Should Restaurants Offer Diabetic Friendly Menus?

In a survey done in the year 2014, around 9.3% of the population was suffering from diabetes. That is about 29.1 million Americans. The most inconvenient thing about being diabetic is keeping track of everything that is consumed. This makes it difficult to “eat out” at a favorite restaurant. Most restaurants do not take into consideration any of the needs or preferences of the 29 million diabetics that visit their establishments. Generally, most of the restaurants are for non-diabetic individuals who do not have to manage and check what they eat. These establishments do not bother much about cooking food or preparing menu items that are diabetic-friendly.

Wait Times

Restaurants serving food to individuals with diabetes should keep in mind that the patients with a high (or low) glucose levels need to eat on time. Individuals that are diabetics likely take insulin injections or tablets, and within a certain time, they need to eat. Restaurants should understand this and should provide services accordingly. Restaurants should also be mindful of not keeping patrons waiting for too long. There should also be emergency medical kits in case anyone falls sick in the establishment.

Menu Redesign

Experienced chefs should redesign menus that are appropriate for consumption for those that suffer from diabetes. They should know and report on the menu the amount of sugar and salt that is in the food. Moreover, they should know and disclose which starchy items that may be included in meals. Menus should be more transparent and disclose exactly what is in their food. For many Americans, this is a crucial determinant in keeping their sugar levels in control.

Diabetic-Friendly Options

Restaurants should also provide diabetic-friendly options in their menus. Having diabetes does not mean eating having to eat tasteless or bland foods. Those with diabetes need to know that they have a high range of options too. With the increase in diabetes across the nations, our restaurants should be doing more to provide meals that everyone can enjoy, while still being healthy.

Choosing a Restaurant

There are certain important things that the diabetics should also remember while choosing to eat out:

  • They need to find out whether the restaurants they are visiting offer diabetic-friendly options. Research the restaurant and their menu beforehand.
  • They should not accept just anything that is available in the menu. They should be particular about the menus they are choosing.
  • They should not feel awkward letting the waiter know about food preparation preferences. It is very important to watch what you eat.
  • Be mindful about portion control.
  • Avoid the extras, and ask for substitutes when necessary.

Having diabetes has become a social problem and social responsibility. We all must work together to have a healthier nation. Restaurants can opt to include healthier options, but we have to opt to pick those healthy options. That is our personal responsibility. We all deserve to be healthy. That starts at the table.

Do you suffer from diabetes? How do you choose a restaurant?

Safety of New Medications for Diabetes

Diabetes is a major problem in the US, and the severity of this problem is rising on a daily basis. As per

some reports, nearly 9% of Americans are already suffering from diabetes. That is around 29 million

people. At the same time, 86 million more have already reached the prediabetes stage, where they have

high blood sugar but not high enough to suffer from type 2 diabetes.

The trend seems likely to continue due to unhealthy lifestyles and diets followed by Americans. In spite

of the best efforts of campaigns and providing information, many people are unaware that their

lifestyles can lead to this dangerous disease.

Medications have been available for fighting against the growing problem of diabetes for years.

However, their effectiveness leaves a lot to be desired. That is why continuous research takes place in

order to develop new medications and treatments for getting rid of diabetes. Currently, a new set of

medications have been approved by the FDA for use in treating type 2 diabetes. Two of them are

mentioned below.


Afrezza is available in the form of a powder and is meant to be inhaled. The action time for this drug is

incredibly fast. It is meant to be taken with meals so as to improve the glycemic control for adults

suffering from diabetes. Extensive studies have been performed with the drug. It has shown significant

improvements for patients of type 1 diabetes and even in patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. Blood

sugar levels were considerably reduced in both sets of patients.

However, there is a side effect to Afrezza due to its method of administration. Because it is meant to be

inhaled, it can lead to bronchospasm among patients who also suffer from chronic obstructive

pulmonary disease or asthma. Other possible side effects of this drug include cough, hypoglycemia and

throat pain or irritation. Doctors remain hesitant to prescribe this medication, and sentiment towards it

has been less than positive.


Manufactured by GSK, Tanzeum is albiglutide which has been classified as a type of glucagon-like

peptide-1 receptor agonist. Glucagon-like peptide-1, or GLP-1 for short, is a hormone which can help

normalize the levels of blood sugar in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. Tanzeum will bind to the

GLP-1 so as to stimulate the release of insulin that is dependent on glucose. At the same time, the

release of glucagon, that boosts sugar levels, will be blocked. Tanzeum is meant to be administered by

injection. It is supposed to be used in conjunction with exercise and diet.

Tanzeum has been noticed to be effective after 8 clinical trials. It has even been tested alongside other

common treatments for type 2 diabetes. Albiglutide, the main component in Tanzeum, can cause side

effects ranging from mild to severe. Some of them include muscle pain, joint pains, cough, diarrhea and

loss of voice. It may also increase risk of thyroid cancer.

The fact remains that medications will not be enough to curb the increase in the number of diabetes

cases in America. People need to implement strict changes in their lifestyle and diet. Exercising and

maintaining strong control over weight is essential as well.

Technology and Diabetes

Diabetes is a major disease and killer in this century. There are 29.1 million diabetics in the US alone, according to a recent survey. This figure is also a representation of the large degree of diabetes prevalence worldwide. Type 2 diabetes, which is the more common form of diabetes, is characterized by obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and a sugar-rich diet. It is not surprising that a large portion of Americans suffer from this particular disorder due to the sugar-rich content of their available diets. Type 1 diabetes, though not as common, is the more dangerous form. This form of diabetes is hereditary, and is characterized by individuals with an inability to produce adequate amounts of insulin, necessitating patients to take insulin daily to survive.

How Can Technology Solve This?

Technology can assist and even solve the problem of diabetes in several ways. Many of these ways are already in effect today, and some of them are currently under development. Here are some of them:


Many monitoring applications are currently available for patients who are susceptible to diabetes or actively trying to manage the disorder. These include smartphone apps which can be used to monitor the sugar intake of the user. These apps are by far the most common of the technologies currently in play. Some examples include Glooko, Glucose Buddy, DBees and many other to fit individual cases and lifestyles. Many of these also include healthy eating tips and recipes.


A diabetic can easily set reminders using certain apps that time with his schedule, to remind him to take drugs and injections at appropriate times. This ensures that treatment is followed in the right order to avoid danger situations. The app sends alerts at the programmed times via messages, mails or ping deliveries.

Future Tech

Some of the future technologies being created include the Smart Contact lens from Google. This lens would enable wearers to be constantly updated on their blood sugar levels and this would ensure that they make the necessary adjustments to diet, lifestyle and medication in real time. Others are the Smart pumps, which act as automatic injectors for pumping insulin right into the bloodstream of those suffering from the disorder. Researchers are also developing a bionic pancreas that should ease production of insulin, and various techniques for the genomic control and modification of patients suffering from the disorder to prevent inheritance in their offspring and to stop the exhibition of the disease.

Big Data for Diabetics

The various technological tools available do not simply provide a way to monitor the progress of the disorder and help to manage it. The cloud connectivity of most of the apps also helps to create a big data collation unit, from where a baseline can be created to anticipate the danger areas of the disorder and to note the spread rate of the disease. This is the first time this amount of data can be collated, and it promises a veritable tool in the fight against the spread of the disease. Diabetes is prevalent in many peoples and cultures, not only in America, and a technological approach to its solution stands to be the greatest chance that we may have against the spread of the disorder.

How to Better Inform People about the Truths of Diabetes

Greg Glassman, founder and CEO of the fitness company CrossFit, evoked public outrage with a tweet displaying a Coca Cola bottle along with the caption, “Open Diabetes” and the comment, “Make sure you pour some out for your dead homies.” Glassman’s tweet prompted a number of angry responses, including those from singer, songwriter, and actor Nick Jonas, as reported by People Magazine.

Among those incensed by Greg Glassman’s tweet were parents of children with Type I Diabetes, as discussed in a Huffington Post article. Type I Diabetes is an auto immune condition that has nothing to do with body weight or an inactive lifestyle. With this condition, the body kills off the cells that produce insulin, and those who suffer from it must take insulin every day to survive.

Glassman make no distinction in his tweet between Type I and Type II Diabetes, but even if he had, it would still have been offensive. As stated in the Huffington Post article, although being overweight and living a sedentary lifestyle are major contributing factors to Type II Diabetes, so is family history. Some Type II Diabetes sufferers exercise regularly and make the effort to maintain a normal weight, and yet still suffer from the disease.

Consuming Coca Cola and other products consisting of mainly refined sugar and empty calories can lead to weight gain, as stated in a Huff Post Healthy Living article and many other sources, and being overweight is a contributing factor to Type II Diabetes. Nevertheless, how productive can it be to shame and blame diabetes sufferers? The public should be made aware of diabetes, what causes it, and how to prevent it, but with a much more positive approach.

For example, WebMD informs those who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes that there are things they can do to prevent the disease from manifesting, and recommends that they focus on things they can change. Among other preventative measures, WebMD suggests losing extra pounds, exercising regularly, and eating a healthier diet. The U.S. Department of Health and Social Services National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) offers readers more than 50 tips to help prevent Type II Diabetes, such as:

  • Drinking a large glass of water 10 minutes before a meal to reduce hunger
  • Eating smaller portions
  • Eating a healthy snack before going shopping for groceries
  • Dancing, taking the stairs to the office, or catching up with friends during a walk instead of sitting down over coffee
  • Reading labels and choosing foods lower in trans fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars
  • Finding ways to relax, such as a taking a walk or a long bath, reading a book, or listening to music

It is important to promote public awareness of diabetes and its risk factors. However, there are more productive and certainly more sensitive ways to achieve this than offensive tweets.

Conditions Intensified by Diabetes

When carbohydrates are broken down during digestion, glucose (blood sugar) is produced. This increased level of glucose triggers the pancreas to produces insulin, which enables the glucose to enter the cells and provide energy for the body. Diabetics, however, don’t produce enough insulin, or the insulin that is produced doesn’t perform properly. The result is too much sugar in the blood, and that leads to a whole host of other problems. When a person has diabetes, any other ailment or non-optimum condition can be made worse. Here are some of the more common conditions so affected.

Flu and Related Complications

When your body becomes ill, or you contract an infection, glucose levels rise in response to counter the illness. A non-diabetic’s body produces more insulin in response to these raised glucose levels. A diabetic, on the other hand, is unable to produce insulin to counter the raised glucose levels. Blood sugar levels then rise. This impaired ability to fight illness can make having the flu much more serious and could require hospitalization or result in death.

Skin Conditions

Some skin infections are intensified by diabetes. Bacteria or fungus thrive in a sugary environment, so any infection will be harder to treat due to this factor.

Insulin shots can cause problems with the skin at injection sites. Hypertrophy occurs from using the same site for insulin injection repeatedly. Atrophy is a condition where an indention is created at the injection site due to fatty tissue loss, which can negatively affect how the body absorbs insulin.

Allergies to the adhesive that secures insulin pumps to the skin or reactions to specific types of insulin are another source of skin conditions made worse by diabetes. Itching, swelling or much more severe symptoms can occur.

Eye Complications with Diabetes

Individuals with diabetes are at a greater risk of eye and vision problems than people who do not have it. Glaucoma, cataracts, and retinopathy are the main areas of concern, and avoiding blindness is a primary focus for diabetics.


Your kidneys have the job of getting rid of waste produced in the body and maintaining a proper balance of fluids throughout the body. Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels of the kidneys. The result is more damage and stress to the kidneys, reducing their ability to filter waste and regulate fluids. If kidney disease or damage is extreme, the result can be kidney failure.