1. Fish Fry Platter
910 calories, 92 g carbs
Fish is part of a heart-healthy diet, unless it happens to be fried. The breading, oil, and extra calories cancel out the health benefits of the fish itself. Beware of fried sides, too, as well as coleslaw slathered in sugary mayonnaise dressing.
2. Chinese Combo
1,433 calories, 125 g carbs
Deep-fried egg rolls, fried rice, and a main dish dripping in oily sauce make this meal an unhealthy choice. The total sodium in this type of meal is more than most people with diabetes should have over 3 days. Beware the MSG (monosodium glutamate), a seasoning that sends the sodium content soaring.
3. Hamburger Meal Deal
2,700 calories, 309 g carbs
A bacon cheeseburger, large fries, and large soda have more than a day’s worth of carbs, 2,700 calories, and 44 grams of saturated fat. “Upsizing” and low prices make it hard to eat small portions in burger joints.
4. Fried Chicken Meal
1,030 calories, 96 g carbs
Skip the fried chicken, mashed potato, and biscuit combo at your local chicken joint. Even if you order the white meat chicken breast, this meal is heavy on carbs and fat. It also has more than twice as much sodium as you should get in a day if you have diabetes.
5. Cajun Sausage Gumbo
1,069 calories, 92 g carbs
Rotisserie chicken provides a reasonable start for a Cajun gumbo lunch, but the sausage, oily soup base, and giant corn muffin make this meal a problem. Fat, saturated fat, and calories are sky-high. The large corn muffin has 71 grams of carbs. A mini-muffin offers the same taste for only about 9 grams of carbs.
6. Tuna Sandwich Meal
1,050 calories, 183 g carbs
Lunch is just as important as other meals when you have diabetes, so don’t grab just any sandwich or wrap. Ready-to-eat tuna salad can be swimming in mayonnaise. Chips and a large sweetened drink push the total carbs to 183 grams: far too much.
7. Shrimp Pasta Alfredo
2,290 calories, 196 g carbs
A typical shrimp pasta Alfredo in your local eatery can have huge portions and 73 grams of artery-clogging saturated fat. Diabetes makes heart disease more likely, so doctors advise limiting saturated fat to about 15 grams per day for a 2,000-calorie diet.
8. Southern Rib Plate
2,510 calories, 83 g carbs
This classic Southern meal loads too many splurge foods onto one plate. Fatty pork ribs are dripping in sugary barbecue sauce and flanked by macaroni and cheese and corn on the cob. Corn is a high-carb vegetable, with about 19 grams of carbs in one medium ear. It’s just too much, all around.
9. Chips, Salsa, Burrito
1,760 calories, 183 g carbs.
Before one bite of burrito, you can get 98 grams of carbs and 810 calories in a basket of chips and salsa. If you’re trying to slim down and eat less sodium, like many people with diabetes, the burrito adds 950 calories. You also get way more than a whole day’s worth of sodium.
10. Farm Breakfast
2,060 calories, 276 g carbs
No food is off-limits with diabetes, but this brunch will blow your carb and calorie budget in a hurry. Experts suggest that meals for people with diabetes should have 45-75 grams of carbohydrates, depending on individual goals. Your body weight, activity, and medications all matter. This meal packs enough carbs for four to five meals.