Pre-game your shopping trip
Have a light snack, such as a string cheese and a small apple, before you leave for the grocery store. The fuel will help prevent excessive hunger pangs and keep your blood sugar steady, both of which can cut down on impulse buys. Don’t leave home without a shopping list (another tactic to avoid buying unhealthy fare you didn’t plan on purchasing). “This will ensure that you have healthful foods on hand at home all week long,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, a certified diabetes educator and author of the Reader’s Digest book 2-Day Diabetes Diet.
Choose whole and frozen fruit
“The only ingredient listed on the label should be the name of the fruit you are buying,” says Alana Fiorentino, RDN, a certified diabetes educator in New York City. If you prefer canned fruit, make lower-sugar choices by selecting fruits in 100 percent fruit juice or water—and avoiding fruit canned in syrup. “Light syrup” may sound healthy, but it usually has added sugar. A ½ cup portion of Mandarin oranges canned in water, for instance, has 45 calories and 7 grams of sugar, while the light-syrup version has 90 calories and 18 grams of sugar. Here, compelling reasons fruit is healthy for diabetics.