6 Ways To Avoid Sugar While You're Eating Out

Cutting out sugar is easier than you think! Most people who are trying to avoid sugar and sweeteners, have to make some extra efforts to plan out their meals and take-outs. If you’re trying to cut back on your sugar consumption while you’re out to dinner with your friends or while you’re ordering food for a work lunch, there are some easy steps you can take. A common solution is vinegar water; if you’re eating at a place that only has high-carb options, take some vinegar water before your meal. 

Vinegar slows the rate of stomach emptying and prevents large blood sugar spikes and improves insulin sensitivity, which helps your body lower blood sugar levels. Another simple trick is to be mindful of your portions. Consider sharing entrees with dining companions or asking for a half portion if available. Eat slowly and stop when you’re full. Here are some other easy ways to cut back on sugar when you’re eating out

Research Menus in Advance

Before heading to a restaurant, take some time to review the menu online. Look for dishes that are likely to be lower in added sugars, such as grilled meats, seafood, salads, and vegetable-based options. Avoid items described as "glazed," "barbecue," or "sweet and sour," as these often indicate the presence of sugary sauces or marinades. Opt for dishes that are prepared with simple cooking methods like grilling, roasting, or steaming, as these are less likely to contain added sugars.

Customise Your Order

Don't hesitate to customise your order to suit your diet and ask for substitutes. Ask your server to hold the sugar-laden condiments, dressings, or sauces, and request alternatives like olive oil, vinegar, or lemon juice instead. Many restaurants are accommodating to dietary restrictions and can adjust their recipes accordingly. You can also ask for sauces and dressings on the side, allowing you to control the amount you use.

Choose Whole Foods Over Processed Options

When selecting dishes, prioritize whole foods over processed or pre-packaged options. Whole foods like lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are naturally lower in added sugars and offer a wealth of essential nutrients. Look for menu items that feature simple, whole ingredients and avoid dishes that are heavily processed or loaded with refined carbohydrates. For example, opt for a grilled chicken breast with steamed vegetables and brown rice instead of breaded and fried chicken with a sugary sauce.

Be Wary of Hidden Sources of Sugar

Keep an eye out for hidden sources of sugar in restaurant dishes, as they can be sneaky and unexpected. Common culprits include salad dressings, marinades, condiments, and even seemingly healthy options like smoothies or grain bowls. 

Read menu descriptions carefully and ask your server about any ingredients or preparations that may contain added sugars. Remember that sugar can go by many names, including sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, and more, so it's essential to be vigilant.

Focus on Flavorful Spices and Herbs

Enhance the flavour of your meal without relying on sugar by incorporating herbs, spices, and aromatic seasonings. Many cuisines around the world use a diverse array of spices to add depth and complexity to their dishes, allowing you to enjoy bold flavours without added sugars. Experiment with herbs like basil, cilantro, and mint, as well as spices like cumin, paprika, and turmeric. Not only do these ingredients provide delicious flavour, but they also offer potential health benefits.

Prioritize Protein and Fiber-Rich Options

Choosing meals that are rich in protein and fibre can help keep you feeling satisfied and reduce cravings for sugary foods. Protein-rich foods like lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, and legumes provide essential nutrients and promote satiety, helping you feel fuller for longer. Likewise, fibre-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans can slow down digestion and stabilize blood sugar levels, reducing the likelihood of sugar cravings.