Sugary Restaurant Meals Aren’t So Sweet

There's a lot of sugar dumped into every food imaginable at the average restaurant

There’s a lot of sugar dumped into every food imaginable in the average restaurant

In recent years, much of the restaurant industry has been quick to embrace food trends based on health. Gluten free? Sign us up. Vegetarian choices? We’ve got you covered. Less salt? Not so much, but we’ll try to accommodate.

But less sugar? I’ve hardly seen the needle bulge. Good luck trying to find, say, pancakes that aren’t topped with sweet sauces and accompanied by syrups, to say nothing of the sugar that went into the batter. Watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives or its Canadian version, You Gotta Eat Here, and it’s shocking, at least to me, how much “hidden” sugar is dumped into meat rubs, salad dressings and any bread products. Dessert? You might as well just be eating it by the spoonful.

I wonder how much sugar is packed into this monster blueberry pancake, especially if the syrup and sauce (rear) is ladled on

I wonder how much sugar is packed into this monster blueberry pancake, especially if the syrup and sauce (rear) is ladled on

Diabetes is supposed to be a North American epidemic. Yet I can’t recall eating at a single restaurant that catered to folks wanting menu items with less or no sugar or that were low on the glycemic index—a rating system that estimates how quickly different foods are converted to blood stream sugars; white bread, white rice and most breakfast cereals fare particularly badly here.

Maybe it’s this way because celiac disease or a food allergy can provoke an immediate reaction. Diabetes, on the other hand, is a long-term disease, and sufferers aren’t likely to suddenly pitch forward into their bowl of honey-laced granola topped with a sugary fruit yogurt. And for many people, sugar makes things taste better, at least in moderation.

I’m a Type 2 diabetic and find it extremely challenging when road-trip dining to navigate these sugary waters. I abstain from desserts and sweet drinks. But I do like a good burger or pulled-pork sandwich, and it troubles me how much sugar is tossed into the meat, the bun and any toppings and sauces. I suspect I’d only draw blank stares if I asked for low-sugar versions of these dishes.

So while it’s bad news, perhaps the latest revelation that excess sugar consumption can significantly increase the risk of heart disease will help push the food and restaurant business into offering more low- and no-sugar choices. Now, that would be sweet.


7 thoughts on “Sugary Restaurant Meals Aren’t So Sweet

  1. Deb

    We were shocked to see how much sugar was in one little juice box, the type that our kids used to take to school. After that little revelation juice boxes are no longer on our shopping list.

    By the way, I think that pancake could feed our whole family! LOL!


  2. Patrick O'Bagle

    Opps, I shouda-axed-ya a question about UT travels. I know you often camp in your Mo-Ho (Matrix XR) or a tent…. But, In south-central UT, do you know of motel/ guest-house options of the cheap variety (maybe 2 notches over the dirtbag travel standard). Funk, cleanliness, charm, and good mattress all appreciated.
    Patricio and Juanita


    1. bcorbett907 Post author

      I’ve usually camped in the many national parks in southern Utah. Excellent campgrounds, Zion more expensive, Capitol Reef cheap. I’m sure you can find some reasonable deals at motels/B&Bs in the small towns away from the parks.


  3. Karen Kunelius

    Totally hear what you’re saying how do we the people get the sugar out get the coal powered plants out get GMO food out put limits on growth of industrial complex and so it goes kk



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