Volume 12 Number 2, 1999, Page
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American Diabetes Association Guide to Healthy Restaurant Eating
Reviewed by Terri Travis, MS, RD, CDE
Guide to Healthy Restaurant Eating provides a quick, practical reference for dining out. This book would be a good reference on restaurant foods for health care professionals and patients alike and is an appropriate size to carry in a purse or glove compartment for easy access for someone who is on the go.
The book's introduction offers healthy eating tips and overall good-eating guidelines. The book then reviews restaurant pitfalls and strategies for self-defense. Answers to questions frequently asked by people who often eat out are addressed in a section titled "Diabetes Dining Dilemmas." This section includes useful tips for overcoming many of the common problems that people with diabetes face when they dine in restaurants. These problems include delays in meal time, uncertainty with medication timing, and evening snack changes.
The author stresses the need to decrease total fat intake, although people at normal body weight without hyperlipidemia may primarily need to limit saturated fat sources in their meals. This book does not explain the differences between saturated and unsaturated fats, nor does it specifically identify unsaturated fat sources. Recent studies have indicated some benefits of a diet that includes more monounsaturated fats for people with diabetes. Therefore, identifying the differences between these types of fat sources would have been helpful.
In addition, the reading level of the book appears to be higher than the recommended average sixth-grade level.
The final sections list restaurants grouped by the type of entrees served, such as bagels, burgers, or pizza. A helpful explanation of why restaurants were grouped together, as well as an alphabetical listing, are provided in the beginning of the book for added assistance. The book also provides the nutritional breakdown for each establishment's food selections. These lists are easy to interpret and use. The nutritional analysis provides information on nine categories, including calories, grams of fat, percentage of calories from fat, grams of saturated fat, milligrams of cholesterol, milligrams of sodium, and grams of carbohydrate, fiber, and protein. Nutrition pros and cons at the beginning of the listings for each category are short, relevant tips that can be helpful for people with diabetes.
Overall, I liked this book and am happy to have it added to my personal reference library.
Terri Travis, MS, RD, CDE, is an endocrine dietitian at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pa.
Copyright © 1999 American Diabetes Association
Last updated: 5/99