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Your ULTIMATE Grocery Shopping Guide

The do's and dont's of grocery shopping as a diabetic

· Type 1 Diabetes,Type 2 Diabetes,Diabetes Support,Carbohydrates,tips

One of the most important things about having diabetes is the hunt at the supermarket to keep your meals and snacks as healthy as possible for your body. Sometimes it is easy to forget, and throw in random things in the basket that "won't do that much harm", but in reality, we should definitely avoid those things at all costs.

It gets a bit tricky when shopping for meals, but if you go through the following guide you will have a stronger sense of what to pick up next time, and what to leave for the next person.

credit to diet doctor, low carb and high carb fruits for consumption

Fruits & Veggies

It is better for diabetics to choose vegetables without starch, as the carb count will be significantly less.

Low Sugar Vegetables:

  • eggplant
  • carrots
  • zucchini
  • lettuce, kale, rocca
  • green beans
  • broccoli and cauliflower
  • asparagus 
  • baked sweet potato

Canned vegetables and frozen vegetables are also valid, just check for ones with low sodium or ones that are unsalted! They tend to last much longer than the fresh ones, so don't be discouraged to buy frozen!

Vegetables to Avoid:

  • potatoes
  • canned vegetables with high added sodium
  • pickles (because of high sodium content)
When it comes to fruit, its important to know which ones have a high glycemic index, and which ones are relatively low in sugars.

Low sugar Fruits:

  • raspberries
  • blackberries
  • strawberries
  • kiwis 
  • avocado
  • watermelon
  • peaches
  • oranges
Fruits/fruit products to avoid:
  • chewy fruit desserts
  • canned fruit
  • jam and jellies (rarely allowed)
  • applesauce with added sugar
Remember to always limit yourself when eating fruit. A typical orange for example will have 14g of carbohydrates. On the other hand, strawberries have practically no sugars.

Legumes

For those that to do not know what legumes are, it is the food family that is high in protein and fiber but still contains carbs. Some great legumes for diabetics are:

  • peas
  • lentils
  • beans
  • peanuts
Try choosing legumes over starchy vegetables whenever possible, as the fiber will block much of the carbs from breaking down. 

Grains

Grains are tricky because many of them will give you an intense spike in your blood glucose. Any option should be whole grain. And most importantly, grains should be eaten in moderation (not exceeding half a cup per serving). Insulin should also be taken in two doses, as it takes our body time to break down the grains to their final state. Some healthier grains to consider are:
  • quinoa (brown or white)
  • brown rice
  • millet
  • corn (on the cobb or canned, but stay away from sweet ones)
  • oats 

Animal Products

It has been recommended to avoid certain animal products as diabetics, whereas others are perfectly fine to consume.

Animal Products to consume:

  • fish full of omega-3 fatty acids like salmon
  • lean meat
  • chicken 
  • turkey breast 

Animal products to avoid:

  • bacon
  • deep friend meats
  • high fat meats (ribs)
  • Chicken with fried skin
  • deep fried fish
  • processed meats
  • sausages
  • red meats (can eat sparingly)

Dairy Products to consume:

  • low fat yogurt (unflavored)
  • low fat cottage cheese 
  • reduced fat cheeses
  • low fat sour cream
  • skimmed milk
  • plant milks (be careful of the ones with added chemicals that raise the carb counts)

Dairy products to avoid:

  • flavored yogurt (full of added sugars)
  • whole milk
  • regular cottage cheese and full fat cheeses
  • chocolate milk

Cereals

Many many types of cereal can be chock full of added sugars, chemicals, and all types of things. But there are also many on the market available without anything added.

Cereals to consume:

  • high in fiber 
  • whole wheat cereal
  • whole grain cereal
  • additives-free
Cereals to avoid:
  • cereals high in sugar
  • colored cereals 
  • cereal with little whole grain

Drinks

It is simple to pick up a drink full of sugar and bolus for it. But why go through the trouble when there are many alternatives this day and age? Tip: try to drink something with the least chemicals possible. Detox water made at home is always an awesome choice for a flavored drink!

Drinks to consume:

  • sparkling water
  • unsweet tea or diet tea
  • black coffee
  • sugar-free flavored drinks
  • light beer

Drinks to avoid:

  • soda
  • sweet tea
  • coffee with cream and sugar
  • cocktails
  • sweet wine
  • energy drinks
credit to diet doctor, options for snacks at home low carb healthy for diabetes

Snacks

We know the snack aisle may be the most tempting and beautiful one of all. But we have to remember that 98% of items for sale are terrible for us. When buying snacks, stick to the following:
  • popcorn 
  • peanuts 
  • almonds 
  • veggie chips
  • carrot sticks and ranch dressing 
  • cut up bell peppers
  • celery and peanut butter 
Hopefully this guide has cleared up any issues you have when you're in a supermarket trying to stock up on the weeks essentials!
And remember to use The Spike App to remind you of your insulin!
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