Conquering the Grocery Store – Diabetes Management

Sometimes going to the grocery store can be a task rather than a fun activity. At NOAH, our Care Team offers some great tips for our patients that have diabetes to help them reduce that overwhelming feeling. With a little planning, grocery shopping can be an effective tool to help you meet your goals – managing your blood sugar levels and lose weight.

Planning and shopping carefully are two ways you will take control of your diet. To be successful, you need to first focus on what’s healthy, nutritious and tasty. Our Registered Dieticians will help guide you through this process. We provide our patients with the necessary information needed so they can conquer the grocery store on their own.

Below are a few tips for you to start with so that your visit to the grocery store is a success!


Make a list of items that you need before you leave the house. Go through your cabinets, freezer and refrigerator as you are thinking of what meals you plan to cook for the week. Jot down staples you’re running low on. Make it fun and research a new recipe you’d like to try out that week and make sure to add those ingredients to your list as needed. I always organize my list based off what the grocery store is set up like so that I maximize my time and more importantly, don’t feel the urge to go down any unnecessary aisles (usually the ones that are packed with over sugary boxed foods). Another trick is to start with the vegetables and fruits foods on the list. This forces you to fill up your cart with the ‘good stuff’ so you don’t have as much room for items you don’t need or shouldn’t eat. As far as what to use make your list, it’s up to you. Some prefer paper and pencil. For me, I love using an app (there are hundreds to choose from). Find one that you can customize and that offers a checklist so that when your items go in the bag, you just click on the item and it crosses it off the list.

Eat Before You Go

This is so important. I have gone to the grocery store on the way home from work, hungry and tired. You wouldn’t believe what I’ve put in my cart, stuff I wouldn’t normally even eat! Always have a healthy snack beforehand. I usually choose shredded cheese, 1 serving of fruit with a nut butter and a tall glass of water. Nuts are your friend. I keep almonds and walnuts in my bag for a quick snack in case I don’t have time to make anything ahead of time.

Think Bag, Can or Box

Although fresh fruit and veggies are great, they aren’t your only option. Dried, canned and frozen fruits and veggies offer nutrients too, and can be a healthy and often affordable addition to your diet. Make sure fruits are packed in juice or water rather than heavy syrup. Look for ‘low-sodium’ or ‘no salt added’ canned veggies. Stay away from starchy veggies such as peas, corn and potatoes to avoid the extra carbs.

Read the Whole Label

Look past the sugar and fat content and pay attention to the carbs, vitamins/minerals, fiber and serving/portion sizes.
Carbohydrates – consider the ‘total amount of carbohydrates’ which affect your blood sugar. At NOAH, your Care Team will teach you about how many grams of carbs are appropriate for you to eat her snack, meal and day. Using the label to read serving/portion sizes will help you make sure you stay on track with your diabetic care plan.
Focus on fiber – select whole grain bread, rice, pasta and cereal. Make sure you read the fiber content (2.5 grams or more per serving) or high fiber (5 grams or more per serving). It’s important to consume 25-30 grams of fiber per day to maintain a healthy diet.
Choose healthy fats – an important part of every diet. Heart healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado oil, avocados, and nuts are a great source of healthy fats. If you are watching your weight, limit these fats.

Going to the grocery store prepared with our tips will help you eat better, feel better and in turn, feel better.

Learn how to manage your #diabetes at the grocery store with a few tips from our Care Team at NOAH. We will work with you and your #family to choose the best path for overall #health and #wellness. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545! #counseling #behavioralhealth #familypractice #pediatrics #communityresources #prenatalservices #nutrition #NationalHealthyWeightWeek #HealthyWeightWeek