Admin Assistance: From Snacks to Whole Grains, How to Plan Diabetic-Friendly Office Meals

Posted by on Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 with Comments Off on Admin Assistance: From Snacks to Whole Grains, How to Plan Diabetic-Friendly Office Meals Comments

It’s the sad truth that by now, more than eight percent — almost one in ten — Americans are diabetic… and 35 percent of us have a concerning condition called prediabetes, with elevated blood glucose levels that greatly increases the risk of developing full-blown diabetes within the next decade.

taking the lunch order at the office

Admin assistants can help plan diabetic-friendly office meals.
Image source: Flickr user Nate Grigg

So chances are, you have a diabetic or two in your office: a coworker who is trying to balance their diet and their insulin levels, and oftentimes their weight to maintain the healthiest lifestyle they can, all while navigating the office meals and business lunches that can undermine their best efforts. And it’s easy — so easy — to lend them a helping hand. Arranging workplace meals and lunches that are friendly to the diabetic lifestyle doesn’t mean serving a bowl of sugar-free candy and apologizing to everyone else. A few thoughtful choices and small extra steps can make office meals much more amenable to a diabetic diet.

Let’s review a disclaimer: every diabetic’s nutritional plan is likely a little different, based on their individual needs and doctor’s recommendations. Generally, though, these suggestions will help the vast majority of people managing diabetes to feel more comfortable and at ease at your workplace gatherings… and as an added bonus, they’re generally positive, healthy suggestions for all coworkers, diabetic or not.

bowl of raspberries and blackberries

Make sure snacks are available at meetings – fiber-rich treats like berries and nuts are good choices.
Image source: Flickr user Anders Sandberg

Provide snacks

If you might be waiting on a manager or guest of honor, provide small bowls of healthy snacks so that coworkers who need to eat at certain intervals won’t worry about problematic changes in blood-glucose levels. Fiber-rich berries, small dishes of nuts, or hummus with sliced vegetables are all good options to have on hand.

Go low-carb

Carbohydrates tend to be the most important food group for diabetics to monitor, especially quickly-digesting ones like sugary snacks and white bread. You don’t need to exorcise all carbohydrates from the meal, but try to make them optional instead of incorporated into the main dish: think chicken parmesan (unbreaded) instead of pasta from the Italian restaurant, or beef-and-broccoli rather than fried rice from the Chinese place. Serve garlic bread or rice alongside for everyone else, but let diabetic coworkers easily avoid the carbs if they need to.

beef and broccoli

Keep rice and bread on the side so meals can be low-carb.
Image source: Flickr user Arnold Gatilao

When you must carb, order whole grains

And when carbs are provided, choose whole grains instead of refined white flour-based items when you can (sandwich bread, pizza crust, etc.). These kinds of carbohydrates are digested more slowly, which can help avoid sudden changes in blood glucose levels.

Provide information! 

If possible, provide nutritional labels. Some diabetics have to estimate the number of carbohydrates in a meal and adjust their daily insulin intake accordingly. Make this easier by setting a small printout next to takeout items, and you’ll be their new best friend!

Healthy snacks, fewer carbohydrates, whole grains when necessary, nutritional info — all of these tips are not only helpful to diabetic coworkers, but to anyone who is trying to manage their weight and maintain a healthy diet! And with a huge range of menus and prompt delivery available from, we can help ensure the office meals you order are healthy, fresh, and right on time.

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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