Frustrated with eating at Restaurants

I need to vent some of my frustrations and I am curious if others here feel the same way. the other day I forgot my carb book and I asked the host at Applebees if they could provide me with a nutritional value for the meal of my choice so I could determine the correct bolus for my insulin. After a few minutes they returned and told me that they did not have any nutritional information to give me. I asked if they had access to the internet so that I could get the proper dosage for the meal and I was informed that it was restricted and it could not be used. MMMMM no carb book in hand, no scale either what to do guess we will guess when the meal comes from memory. ( wasn’t the best choice for me this day) I sky rocketed and at two hours post I was 644 Grrrrrr… I have had trouble obtaining nutritional info from all the major chains Chilli’s, Applebee’s, etc… Whats your answer to this dilemma I’m curious? Should I carry a scale around with me now too? Should restaurants be required to show you the nutritional value like pre packaged foods do?

Sorry for you Patty, but here in CA it is required by law for chains with more than a certain number of restaruants in the state to provide nutritional information upon request. Many fast food chains have just posted the info in their lobby.

One thing to be aware of is that nutritional information on prepackaged foods or prepared in restaurants only has to be within 20 percent, by FDA regs, so don’t treat anyone’s Nutrition chart as a Bible. Also that means if you didn’t bolus right, it might not be your fault.

I try to not eat out at restaurants for dinner, at least not if I have to work the next day, because it is never the same. That way I don’t get as frustrated.

Tanya it may also be law here IDK but I found that when I ask restaurants for the info I get the weirdest expressions like I’m speaking a different language, I also hate eating out because I have no control over the meal but at my job its eat and run and visa versa never knowing when and where you will be at a moments notice. Yes I pack a lunch or supper but at times I am gone for hours to all day on a call so we stop and eat when possible where ever.

I have found that the big chains like Mcdonald’s and Burger king post them for you to see but I avoid those places at all cost I just wish restaurants where more diabetic friendly and I have asked all of them that I visit to attempt to get the nutritional information for me in the future.

Wish more restaurants had this available & that their info was actually accurate.

I go with with what looks like the most carb-friendly items & do my best guesstimate. I request sauces & salad dressing on the side, ask about ingredients & hope for the best. By sticking to protein & veggies, I haven’t had many diabetic disasters.

Gerri I just found out that it is a law in my state that all restaurants have this posted but not very many do. It must not have a very good enforcement policy.

Geesh, all the document mentions is calories. Wonder if all that’s going to be listed.

Nice statement: Type II diabetes (the form of diabetes linked to high fat diets). Someone should set them straight there:)

According to the link, the regs don’t go into effect until 11/10. Keep your eyes open in Nov.

Patty, check with your Endo and see if they have a book from Lilly called “Nutrition in the Fast Lane” It has most of the fast food and chains in it with their popular menu choices and the nutrition info along with carb counting info. If they do ask for two and keep one in the car.

Well, although Taxachusetts has passed a law requiring that restaurants with 20 or more sites post calorie information, that may not apply to Applebees and there may not be that many Applebees in the state.

I don’t trust restaurants. They lie and then they lie. Ask about the contents in a dish and they probably don’t even know themselves. Sorry to tell you Applebees generally heats previously prepared things to make the meals and they come in little bags. My recommendation when faced with this sort of thing is choose known items and ask for special order. I’ll often ask for a meat or seafood item, no sauce. I’ll then ask for a veggie side item again no sauce. I will choose from anything on the menu. If I see if offerred, I consider it valid to ask for. If you want a roll or something, you can guage that with reasonable confidence. They may try to overcharge you, but I will give them a wicked chewing out for not having useful information on what is in the things they serve and then remind them “The Customer is always RIGHT!”

  1. Another option is to use your mobile phone

Where I am it is law that a place have such information open to you, even if it means tapping into the store site for such info … just like its law to let you know what is in the food, that might cause an allergic issue (is it cooked in pen nut oil etc).

When down in the US with my hubby I will not eat out if I can well help it, its not safe and its just down right an issue period, if we do eat out I choose what I will eat before we leave and if they do not have it then we leave, simple as that - we’ve dun it many times and if we ever go back down to the US we’ll do it again I am sure.

All I can say is look before you go, memorize the basics of what foods have listed for a count and if in dought sick to plain chicken not fried or with sauce on the side, no potatos of any type and have a salad or veggies with again sauce on the side. That or split the meal with your partner or something (had to that a couple places in the US, that served pasta courses only).

Richard I have several books and I usually bring the Calorie King with me its just that I got caught off guard and forgot it. Its also hard to plan where or what your going to eat when going to a strange location that you have never been before…

You know, I was thinking about what it would take to bring me to 644 mg/dl. Since I rise 2-3 mg/dl for every gram of carbs, that is about 250 g of carbs. For me, that would be a carb fest of truly epic proportions. Now, I doubt you are half my size, so you probably ate but a fraction of that. But a good thing to always remember is that if you are in a situation where there can be major errors estimating carbs, if you have a large carb meal, those errors will be large, if you have a small total carb meal, those errors will be small. The so-called “law of small numbers.”

Very frustrating. But, if you have a cell phone with internet service, CalorieKing has a free database that you can look up the carb counts as well - I utilize this almost daily - both at home for foods, and at restuaraunts. I have had luck with Ruby Tuesdays showing me their nutritional information.

My normal fasting BS in the AM is around 140 mg/dl give or take and even with just coffee non dairy creamer and sweet and low last week it went to 378 mg/ml two hours post. the coffee was calculated at 2 carbs for the sweet and low while everything else contained zero carbs. Other diabetics have no or little reaction to the same but then again some people have a large spike like me from it. I try my best to plan out each meal and my BS will have mixed results eating the same meal. As for me and obesity I weight in at 114 lbs currently.

It’s catch-as-catch-can in Maine - I find that many of the big chains (BK, KFC, Pizzeria Uno’s, etc) have that info available if you ask, but sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, I make a point of asking to see the manager and explaining politely that I cannot bring my child to their restaurant without this info, so if they want my business and that of every other diabetic in the state, they should consider making it available. I do it in the nicest possible way and with Eric sitting angelic and sweet in my arms so it makes an impression :slight_smile: Then, as long as we’re not starving, we leave without ordering.

On occasions that I can’t just leave, I make sure I order items that I can guesstimate - simple stuff, like a glass of milk (and I usually ask the server to measure it with a measuring cup so it’s exactly 8 oz) and a cheese sandwich. No fries. Eric’s kind of limited in what he’ll eat so it usually works.

I’m surprised Applebee’s doesn’t have this, though. You’d think they would.

Patty, it is a hazard of eating out. Most chains have that information available, and I checked with the two nearest applebees here, they both have sheets that are given to customers about their meals and the sides they serve. So don’t know what was up with the one you were at. I try to plan ahead, which I realize isn’t for everyone, but I have a note book with these sheets in them for every place I might want to eat, or that we have visited; some I have copied off line, or written for. As of yet, restaruants aren’t required by law in SD or the nation as a whole to print this information up…but amazingly the fast food restaurants are leading the charge. I guess the best we can do in that situation was exactly what you did, guesstimate and then go high in your estimation of what you are eating. Maybe it’s time, that as much as we don’t want to, there are many diseases (I hate that) that need to know the content of our food…we push legislatures to enact that rule, nutritional information must be available. Of course, when they have to hire people to prepare it, we are going to be paying the price…are we ready for a $7.00 grilled cheese — ?

Ouch! 644? I didn’t even know that personal meters would go that high. I don’t eat out for the same reason though, it’s hard to figure out what to do, 'cause no food chains seem to have any nutritional information… it’s made me resort to using my phone to dig it up in the middle of a meal :confused:


The MA law doesn’t go into effect until Nov 2010.

Usually I decide the restaurant and I look it up on line and pick the entrees that I can safely eat. I also have calorie king but they don’t list all the restaurants and the restaurants they do list they don’t put all the entrees. Although I have to agree that they lie anyway. I avoid pasta, rice, sauces, french fries because all of those have a bazillion carbs. My worst night was going to Elephant Bar (before I looked up menus online). Their food is really hard to figure out. I had some asian dish with a sauce and my BG went through the roof. (but not in the 600s thank goodness.)

I always use my guestimation. At one diabetes fair I have attended the ladies at my table had the same meal but different serving sizes. So which meal size had the advertised 30g of carbs? If this can happen at a diabetes fair it will happen daily at restaurants. This is why I just use my visual sense of guestimation and my taste. My group ‘carb counting by example’ is there to improve our guestimative skills. A photo of your meal would have been the perfect addition: the carb bomb. Who would have guessed that correctly? So please make a photo the next time you will have to guess and post it in my group.

Its impossible to know exactly but I’ve gotten used to portions and eat much of the same kind of stuff wherever I eat. I don’t eat out very often but not for that reason. Usually I try to make sure if anything I’ve under eaten my carbs and deal with the lows rather then the highs as much as possible. It can get tricky if you have no idea. Certain sauces and things like that can add up real quick. In general I wing it. Heck even if you know exactly how much carbs your eating the insulin action also varies. It’s really a nightmare unless you can deal with both highs and lows cause thats the disease. Then on top of that you sit there watching everyone just casually eating away not having to worry about nothing. This disease is pure torture in every aspect. Pray for Smart Insulin and get your life back.