Shopping Smarter for Diabetes

Article by: Readers Digest  |  Picture by: Allrecipes
Shopping Smarter for Diabetes
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Smart shopping is a good habit whether you have specific dietary requirements or not. You'll buy, better, healthier and cheaper. Here's a few tips to get you started on the right track.

Before you start: Preparation

  • Make a list. And stick to it. This is an attempt to make sure you buy what you need and ignore what you don't need.
  • Limit your trips. Make your shopping list long so you make only one or two trips to the supermarket per week. Besides being more efficient, doing this provides less opportunity for impulse buys.
  • Avoid shopping on an empty stomach. When you're hungry, you're more likely to grab high-fat snacks and desserts.
  • Follow the Walls

    Limit browsing to the perimeter of the supermarket, where you'll find the fruit and veggies, other fresh food, dairy products, meat and fish. Venture into the interior aisles only when you're after specific items, like pasta and dried beans, to avoid picking up extra items not included in your diet plan.
    Learn to Understand Food Labels

    Because you will buy packaged and pre-made food, learn to know exactly what you are buying by being able to decipher the food label.
    Australian and New Zealand Food Labelling
  • Nutrition Information Panel This provides information on kilojoules, protein, fats, carbohydrates and sodium. By using the “per 100g” column of this panel you can compare and choose the healthier option of two similar foods.
  • Ingredient list All of the ingredients contained in the food are listed in order of weight. You can use this to see e.g. how much sugar is contained in a product relative to other ingredients by how high it is in the ingredient list.
  • Percentage labelling This tells you how much of the named or main ingredients are in your product. For example, it will tell you what percentage of strawberry yoghurt is made up of strawberries.
  • Food Additives Food additives, including colours, flavours and preservatives will be identified by their numbers. If you are sensitive to a particular additive, and know its identifying number, this will help you to avoid foods containing it.
  • Country of Origin The label of any packaged food must state the country that the food was made or produced in.
  • Directions for use and storage These include specific instructions such as “refrigerate after use”. When followed, these instructions help to maintain the safety and quality of the food.
  • Information for allergy sufferers Products containing the major allergens, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g. almonds, cashews, walnuts), shellfish, milk, eggs, sesame, soybeans and gluten, are labelled as “may contain ….”. If you have an allergy to any of these foods or food components, it is strongly recommended that you avoid all foods containing these products.
  • Date marking Do not buy or consume foods after their “use-by” date. However, food is still safe for consumption after its “best before” date.
  • Get more info on this from Food Standards Australia New Zealand.
  • Ignore the pictures

    Golden sunshine glows on heaps of freshly harvested wheat! But it could be an image of good health that signifies nothing. Check out the food label instead for the real story and choose foods that are high in fibre and low in fat and kiljoules.
    Watch the language Beware of foods labelled "no sugar added" - the wording is carefully chosen because the product may be loaded with natural sugar. You'll find the real story in the food label.
    Article provided by:
    Readers Digest


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