Insights & Actions for Healthy Living
Diabetes Menu Development: Cooking for the Diabetic Customer

Diabetes Menu Development: Cooking for the Diabetic Customer

Diabetes Mellitus is a fast growing disease affecting  23.5 million people each year-adult, seniors and children. Most of us know someone with diabetes since the numbers are staggering.

Diabetes is a serious disease that affects the body’s ability to use the “sugar” it takes in every day.

If someone has diabetes, either type 1 or type 2, they either make no or little insulin or are unable to effectively use the insulin that their bodies make.  Therefore, controlling the amount of carbohydrate they consume is important.  Carbohydrates in foods are found in starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, rice, noodles, fruit, dairy products and sweets.

Diet Crucial for Diabetics

Diet is the cornerstone of treatment in anyone with diabetes.  As a restaurant, health facility or camp you will be more successful if you understand what the person with diabetes needs to find on the menu to maintain their treatment plan and control of their blood sugar.

After eating anything, every person has a rise in their blood sugar.  People with diabetes have a more severe and prolonged reaction to changes in their blood sugar than those without diabetes.

Diabetics are trying to eat healthy, balanced meals that are low in fat and carbohydrates with portion control as the foundation of their diet plan.  You can help them be successful with the following tips.

Menu Tips for Diabetics

Things those with diabetes should avoid on the menu:

  1. Sugar on the table for beverages: Make sugar substitutes available on the table such as pink, blue or yellow substitutes.
  2. Pre-sweetened beverages: Have unsweetened alternates available such as diet soda and unsweetened tea.
  3. Highly sweetened foods such as desserts: Make available sugar free desserts or fresh fruit as an option to sugary desserts.

Have available:

  1. Side vegetables to replace starches
  2. Side salads with dressing on the side
  3. Honor request to NOT serve a bread basket on the table
  4. Give a doggy bag option as the meal is served so extra portions can be removed for take home at the time of service
  5. Serve low fat options like broiled or roasted chicken and fish instead of fried foods
  6. Substitute upon request baked potatoes for French fries
  7. Educate your servers on meeting requests of customers when they ask for changes or substitutes

Being aware of what your customers need to maintain their health and being able to offer them options will help make your business successful.

If you need more information and assistance, feel free to contact Menu Dietitian.  We are here to help you be successful and keep your customers healthy!

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