Having Your Cake and Being Slammed for Eating It

We are a crazy, schizophrenic, confused culture. We talk out of both sides of our mouths, and need a simultaneous translator into nonsense while we do it.

We criticize fat people we see in the mall, but the food court is packed with choices of fried, sugar-loaded, and crispy-salty calories.

A cronut is croissant dough, fried like a donut, filled with sweet, flavored cream, and iced.

A cronut is croissant dough, fried like a donut, filled with sweet, flavored cream, and iced.

Gluten-free diets are touted, restaurants highlight menu items; the same restaurant will have nothing safe for a diabetic to eat. Point it out, and the waiter may well say, “Gluten free is much healthier, you should try that.”

The news stories decry the horrors of our sugary, fat-laden diet, and the infotainment section segues into an article about the popularity of the cronut.

I’m really surprised at how many restaurants have one or two menu items that are safe for diabetics, in a menu that runs six pages. Salad dressings contain honey, maple syrup or simple syrups, or, “just a touch of sugar.” When I asked how much a “touch” was, it turned out to be two tablespoons in a cup of vinaigrette. Yep, vinaigrette. That’s about 26 grams of carbs in the salad dressing–roughly your whole carb intake for a meal. yes, I know, I’m not drinking a cup of it all at once. It’s still way too much sugar for a salad dressing.

Tomato sauces are loaded with sugar, and almost every meal comes with a carb-heavy side–rice, polenta, pasta, potatoes, bread. It’s possible to make a diabetic-safe dessert, but you’ll never find it in a restaurant. And yet, 25.8 million adults in America are diabetic and 79 million more are pre-diabetic.

We love our frozen margaritas, nachos, pasta and pies. But realistically speaking, with almost 2 million new diabetics being diagnosed each year, we need to start offering sensible food choices to at least provide an alternative to pancakes for breakfast, french fries with lunch and pizza for dinner.

–Quinn McDonald no longer eats food with added sugar or more than 25 grams of carbs per meal. She’s surprised how hard it is to eat a healthy, low-carb meal while traveling. KentCooks stocks a diabetic friendly fridge in their house.