Healthy Dining Finder - Ask the Dietitians - What Are the Best Low Sodium Choices for Those With Pre-Diabetes?
 
Ask the Dietitians
Registered Dietitians Answer Your Questions about Restaurant Nutrition

What Are the Best Low Sodium Choices for Those With Pre-Diabetes?


I've just been diagnosed with pre-diabetes! How can I find the best restaurant menu choices that are both low in sodium and good for people with pre-diabetes?

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For people with pre-diabetes, eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is recommended to help manage the condition and prevent a more serious diagnosis. For those with pre-diabetes who are overweight or obese, weight loss is often recommended.  Losing weight can help reduce the risk of pre-diabetes advancing to diabetes. To eat out while trying to maintain or lose weight, use these tips:
  • Monitor portion sizes. Restaurant meals are often large, so plan ahead to request a half-sized portion (if available), share a meal with a friend, or take leftovers home to enjoy tomorrow.
  • Focus on lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy per the MyPlate recommendations. These foods can help support a healthy diet, lifestyle and blood sugar levels.
  • Choose foods that are broiled, steamed, baked, and grilled rather than fried foods.
  • Limit saturated fats by avoiding cream-based soups and sauces, limiting full fat cheeses, and using dressings, gravies, and butter sparingly.
  • Choose one of the thousands of Healthy Dining options already approved by registered dietitians.

Further ‘healthify’ your restaurant meal options by reducing sodium levels to fit a low sodium diet:
  • Request food to be prepared with no added salt; use spices or lemon juice to add flavor instead.
  • Limit processed meats (i.e., hot dogs, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, deli meats, etc.) and cheeses, opting instead for fresh and lean seafood, chicken, or beans as a protein source.
  • Ask for dishes to be prepared with reduced amounts of sauces, gravies, and other dressings, or ask for these sauces on the side and use sparingly.
  • Limit high-sodium condiments, like pickles, olives, capers, ketchup, and relish.
  • Choose vegetable-based appetizers or side dishes instead of typically sodium-heavy soups to complement your meal.
  • Look for Sodium Savvy meals in your area to ensure your menu selection meets strict sodium criteria.

For more tips on eating out while following a healthy and low sodium diet, visit the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association websites.

To find Healthy Dining and Sodium Savvy options in your area, search ZIP code or city and state at HealthyDiningFinder.com.  
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Ask the RD

Registered Dietitians Answer Your Questions about Restaurant Nutrition

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