Going to the Grocery Store With Diabetes: Checking Out

One thing is for sure, when you are finishing a trip to the grocery store, you’re probably tired, hungry, and potentially broke. I mentioned at the beginning of this series on visiting the supermarket with diabetes that it is very important never to go to the grocery store on an empty stomach and to always to check your blood sugar before you go in. Now, as you stand in the checkout line, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding your diet for diabetes:

Instead of letting the candy bars tempt you, stare at the celebrity magazines.


As you empty your cart, start thinking about how you want to prepare your meals for the week:

• Which meats are going to expire first? This will help you decide which ones should you cook sooner rather than later.

• Same thing for the produce — how ripe is it? This will tell you how soon should you incorporate it into a meal.

• What things did you pick out as yummy treats that may not be the healthiest options? These may be good items for treating blood sugar lows!

• Which ingredients can be used in multiple meals?

• What categories can the foods be organized into — high fiber, high protein, low carb, etc.? When you get home you can start unloading your grocery bags and already have them sorted out to some extent.

Go through your refrigerator and pantry and make sure to use up any foods that are likely to expire soon before digging into the fresh purchases.

Sit down with anyone that is in your household and share with them quickly the whats and whys behind what you purchased: For example, “Honey, I got these glazed almonds to put on a tossed salad, so don’t eat them as a snack right out of the bag” or “If I’m low and call down for you to grab me something out of the fridge, that is what I am saving these smoothies for.”

Keep a mental checklist of items you will cook for dinner that you can also use as leftovers for lunch the next day. This can help you cut down on food preparation and is also great because you can see what that meal does to your blood sugar at dinner and decide how you may want to adjust your insulin the next day when you eat it for lunch.

It is also important to try to engage whoever may assist you with cooking and grocery shopping. Make sure they understand the premise behind why you chose the foods you did, and how it will all fit into your diabetes management, family meal planning, and overall health.

It is also great to check in with yourself every now and then to see how hungry you are feeling on a scale of 1–10, with 1 being starving and 10 being completely full. If you are able to gauge your level of hunger before caving in to a second or third snack in the evening, not only are you helping to keep your weight in line, but you are also helping manage your blood sugar levels.

What are the six best-kept secrets about Type 2 diabetes? Bookmark DiabetesSelfManagement.com and tune in tomorrow to find out from nurse David Spero.