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Navigating the Grocery Store

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Session 4: Eat to Beat Diabetes; Part 2: Eating Out and Shopping Made Easy

How to change your grocery store habits

Plan ahead

Plan ahead by reviewing healthy recipes and making a list of ingredients. Being prepared will lower your risk of buying unhealthy and unwanted foods.

Many grocery stores now offer curbside service. Using that service can help you save time and avoid the temptation of buying unhealthy foods.

Shop on a full stomach

Shop after you have eaten to avoid the temptation to buy extra food or unhealthy food. Keep healthy snacks like fruits and nuts handy when hunger strikes.

Visit the farmer's market

canva---farmers-market.jpgMany markets sell fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and dairy products; making it less likely to buy processed and other unhealthy foods that are sold in the grocery store.

Create a shopping list

canva---shopping-list.jpgStick to the list! Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season to save money. Shop for lean cuts of meat, non-fat or 1% milk, vegetable based oils (like olive oil), and whole grain breads. Be sure to pick up some snacks as well. Unsalted nuts are a great option.

Shop the perimeter

Stick to the outside perimeter of the store for more whole, fresh foods. Start at the fruits and vegetables then continue to the meat, seafood, and dairy sections. The middle aisles normally have more packaged and processed foods. When shopping the middle aisles, look for fresh, frozen, or whole grain foods.

Read food labels carefully

canva---food-label.jpgParts of a food label:

  • Nutritional contents
  • Serving size
  • Calories per serving
  • Percent Daily Value (%DV) - the amount of a nutrient in one serving of that food

Example: If a serving of food has 45% iron, then eating that food will provide 45% of your daily iron needs.

Pay attention to listed ingredients

Basket of rollsLook for items that are familiar or that you can easily pronounce. If possible, try to avoid:

  • Enriched flour - Most commonly found in breads, pretzels, sweets (such as cakes, brownies, cookies, etc.), pasta, crackers, pizza crust, and breaded meats
  • Partially hydrogenated oils - Found in margarine, vegetable shortening, ready-to-use dough, fried foods, and coffee creamers (both dairy and non-dairy). Can contribute to high cholesterol.

Eat healthy anywhere

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How to eat healthy while dining out

According to the 2017 Gallup poll, at least 61% of U.S. adults reported eating dinner at a restaurant at least once a week. Follow these tips for eating healthy while dining out.

Plan ahead

Review the menu before going to the restaurant. Look for healthier options and plan ahead. Pick foods that are baked, broiled, grilled, steamed, or light. Avoid foods with heavy sauces and creams. Once you arrive at the restaurant, leave the menu closed to prevent temptation.

Drink water before meal, and skip the high-calorie drinks during meal

Glass of waterDrinking water will help boost your metabolism and decrease your appetite. During your meal, water is always the best choice to prevent drinking additional, unnecessary calories.

Skip the bread

If the waiter brings bread to the table, politely ask that it is removed, especially if it is white bread.

Salad as a first course

canva---salad.jpgSalad as a first course can be delicious and filling. Try the following tips for your first
course salad.

  • Add plenty of vegetables, fruit, and nuts.
  • Avoid the fat-filled dressings and cheese.
  • Use olive oil or vinegar based dressings.
  • Avoid adding fried chicken or fish.

Ask for a to-go plate

Once your meal arrives, box half of it to eat at another meal time. This will help with portion control.

Ask for substitutions

If something is described as creamed or breaded, ask that those things are omitted from the meal. Ask if additional salt or butter can be limited.

Try fresh vegetables as a side

If you pick a baked potato as a side dish, top it with vegetables or fresh salsa instead of the usual cheese, sour cream, and bacon bits.

Avoid the dessert menu

Try sorbet or fresh fruit as a substitute following an after-dinner walk.

Helpful educational materials and videos

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References