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[1] 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[2] and tune in tomorrow to find out from nurse David Spero.

  1. visiting the supermarket with diabetes: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blogger/regina-shirley/
  2. DiabetesSelfManagement.com: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com

Source URL: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/going-grocery-store-diabetes-checking/

Regina Shirley: Whether you have Type 1, Type 2, Type-somewhere-in-between, or a loved one with diabetes, Regina Shirley hopes that you can relate to her and that she can help you take this condition in stride. She will let you in on some of her challenges as a mom with Type 1 diabetes to an active toddler and a wife to a husband who is a foodie. She has been a Registered Dietitian for over a decade and has lived with Type 1 for over 25 years (complication free!). She has always participated in JDRF events and is on their National Speakers Bureau, and she also serves on the Outreach Committee of the Boston JDRF Chapter and speaks annually at their Type 1 Nation Summit. Shirley was the Fund-a-Cure Speaker for the New Hampshire JDRF Granite Gala in both 2009 and 2013 and has also contributed to the DECA (Diabetes Education & Camping Association) national nutrition guidelines manual for diabetes camps. Her alma mater, Framingham State University, invites her back each fall to guest lecture on the topic of diabetes, technology, and nutrition. She is the creator of a widely viewed blog called Serving Up Diabetes and works as a nutrition consultant for both individuals with or without diabetes and the restaurant industry.

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