Have Diabetes? Boost Your Supermarket IQ
With nearly 40,000 items in the average grocery store, it can be a challenge to choose wisely. The experts at the University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter offer these three tips for healthier food shopping:
- Shop the perimeter of the store. You'll usually find the freshest, whole, unprocessed foods (notably fruits and vegetables) in your store's exterior aisles.
- Don't assume browner is better. Darker breads are not necessarily more nutritious or higher in fiber than those that are lighter in color. Look for breads, rolls, etc. that specifically say "whole grain."
- Avoid sneaky sugars. Evaporated cane juice, coconut palm sugar and barley malt may sound healthy, but they're not nutritionally better for you than plain old sugar.
Bonus Tip: Tame Checkout Temptation
As retailers well know, people are more likely to buy on impulse while on line at a store checkout lane. A report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a consumer advocacy group, found that 90 percent of food items in checkout lanes were junk foods, such as candy and chips; and 60 percent of the beverages were sugary drinks, like sweetened waters, teas, and sodas. CSPI is calling for stores to implement nutrition standards for foods sold at checkout.
In the meantime, if you tend toward impulse buying, go to the store with a shopping list—and keep your blinders on at the checkout. Try to avoid shopping when you’re hungry (that makes it harder to resist temptation), and consider paying in cash (this makes people think twice about impulse buys, in contrast to using credit cards, research has shown).
Adapted from our sister publication Diabetes Focus (Spring 2013; Fall 2015)