Grocery shopping for diabetics can prove to be a very difficult task. You have so many choices of which many of them are real bad, moderately bad and not so bad. Frozen, fresh, lots of carbs, not so many carbs, fats, non fats. Oh my where do we even start.
It would be different if there weren’t so many things to choose from. You never really realize it until you are forced to make decisions that can mean the difference between life and death. The thing is as soon as I was diagnosed with diabetes I decided to put a plan in place. That plan goes for everything including grocery shopping.
One of the things I do now that I have diabetes is I plan my meals ahead of time. Then I walk through the grocery store to look for the ingredients for my suppers, breakfasts, lunches and snacks. I build a list as I’m strolling and the list is based on how the layout of the store works.
I always start where I can buy the vegetables and ingredients for salads. This puts a big dent in my cart and keeps me focused on why I am eating like this. It’s often hard to focus on this area but in order to deal with this it is pretty much a must.
I have learned a few strategies in my short time as a diabetic but if I like them I want to share them. One of those is to sort your grocery list into food groups. This is where your computer will come in handy.
You can make a chart where you split things like carbs, protein, fruits and veggies. You can pretty much put anything you want on the chart. Doing this will tell you where you are lacking or if you have to much in one area.
There are also a lot of good apps out there. Many are so different that it really is trial and error as to what you may like. If you can believe it there is even apps that will help you build your grocery list.
Check Out The Entire Store
Many moons ago it used to be a well-used practice to only shop the perimeter at your grocery store. However, today that just doesn’t stand true anymore. There are tons of good foods for diabetics in the center aisles.
Of course grains and beans stand out to name a few. Don’t forget canned vegetables. Theses are all things that are very important. So its important to shop the whole store.
Another thing in the perimeter myth is there are actually a lot of bad foods out there. Bakery, soda pop, ice cream and potato chips. Just doesn’t sound very diabetic friendly to me.
So when you go grocery shopping for diabetics be sure you have a plan because it shouldn’t take you long after diagnosis to know what’s good and not good for you.
It’s important to not be fooled by foods that are frozen or canned. These foods aren’t always unhealthy because they are frozen or sealed with all their nutrients.
The big thing when picking canned foods are watching for salt, sugars and syrups. Also for most canned foods its really good to rinse them except canned beans.
There is something called shopping the rainbow. That means picking vegetables and fruits of different colors. I know white isn’t in the rainbow but white is in my rainbow. Just think of white corn, mushrooms, cauliflower, onions and turnips.
At the end of the day ignorance is not an excuse. You have to know which products are and aren’t going to raise your sugars. Also when looking at these products its very important to watch the carbohydrates because they are very bad as well.
The Labels Tell The Tale
Labels, labels everywhere and they are so darn confusing at times. So if they are so confusing how in the heck are we able to make decisions on smart eating for a diabetic. Of course as diabetics we are always looking at how much sugar we will be eating. At first something that is overlooked are the carbohydrates. So now that you are reading this it is time to pay more attention to carbs and not so much to the sugar. OK, OK, don’t ignore the sugar but you already know that’s bad so that’s easy to determine.
So if you get smart with labels and watching sugars and carbs you can actually end up with more meal choices because you learn to manipulate and eat on the cutting edge.
It’s Never Too Late
At the end of the day you are not only eating for your diabetes but you are eating for your body and most importantly your heart. Another mystery when looking at labels are fats. We have all heard there are good fats and there are bad fats. The simple answer to this is stay away from too much saturated fats.
There is a lot to know and understand. Trust me no one knows better how confusing things can be when you first get diagnosed. There is so much going through your mind.
You end up having so many questions and you also end up questioning your self. The thing is you can’t live in the past. Yes you have diabetes. So now you just have to suck it up and move forward. If you treat this as a death sentence then yes you may as well just give up and maintain your old habits until it is too late.
However, if you are willing to put in the effort you can live a long healthy life. It all starts with the food you put in your body. If you can educate yourself and commit to some changes it can be just that easy. If you learn about grocery shopping for diabetics you will be taking a great step in your journey into the rest of your life.
My name is Dale and I am a type 2 diabetic. I am here because I refuse to let this beat me up. I’m also here to help anyone.
Feel free to ask me any questions or leave any comments below and I will get back to you.