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Diabetes management begins in the grocery store

November 04, 2015
Kelly Slattery

“If you are trying to eat right with diabetes, healthy eating starts with healthy shopping,” said Kelly Slattery, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Educator at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital.

“Preparing a shopping list and planning ahead before heading to the grocery store is one way to keep your focus on buying healthy ingredients that will help keep your blood sugar under control,” said Slattery. “For those with diabetes, an overall healthy diet with portion control can go beyond helping you achieve blood sugar control. The benefits of healthy eating include increased mental acuteness, resistance to illness and disease, higher energy levels, faster recuperation times, and better management of chronic health problems.”

Slattery, who facilitates a monthly Diabetes Support Group, invites the community to join her on Thursday, November 12, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, at the Big Y Supermarket located at 148 West Street, in Ware, for a “Living with Diabetes Supermarket Tour”. The tour, led by registered dietitian, Sue Mazrolle, MSRD, LDN, will include information about smart shopping choices and meal planning tips for improving blood sugar control.

“Walking into a grocery store unprepared can be a challenge for anyone. When it comes to making better food decisions, grocery shopping can be overwhelming, especially if you are living with diabetes,” said Slattery offering the following tips in preparation for the grocery store tour:

• Never Shop on an empty stomach. When you're hungry foods you might not ordinarily consider can be very tempting, it’s best to shop right after a meal or snack.

• Before you head to the grocery store plan your menu for the week. Start with dinners, because they require the most planning. Breakfast and lunch tend to be easier because they stay about the same from day to day.

• Spend extra time in the Produce Department. Regardless of the time of year, it’s important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. To supplement your fresh purchases, check out low-sodium canned vegetables, along with frozen vegetables that are cut and ready to cook.

• Learn to read food labels. The most important tool for shopping is the nutrition label. Reading food labels will make it much easier for you to compare and find the foods that have the nutritional value right for you.

• Treat yourself. There are many sugar-free foods that can satisfy your sweet tooth and help you control your blood glucose. They can help you stay on track with your nutrition and diabetes goals.

The Diabetes Support Group meets on the first Thursday of each month from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in the Main Conference Room, located on the second floor, with the exception of the November meeting which will be held at Big Y, 148 West Street in Ware on November 12, to offer the shopping tour. Registration is not required; those interested in participating in the tour should meet at the Courtesy Desk at the front of the store at 6:00 pm.

For more information contact Michelle Holmgren, Public Affairs Manager, Baystate Health Eastern Region at 413-967-2296.