Top 3 fast food choices for insulin resistance
You’re at the mall with your friends or family. Everyone’s getting hungry and you know you still have hours to go before you can get home.
Much as you’d like to be in control of everything you eat, you know that you’re going to be getting something from the food court, and because you suffer from insulin resistance, you’re worried about how your choice might affect you.
What can you do in this situation?
Realistically, when everyone else is going to eat, you can’t abstain or just have a bottle of water (well, you could – but it’s not likely, is it?). And the food court doesn’t usually present you with the most nutritious range of dishes. So the best thing to do is ascertain your best choices and here’s my Top 3 tips for those fast food situations!
1) Lebanese/Turkish kebabs (or Greek yeeros)
The best choice by far (if available) is to have a kebab – get them to serve it on a plate, with no bread. They will pile the plate high with meat and salad, treat yourself to hummus and garlic sauce and you will have a delicious, filling meal. Often I can’t finish the whole plate!
Whether you prefer a shish kebab / souvlaki (on a skewer) or doner kebab (sliced pieces from a spit roast), someone with insulin resistance can’t go wrong with this. You can often get chicken, lamb or beef. It’s perfect!
2) Asian food
If you can get a Chinese, Thai or Malaysian dish with a bed of vegetables, bean sprouts etc instead of rice, you’re also onto a winner. The thing to watch out for would be sauces which obviously have sugar in them, so you’d need to steer clear of things such as sweet and sour, plus anything with batter, dumplings or other carbs like noodles.
But in general you will find many Asian dishes which are meat, tofu, egg or fish based, with plenty of vegetables and flavored with soy sauce. This is all good if you have insulin resistance.
3) Barbecue (rotisserie) chicken
It’s tough to forego the fries but if there is nothing with salad or veggies available, there’s nothing wrong with tucking into some good old chicken! Again, you don’t want any with batter or breadcrumbs on it, just roasted or barbecued chicken pieces and have the skin if you want.
As long as there are no carbs, this is a good choice for people who are insulin resistant. It’s protein and it will help to keep your appetite under control.
Food court temptations
There are some great suggestions for how to cope with these fast food situations in The Insulin-Resistance Diet in the section about Real World Strategies. The authors have outlined the wisest choices you can make in many fast food restaurants. That’s one of the reasons I love the book – it identifies that we live in the real world!
There are things you can adapt to suit an insulin resistance diet, even when you’re in a food court. But at all times, be aware of the dangers of caving to temptation – having the fries, the bread, the rice or a pizza, just because everyone else is having them is not going to satisfy you for more than the time it takes to eat that stuff… and you’re the one who will have to deal with the consequences. Also make sure you have water with your meal – no milk shakes or sodas!
It’s tough because there is an abundance of bread in fast food – and of course sugar. Cakes, pastries, donuts, ice cream… that’s why it’s important to eat well so that you’re full and don’t succumb to the temptations. If you can hang in there, choose wisely from the options available and focus on keeping your protein up, you’ll see that even in the food court there are choices for people with insulin resistance that you can include in your diet. What are your tips for surviving the mall?