The D-Mom recently posted about her experience dining out at Cracker Barrel and the difficultly she had retrieving nutritional information. It reminded me of a story of something that happened to me at my favorite fast food restaurant shortly after I started using my insulin pump. I actually couldn’t remember if I had blogged about it or not yet, but a search of my archives didn’t turn up anything so here we go!
A bit of a backstory first – When I was released from the hospital a family from my church that had/has a child with diabetes stopped by the house to answer any questions and set our minds somewhat at ease about our new life.
It was a little over a week until my birthday so one of the first questions was whether or not I could still have birthday cake (I could!).
Another important question was whether or not I could have fast food. The mom asked what I typically ordered. When I told her that I ordered the chicken nuggets, she said that was one of the best options because of the balance of protein and carbs. I took that as my go-ahead to continue to enjoy some Burger King.
My first insulin dosing was NPH and Humalog and because of the peaks of NPH I could generally eat most moderate meals without much thought to carb counting. When I started on the pump, I had to get more serious about knowing exactly how much insulin to take.
I was driving home from work (or grad school – you’ll have to forgive me, it was 2004) and stopped at the drive thru of my local Burger King. I ordered the chicken nugget combo for the first time since I had my pump. When I got to the window, I asked for the nutritional information. The employee walked away for a minute and came back to the window with something in his hand. Before I could see what he was holding he said,
I couldn’t find the nutritional information for you, but I did find this…
At first I was shocked. In what alternate universe is a CROWN comparable to nutritional information. I remember stammering out something about how I needed to know the information because I needed to know how much medication to take.
I think the medication word scared him because he told me that the nutritional information was posted on the wall in the restaurant and that I could come in and look at it. I did end up coming inside and looking at the nutritional information that time. It would be years before I could look up the information on my cell phone. And now I have the carb count of a least one meal memorized at just about every fast food chain for when I am on the go.
A little extra information on nutritional information:
- From the FDA – A Labeling Guide for Restaurants and Other Retail Establishments Selling Away-From-Home Foods (basically they don’t have to provide information unless they make a claim. If they say it’s low-fat, they have to know how much fat is in it)
- And a federal law passed in 2010 as part of the health care legislation requiring “restaurant chains with 20 or more outlets to disclose calorie counts on their food items and supply information on how many calories a healthy person should eat in a day.” (source). The article is a great read and the regulations sound like good news. But don’t look for your favorite restaurant to have their nutritional information posted tomorrow, “the effective date could conceivably be years away.“