Trimming the Fat Around the Middle

I am a type 2 diabetic. I know the advantage of eating healthy, though I don’t always play by the rules. I take whatever shortcuts I can when I can.

It is just more convenient to eat out not only because I don’t have to cook, but I also don’t have to spend the high prices at the checkout stand or the cost of cooking a meal. I throw more food out from my fridge then I actually use.

I am single and only cook for myself when I get a craving for something I can’t get at the drive thru. My wish is for a vegetarian fast food drive thru. Oh, I can go to Booger King and order a Whopper minus the meat or Taco Bell for a meatless Mexican pizza. I’ve done it, but that is my point actually. Very, very few restaurants, in my neighborhood anyway, serve from a vegetarian menu.

I also want to take issue with the lack of information about the nutritional values and the Food Exchanges that diabetics, such as me, require to make informed decisions about what we eat.

I have read in many reports and watched more then just a few TV blurbs about how diabetes is running rampant, reported to be in epidemic proportions. So many times, I hear about how we as a nation have become an offending obese population. If such is the case and if someone, anyone really wants to change this American stereotype, please, let’s promote healthy eating habits not only at the dinner table, but at the friendly neighborhood diner. Let us see more information on the menus about what we are about to buy at the restaurant. Let us see more options for those of us who have diabetes such as smaller portioned meals. Speaking for myself as a diabetic, I am more likely to return to a place that shows true concern for the health of their patrons. Maybe, just maybe we can, not only trim the fat around the American middle, but also take a more decisive stand to be the change we all seek in the American Healthcare System.

Parliment considered passing a law in Canada that would force restaurants to list the calorie, fat, and sodium content of items in menus. The restaurant lobby fought it tooth and nail, and unfortunately were successful. What a shame. In taking a quick peruse of major chain’s nutritional info where it is available online, it’s not uncommon to find entrees with calorie counts well over 1200 - scary, considering that the average woman needs approximately 1800 in an entire day. Finding healthy food when eating out can be a real challenge!!!

I cook larger sized meals, then portion out single or double servings into tupperware style containers and freeze them. That way we have healthy meals on hand for those days when we’re too tired (or lazy!!!) to cook, and less food goes to waste in the fridge.

Thanks Maureen for taking the time to respond to these issues.

Whenever, I have had to spend an overnight stay at the hospital, the cafeteria always manages to offer an adequate variety of prepared foods in just the right portions. Of course, being a Heath Care Facility, they are duty bound to offer appropriate menus for the wide variety of patient needs. I would imagine they accomplish this with a minimum of inconvenience or loss of food.

Would it be so hard for a restaurant chain to do the same? With so much adverse advertising banging us over the head about exercise and diet in the battle of the bulge, it is a proven fact that portioned meals serve the dieter much better then all the rest of those fad diets. In my experience, anything worth doing is worth doing right. So let’s encourage a balanced meal at home, on the road, and in our schools wherever people sit down to partake of a meal.

I understand, having researched this topic, there are a few restaurant chains who do offer alternative menus with lower carbohydrates. This is very encouraging and I hope it is the start to a new trend in the restaurant industry.