Grocery Shopping

Be a smart shopper at the grocery store

If you aren't prepared, the grocery store can be full of unhealthy temptations. But it only takes a little strategy to come away with healthier choices. Let us help you focus in on what you need, and turn away from what you don’t. While these tips may not apply to all stores, they are something to keep in mind.

diabetes grocery shopping

Tips at the grocery store

Make a list and stick to it

Before you head to your favorite grocery store, sit down and make your shopping list. That way, you know exactly what you need, and tempting packaging or specials on unhealthy choices won't lure you in.

Make Wednesday your day

Choosing the right day to shop can make a difference. If you have the time, TeamingUp Champions suggest going on a Wednesday morning. It's less crowded, which means you’ll feel more relaxed taking the time to read labels and compare nutritional values. Wednesday is also when stores mark items down to make room for their end-of-week shipments, so you can save while you're at it.

Stick to the perimeter

Try sticking to the perimeter of the store. The middle aisles are often lined with the unhealthy temptations, like processed foods and sugary snacks, that wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. Stick to the outside lanes and you’ll come home with healthy items like fruits, vegetables, and dairy.

Let your eyes roam

Grocers place the items they want you to buy at eye level. Look above and below eye level on the shelves and you could save some money and fill your cart with healthier items.

Avoid temptations at checkout

Often unhealthy and impulse items are featured near the cashier. They may test your willpower. If you want to buy something, consider reaching for sugar-free mints or gum.

Game Plan Action Item:
Get started with these staples
In the bag: Smart choices beyond paper and plastic

Stock your shopping cart with must-haves from the market. Good ingredients are the foundation of any healthy, tasty meal.

Add olive oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is healthier than butter and it gives food a rich flavor. Use it on salads and add it to cooked food at the end of the cooking process.

Think fiber

Adults should consume about 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day. If you're not already getting that amount, gradually introduce fiber-rich foods (like beans, oats, apples, and broccoli) to your diet, and drink plenty of water.

Go fishing

Essential fatty acids help promote a healthier cardiovascular system. Focus on cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, and halibut as they're rich in omega-3 fats. And remember, in general, seafood is a good choice because it's low in saturated fat.

Pick protein

Unsalted nuts, like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and peanuts, make an excellent protein-filled snack. Plus, they won't cause blood sugar ups and downs. Other foods high in protein (including lean meats, low-fat cheeses, and cold-water fish) should be included for a well-balanced meal. As with all foods, don't forget to practice portion control.

Choose wisely

Carbs like whole oats, whole-wheat pasta, and legumes (such as lentils and black beans) that have not been processed are the carbs you want to focus on. Pair them with lean protein and vegetables for a balanced meal. And remember, everyone is different, which means your diet should be, too. Work with your healthcare provider, Diabetes Educator, or dietician to determine how many carbohydrates should be part of your daily intake.

Smart Snacks
  • Low fat string cheese
  • Avocado slices
  • Sugar-free jello
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Fresh green vegetables


Plan To Succeed

A goal without a plan is just a wish. Let's get started!

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Develop A Knack For Snacking

Ideas for making low-calorie, diabetes-friendly snacks.

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5 Tips for Better Grocery Choices

Learn how to substitute healthier foods for popular items.


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Wendy C, TeamingUp Coach