Dining Out with Diabetes:
Greek Restaurants

Written by
Published in September 2009

greek gyro( Greek cuisine is one of the most famous things about the Mediterranean region. When going out to eat a Greek meal, you are sure to enjoy fresh and tasty foods that can fit into a healthy diabetes meal plan.

A Brief History of Greek Food

Greece is home to an abundance of olive and lemon trees, so it's natural to see many meals that contain fresh olives, along with olive oil and lemon juice (both are used as as a traditional dressing for many salads). Other staples are fruits, nuts, grains, yogurt, seafood, wine, and cheese. You can find lots of entrees with grilled vegetables and lean portions of meat. Soups contain hearty fillings like fava beans, lentils, and vegetables. Phyllo dough, a buttered pastry-type crust, is also common and may be used in pies and desserts. A popular fast food Greek option in North America is the gyro. A gyro is a meat sandwich wrapped in a large pita topped with a yogurt-based sauce called tzatziki. Ask for your gyro to be made with extra veggies and a whole wheat pita for extra fiber.

It's All Greek To Me

Not sure what to order if you have diabetes? Here's a list that can help make ordering a little easier.

Limit Portion Size:

  • calamari: fried squid
  • saganaki: fried cheese
  • lamb gyro: skewered meat wrapped in pita bread
  • deep fried vegetables
  • spanakopita: spinach and feta cheese wrapped in phyllo dough
  • baklava: phyllo dough pastry with syrup and walnuts
  • fried shrimp

Meal plan-friendly choices:

  • dolmades: grapevine leaves stuffed with rice and veggies
  • horiatiki: also known as Greek salad, with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and feta cheese
  • tzatziki sauce: yogurt with cucumber and garlic
  • moussaka: eggplant casserole
  • yemista: vegetables stuffed with herbs baked with rice
  • souvlaki: grilled meat or veggies on skewers that are marinated in oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and lemon
  • hummus: pureed chick peas with olive oil, sesame, garlic, and lemon juice (traditionally Lebanese, but served in many Greek restaurants)
  • rice pudding: milk-based pudding with sweetened rice

Bottom Line for People with Diabetes

As with so many other ethnic foods, healthy foods are available when going out to eat Greek. As long as you are able to familiarize yourself with the basic preparations, ingredients, and names on the menu you can easily make healthy selections. For people with diabetes it's important to try to limit foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates, so ask your waiter for help if you are unsure of how something is prepared. You can always order appetizer portions instead of an entree to limit your portion size, and sharing is always encouraged! So whether you are a Greek food aficionado or someone who is trying Greek food for the first time, rest assured that you can enjoy a healthy meal while still sticking to your health goals.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Related Articles

Stay Connected with
Facebook YouTube
Twitter Podcast
Instagram Newsletter
Pinterest Google

Health Poll

Member Area
Eating Smart
Cooking Smart
Compare Packaged Foods
Super Foods & Supplements
Health & Nutrition
Life Stages & Sports
Multimedia & Tools
My Account
Free Nutrition Newsletter
GoUnDiet Book
About GoUnDiet
Free Tools
About Us
Advertise with Us
Privacy Policy
Contact Us
Press Room
In the News
Advertise with Us
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or dietitian. Information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
HONcode accreditation seal.
Copyright © 1997-2017 HealthCastle Nutrition Inc. All rights reserved.