Can Diabetics Eat Fast Food?

Can Diabetics Eat Fast FoodCan diabetics eat fast food: Believe it or not the American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests it is possible to have an occasional meal at a fast food restaurant if you strategize ahead of time and plan your other daily meals to compensate for the outing.

If you take a look at the caloric intake potential in fast food you know that one meal can provide 1,000-3,000 calories in one sitting. This just doesn’t work for the diabetic and their personal health management plan.

Let’s take a look at a few things to avoid when ordering fast food.

  • Do not look at double or triple sized sandwiches.
  • Resist the call of the fry. Limit your intake of these starchy sticks of tastiness.
  • Salad bar extras. Things like bacon bits, excessive dressing and cheeses can negate the benefits you might think you are gaining from salad.
  • Resist deep fried foods. Even though trans-fat has been virtually eliminated from most fast food chains the best options are still unbreaded and grilled or broiled foods.
  • Resist meat inspired pizzas. The role of pizza can be positive in some cases, but a veggie pizza fills the role much better than meat.
  • Sandwich toppings. It is easy to add mayonnaise and special sauces to your sandwich. Avoiding these will be to your benefit.

Now for a few positive choices.



  • Go small. Buck the trend and order a single hamburger or a grilled chicken sandwich. Sometimes these items can be found on a value menu.
  • Think chicken. In most cases chicken meals (including chicken tacos) can be a very positive choice for the diabetic when choosing fast food.
  • Enjoy your time with family and friends. By planning ahead and adjusting your meals surrounding this outing you can take pleasure in your time together and experience less stress by having a plan of action going into the mealtime.

Another tip that can help you enjoy your meal even more is to chew your food slowly. This not only aids in digestion, but also allows you to tastefully enjoy the food you do have to eat.

Eating out for a diabetic can be a difficult undertaking, but it can be done, Diabetics should do everything they can to remain on a normal schedule so their body cycle remains fluent. If you do get off track you may need to adjust element of your managed care including your insulin treatment and subsequent meal and snack considerations.

The Mayo Clinic offers the following suggestions when dining out.

  • Consider avoiding “all you can eat” buffets. It can be difficult to resist overeating with that many options. And even a small amount of many different foods can add up to a large amount of calories.
  • Make substitutions
  • Don’t settle for what comes with your sandwich or meal. For example: Instead of fries, choose a diabetes-friendly side salad or a double order of a vegetable.
  • Use fat-free or low-fat salad dressing rather than the regular variety, or try a squeeze of lemon juice or flavored vinegar on your salad.
  • Ask for salsa with your burrito instead of shredded cheese and sour cream.
  • On a sandwich, trade house dressings or creamy sauces for ketchup, mustard, fat-free mayonnaise or a slice of fresh tomato.

As a treat you can find joy in eating out, but within the framework of your managed care plan. Enjoy responsibly.