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Amy Yiu, RD — Registered Dietitian, Representative of Dietitians of Canada, Columnist, Founder of Libra Nutrition.

Healthy Dining Choices for Diabetics

During my lectures on diabetes at Huakang, many diabetic friends ask me how to choose foods when dining out to enjoy delicious food while staying healthy. This article introduces some common misconceptions and tips for dining out with diabetes, hoping to help everyone eat happily and worry-free.

Misconception 1: Diabetics should eat more biscuits and less rice!

Wrong! Many people think that eating less rice can control blood sugar. While rice, being a high-starch food, does raise blood sugar levels, it also provides essential nutrients. If you only eat biscuits and not rice, you may end up eating more, which is detrimental to blood sugar control. Choose whole grains such as brown rice, oats, and bran.

Tip 1: Steamed, boiled, stir-fried, baked, or vegetables cooked in soup are better choices.

Many restaurants can accommodate health-related requests from customers. When dining out, don’t hesitate to ask for less oil, less salt, no sugar, no sauce, or sauce on the side.

Misconception 2: Vegetables are healthy and can be eaten freely!

Wrong! Vegetables do provide many beneficial nutrients and fibers, but that doesn’t mean they can be eaten without restriction. Pay special attention to the sauces (white sauce, curry sauce, etc.) on vegetables, as they contain high amounts of sodium, compounds, and oils, which can raise blood sugar levels.

Tip 2: Here are some Cantonese dishes that are more suitable for diabetics:

• Poached chicken (without skin)

• Steamed fish with soy and chili

• Boiled shrimp

• Steamed eggplant

• Fish tofu soup

• Stir-fried pork slices with kale

• Cold cucumber salad

• Chicken with taro

• Tofu in chili sauce

• Steamed egg with minced pork

• Stir-fried morning glory

• Stir-fried pumpkin with fish

• Black pepper mushroom chicken

On November 21st, the Canadian Diabetes Association will host the “Smart Dining Gala” at Richmond County Grand Restaurant. Proceeds from the charity dinner will support the facilities and educational activities of the Canadian Diabetes Association. I, along with two other dietitians, will share healthy dining knowledge for eating out. Interested friends can visit Libra Nutrition’s website at or the Canadian Diabetes Association’s website at, or call the Diabetes Mandarin Hotline at 604.732.8187.

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