.
Chinese Food: Traditional Chinese takeout is not the place for most diabetics to find a healthy meal. Because they tend to load your food with MSG and unhealthy fats, you should look to more traditional Chinese restaurants that tend to serve more vegetables.
When you’re there, look for chicken dishes that are low in sodium or ask the cook to add less salt to the food.
Italian: Because they tend to be loaded with carbohydrates, many diabetics steer clear of all Italian dishes. This is not a bad plan, as pasta and lasagna are carbohydrate-based.
However, if you are looking for high-end Italian restaurants, you will see dishes on the menu like grilled vegetables with mozzarella cheese and arugula salad that are healthy, delicious, and while lacking in pasta … they are Italian.
Japanese: When you think of Japanese food, rice may come to mind, but that is not an entirely accurate representation of Japanese cuisine.
Sushi, the prototype of Japanese import, is a healthy food for most people with diabetes … when eaten in moderation. The omega-3s in fish and the fiber in vegetables make sushi a great option. However, some sushi put the burden on white rice in a cost-cutting effort. Order sushi with little or no rice and it will greatly increase the wholesomeness of your food.
If you are feeling adventurous, try Shabu Shabu. Shabu Shabu (which literally translates to “splash, splash”) is a dining experience where you are given a bowl of boiling water and a set of raw ingredients. You cook them together yourself and enjoy the results.
Because you’re controlling what you put in, most of which are chicken, fish, and veggies, Shabu Shabu is as healthy as you want it to be.
Thai: Thai food is gaining popularity and you may have one on the street from your home. Thai food tends to be healthier than other Asian cuisines, as the focus is on vegetables and lean cuts of meat.
For even more health benefits from your Thai food, order more veggies and brown rice … most Thai restaurants will be happy to accommodate you.
People with type 2 diabetes don’t need to stop eating at restaurants that serve international food … you just need to know what foods to avoid in order to control both your weight and your blood sugar levels.