13 Tips For Diabetes Food Shopping
You came, you saw, you shopped. But then you got home from the supermarket and started unloading fatty snack items and deli meats. What went wrong? You fell back into the habit of shopping like an average American rather than a person with a dietary purpose. In an enticing palace of eating designed to lead you astray, here’s how to stay on track:
Make a list. The meal plan you develop with your dietitian will help you figure out I which foods you should be buying. Before you shop, write down what you need to reduce the chances of buying what you don’t.
Limit your trips. Make your shopping list long so you have to make only one or two trips to the store per week. Besides being more efficient, doing this provides less opportunity to make impulse purchases.
Avoid shopping on an empty stomach. When you’re hungry, you’re more likely to grab high-fat snacks and desserts.
Follow the walls. Limit browsing to the perimeter of the store, where you’ll find the freshest, most healthful foods: raw produce, low-fat dairy products, fresh lean meats and fish. Venture into the interior aisles only when you’re after specific foods, such as pasta and dried beans, to avoid picking up extra items not included in your diet plan.
Pay attention to portions. Those cookies look great—and hey, eating them only costs you 12 grams of carbohydrate. But check the serving size: one cookie. Eating “them” —say, three cookies—bring your total carb count up to 36 grams, more than the flesh of a baked potato.
Ignore the pictures. Golden sunshine glows on heaps of freshly harvested grains-an image of good health that signifies nothing. Look at the side of the box instead for the facts, and choose foods that are high in fiber and low in fat and calories. This also means you should…
Read the back of the package, not the front. Some manufacturers add poly dextrose, malt dextrin, and insulin to their foods so they can boast they’re high in fiber. But there’s no proof that these purified powders or “faux fibers” stabilize blood sugar or lower cholesterol the way real fiber does. In general, ignore the front of the package and focus on the ingredients. They should be few and recognizable.
Grade your grains. Want high-fiber bread? Look for the words “whole grain,” “100 percent whole wheat, or “stone-ground” on the label. Breads labeled simply wheat”—even if they are brown in color may not contain whole grains. True whole grain bread contains at least two grams of fiber per serving—but you’re much better off selecting breads that contain four or five grams per serving.
Choose prepared foods with short ingredient lists. The shorter and more natural-sounding the ingredients are, the healthier the food usually is. Of course, if the top ingredients are sugar and butter, put the item back on the shelf. And watch the sodium content: Even otherwise healthy processed foods can contain a day’s worth of sodium. Avoid products that have more than 500 milligrams of sodium per serving.
Leave the ice cream coupons behind. No matter how much you’re saving, it’s not a deal if it isn’t healthful.
Watch the language. Beware of foods labeled “no sugar added—the wording is carefully chosen because the product may be loaded with natural sugar. You’ll find the real story on the label, under “Sugars.
Add some spice to your life. Instead of creamy condiments, load up on such spices as basil, chives, cinnamon, cumin, curry, garlic, ginger, horseradish, nutmeg, oregano paprika, parsley, and Tabasco sauce. They’re so low in carbohydrates, fat, protein, and calories that they’re considered “free” items in meal planning.
Keep your eye on the cashier. You’re waiting in line, nothing to do—-a captive audience. It’s no accident that supermarkets pile their impulse items next to the registers. Keep a couple of items from your basket in your hands: It’ll stop you from reaching for the candy bars.