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Quick Guide to Grocery Shopping with Diabetes

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Posted by Real-World Diabetes Program

Grocery shopping with diabetes doesn't have to be a headache. With some simple tips for choosing healthy items and avoiding not-so-healthy options, you'll be out of the store in no time with a cart full of delicious, good-for-you food.

Healthy eating starts with healthy shopping. Grocery stores can be overwhelming when trying to shop for healthy food on a budget. Learn how to navigate the store, read and understand food labels, and pick products that help you maintain a healthy weight.

Here are a few guidelines to help you navigate grocery store aisles:

  • Begin your shopping around the perimeter of the store. There, you’ll find healthy selections in the produce, meat and dairy aisles. 
  • Go to the freezer section to pick up a few varieties of frozen vegetables on sale.
  • Buying fresh fruit and vegetables that are in-season can save you money and make your meal more nutritious.
  • When choosing a loaf of bread, look for the words 100% Whole Grain or 100% Whole Wheat as the first ingredient. The healthiest breads have three or more grams of fiber per serving.
  • Canned vegetables and soups may add too much salt to your meal. Look for canned products that say Low Sodium. 
  • Don’t shop when you’re hungry. You’re more likely to buy unhealthy foods and spend more money than planned. 

If you’re looking to spice up your usual menu, try something new. Fresh herbs, which can be found in the produce section, can be a great addition to pasta alternatives made from chick peas or other beans. Adding beans into your meal plan is a heart-healthy way to boost your intake of fiber and plant-based protein.

Many any grocery stores have registered dietitians who know about diabetes and can help you find healthy foods and save money. Next time you shop, ask customer service if they offer a dietitian’s services.

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