Can You Reverse Diabetes With Food Choices?

For people who have type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, eating a healthy diet is a crucial part of management. Choosing healthy foods is an essential step to managing and even possibly reversing type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. Here’s what to know when grocery shopping for healthy foods.

center for family medicine Diabetes Management How To Grocery Shop For Healthy Foods

Shop the perimeter

A tried-and-true strategy for choosing healthy foods is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Typically, the outer aisles will have fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, and poultry. In the inside aisles, look for beans, lentils, olive oil, and spices. Frozen fruit and vegetables can also be good options, but be aware of the sodium and fat content in pre-packed veggies with sauce.

Know nutrition facts

Reading nutrition labels is essential to making healthier choices. In general, choose foods that are lower in saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. When reading a food label, always check the serving size first. Remember that if a package has 2 servings and is consumed in one sitting, all the calorie, carbohydrate, fat, and other ingredient amounts need to be doubled. Also, remember that the percent daily values of all nutrients are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. These percentages may be inaccurate if a person is eating less than 2,000 calories a day.

What about desserts?

People with diabetes can indulge a little, but managing blood sugar is a crucial part of management. Opt for safer sweets such as sugar-free popsicles, pudding, or ice cream made with no- or low-calorie sweeteners. People can also make desserts at home such as fruit salad, mixed berries, or smoothies. Remember, however, to count the sugars in the fruit when keeping track of carbohydrate intake.

Make a list

To stay on track, create a weekly meal plan full of healthy recipes. Then, create a grocery list based on these weekly meals. Checking the pantry and fridge at home before going to the store can help to save money and time.

Don’t leave the house hungry

Going to the store hungry will just open up the temptation to buy foods that aren’t on the list. In particular, many people tend to crave more fatty and sugary foods when hungry. Avoid this pitfall by having a meal or snack before heading out.

Nature’s best medicine

For people with diabetes, a healthy diet is the best medicine. Foods directly impact blood sugar, so choosing wisely is essential. A healthy diet can stabilize blood sugar and may even increase energy levels and aid with weight loss. For more information about diabetes management, speak with a healthcare provider.