Diabetics like to eat out too

Now it’s safe-ish to go out again, we’ve been meeting up with family to eat outside at cafes and restaurants.

One thing we’ve discovered is that the pandemic has given menu planners the chance to get to grips with the trend to veganism.

Before lockdown, we struggled to find meals suitable for our vegan offspring. Yet we’ve eaten out several times in the past few weeks, and we’ve found an amazing choice of plant-based offerings.

That’s great.

So now, restauranteurs and café owners, you next challenge is low-carb choices.

This are the options that would suit people with diabetes. And there’s a growing market out there of people who have been told to reduce their intake of bread, potatoes, pasta and even fruit.

This whole area was something I didn’t know about until I got the warning that I was heading off into Diabetes Type 2 land. If I couldn’t get to grips with my diet and exercise I could find myself on another forever medication, with all its potential side-effects.

So I’ve edited my diet at home quite substantially, but eating out has become a challenge. I’m not a burger and fries person generally, because we stick to what we have been told is healthy eating. And I don’t have much sugar.

So far we’ve found very little choice that’s been designed to be diabetes-friendly. The best you can do is say you’ll have a dish without the fries or indeed any form of potato, or the brioche bun, or the breadsticks …. If it’s a helpful eatery they might offer to replace those with extra veg or salad, or you might just lose out.

But in the end it will be the cafes, bars, restaurants and takeaways that suffer the loss. Because those living with diabetes may choose to stay away.

Is that a problem? Well, two years ago one in ten people over 40 who have been diagnosed as living with Type 2 diabetes, according to Diabetes UK. That’s heading for 5 million people

And the number’s likely to be much higher in reality because many people don’t know yet that they have the condition, or are about to become diabetic. It’s also going to be bolstered by the fact that our population is ageing, and Type 2 diabetes is something that appears with age.

If you’re catering for a broad audience, and especially if you know that the over 40s make up a significant proportion of your customer base, you could be looking more closely at diabetic-friendly meals. And if you’re planning for the future to steal a march on your competitors, this may be a diet choice that you can’t ignore.

Photo by Timothy Barlin on Unsplash

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