One of the hardest parts of the diet plan for a person with Type 2 diabetes, is knowing just what foods to buy. For years you have known exactly how to shop for your groceries… you didn’t even need to make a shopping list. So you had no idea you would need to look at relearning your shopping skills; that you would need a shopping guide!
All of a sudden you are hearing about low-glycemic (low-GI) foods, and being told to read food labels. You had no idea how many processed and high-glycemic carbohydrates are found in what you thought were innocent foods.
It is usually a good idea to:
- shop for groceries after you have eaten either a snack or a meal… every little step helps you to chose the “right” foods
- plan your meals a week ahead
- make a shopping list and only buy what is on your list
Type 2 diabetics are advised to eat carbohydrates following the low-GI scale. Foods on the low-GI scale offer you wholesome and delicious foods that are readily available and highly satisfying. Low-GI foods generally fit into several categories:
- fruit and vegetables
1. Buy most of your foods from the outside aisles: Grocery stores are usually laid out with certain items that are safe for people with Type 2 diabetes… fresh produce (fruit and vegetables), dairy products, meat and grains… in the outside isles. You will usually find refined foods such as crackers, cookies, cereals, etc., in the inside aisles.
2. Buy low fat protein: Choose chicken or turkey rather than high fat meats such as beef and pork. Skinless, white chicken and turkey breasts are ideal… they contain less calories. Ground turkey is a good substitute for recipes that call for ground beef.
3. Be wary of frozen foods: Frozen foods can be misleading… sometimes packages are marked “lite” and “reduced calorie”… this can be confusing. You will often find these foods contain a high amount of sugar and sodium. Of course, there are some healthy frozen foods… vegetables that are frozen fresh (in other words they have no added sauces), are ideal.
4. Watch out for marketing traps: Remember that food companies are very clever at promoting their products:
- lite or light does not always mean low fat or low sugar
- sugar free… this often means sucrose free or contains no table sugar. Other sugars to look for include maltose, fructose, corn syrup and honey. These can even be found in diabetic cookies
- cholesterol free… a cookie label may say it’s cholesterol free. This means there are no animal fats used in the processing but it doesn’t mean it’s a healthy choice
- a certain percentage fat-free… when a product claims to be a certain percentage fat-free its referring to the product’s total weight, not the percentage of fat calories per serving
- dietetic… this means that one or more ingredients have been altered in some fashion. It does not mean there is a reduction in calories
Knowing some of the marketing traps to watch out for will help you choose foods to help you lose weight and have lower blood sugar levels.
Would you like more information about alternative ways to handle your type 2 diabetes?