Where to shop

By Flybob Latest Reply 2009-03-31 11:37:44 -0500
Started 2009-03-14 11:06:29 -0500

I am pre-diabetic. I want to go to the market and find sugar-free stuff…I know I've seen markets with special sections for diabetics…but I can't remember where…I live in SoCal…any suggestions?

51 replies

freddyg2u 2009-03-24 15:38:46 -0500 Report

Hi flybob, there is a storein your area of Southern calfornia called Trader Joe's.
It's online and the site is nice. I buy from them occasionally and their diabetic products in Dayton, Ohio are great. www.traderjoes.com
Best to you and God Bless. Fred

Flybob 2009-03-25 01:12:22 -0500 Report

Thanks. I went there and found some cool stuff. What about the pasta that was made from brown rice. Is that really better for you? It tasted fine.

Smuggies 2009-03-24 12:45:43 -0500 Report

Hi Flybob, you can live "Anywhere USA", and shop "Anywhere Grocery Store". All you have to remember is: Fresh vegetables, protein (turkey, chicken, fish), dairy, sour dough bread, rye bread, all the berries you want, and a once a day snack of sugar free. Sugar free does not mean it is carbless. Sugar frees have sugar alcohols. Eat small and sensible and drink lots of water. Man if you do all of that, you will be sitting pretty with life. Smuggies

Flybob 2009-03-25 01:11:29 -0500 Report

You have summed it up. I have learned that it's not all about just finding Sugar Free stuff. Limit my carbs, eat lots of veggies, drink water…and then have a treat once in awhile (but keep it to a small quantity and only occasionally).

baby dumplin - 31138
baby dumplin - 31138 2009-03-24 08:33:38 -0500 Report

Flobob for me some supermarkets have sugar free stuff but they are located in the regular aisle like sugar free cookies will be in the cookie aisle. I hope that helps you good luck.

btbuz 2009-03-23 15:08:49 -0500 Report

I just got back from shopping at Wegmans, Acme and A&P or SuperFresh as they like to be called these days. My normal store is Shoprite which does a half decent job of providing "dietetic products" most of which I wouldn't touch. What I was looking for particularly was Ken's sugar free salad dressing. None of the stores in my area cary it.
With all the people in our country that are struggling with diabetes, I would think that the stores would have an Isle or two with a great big banner saying "Welcome Diabetics" and other people that are trying to avoid the disease. Load those sections with all the good food options available today. At least one manager I talked too is sending an e-mail to his corporate management with that suggestion. How can we ban together and as a group encourage all the stores to be more conscious of the problem. I don't know what the numbers are but I'll bet the percentage of diabetic or prediabetics in this country is pretty high. Does anyone have that data?
The other gripe I have is finding beverages made with Splenda. It may cost a few more cents than the poisonous Aspartame but it is a far better product. Thank you Acme and Shoprite for carrying Waist Watchers which only use Splenda.

vgarrison 2009-03-24 00:16:16 -0500 Report

Oh how I agree with you. When I was living in the south, anything that was considered healthy for you was almost outlawed down there…pork rines and mt dew…those were staples, but anything that could help me as a diabetic…yah good luck on that one.

I am very fortunate that now I live in the Pacific Northwest and here your health is of a great concern! It is almost like night and day when looking at the markets here. You have to search for mt. dew and pork rines (if you wanted to that is) but the moment you walk in the door you can see the banners for the health foods!!!


DoseyDoe65 2009-03-24 03:28:49 -0500 Report

Hi, I'm also a pre-diabetic. I have been watching and listening at all the good stuff. Taking this from one and that from someone else,boy you could fill a grocery basket. All that is good to know but going to get it is a different story. I cannot afford to go get that kind of stuff.On fixed incomes food is the last thing on the list, and the shopping trips are getting farther and fewer and when you do go you have to buy necessary things.So I get necssary and forget about wanted things. I mostly eat whatever we have and scrimp on the amounts. I wanted splenda but got Wal-marts splenda. I decided to drink water instead of sodas and tea. But those different flavors of Hawaiian Punch is sugar-free but drinking them day and night (nearly 1/2 gallon a day)my before test are higher.I told the doctor what I was doing and asked if it would make a difference,he said nah, thats good that you are doing that.Then I noticed the higher count. Question: Does that difference hurt anything?? Talk to me please, Dosey Ps. Thank you all for the info, I've learned a lot. And we eat ice cream every night(our reward) lol

Sarguillo 2009-03-24 12:11:09 -0500 Report

You have to be carfull of what is sugar free and no sugar added. Two different things. The Sugar free soft drink (like sugar free kool aid and such) are acturally sugar free. Its no differnt than drinking colored water with fake sugar added. Shouldnt change your BS at all. Or so I am told. I have found that it does not change my BS for me. Good Luck.

2009-03-17 22:37:37 -0500 Report

What I've found with milk is, if you are going to be away from food for awhile, eat a bowl of cereal, the carbs in milk hold you for awhile!

As far as changing up my diet, I've ramped up salad consumption, and have started really paying closer attention to ingredients and how I prepare things. Plus, we used to eat alot of those packaged meals for calorie content, but they are chock full of salt, so I've nixed those, and set up a weeks worth of meals. Salad is eaten with every meal, and I make salads with LOTS of color! Almost mini chefs salads, minus the meat.

Sarguillo 2009-03-17 11:08:10 -0500 Report

This has been a good thread. Remmber, No food is really off limits as long as its within reason for our condition. But try to stay away from high sugar foods. Not sure if your doc told you so but Milk is high in sugar as it has its own form of sugar. Keep it down to half a cup a day or so. I used to drink a gallon a day in a past life. Dont cut out bread if you really like it. Just choose a better form of bread. no diet will work if you are unhappy about what you eat. you might be unhappy about portion control but that is somthing that we all have to live with. Good luck on our new journey.

caspersmama 2009-03-17 11:14:58 -0500 Report

Right portion control is key. I eat on a salad plate. 1/2 is salad or veggies. 1/4 is a protein, and 1/4 is a carb. Works for me, have been doing it awhile now and have lost weight and sugar is in better control. Everyone has to find what works for them but I am a southern girl and that was hard at first until I realized I could still have grits, gravy and fried chicken just smaller amounts.

Flybob 2009-03-17 11:37:31 -0500 Report

Milk!? Oh dread. Ok, will cut that down too. I, like you, have been a milk-a-holic.

MeiMei 2009-03-31 11:37:44 -0500 Report

Believe it or not whole milk has fewer carbs than low fat or non fat milk, just more fat (altho if you look it's not all that much fat). That is because they actually add lactose (milk sugar) for extra flavor when they take out the fat. I used to get raw milk from a reputable dairy and skim my own. The flavor was so much better.

2009-03-17 11:40:04 -0500 Report

If you eat lots of vegies, seasoned different ways of course for flavor.. you can eat until you are full!! I recently went all the way to vegetarian eating (not vegan, I still eat eggs and cheese sometimes) and find that I'm full, really full after a meal and my sugars are great!! People often wonder how you get your protein with vegetarian eating but it's all about the beans and high protein grains. Quinoa, soy, garbanzo beans, etc… and all the green leafy vegies, and red and orange and purple LOL My life is very colorful now.. :) Sample lunch - Seven bean soup, a huge salad with spinach and romaine lettuce, green peas, chopped egg, black olives (a tbsp of each) some cheese tortellini (6 of them)alfalfa sprouts, shredded carrots,and parmesan peppercorn dressing. and for dessert a few pieces of fresh pineapple. Mmmmmmmmmm :)


caspersmama 2009-03-17 14:35:37 -0500 Report

That sounds delicious. Tell us what you have for dinner so we can get a sampling. I had for lunch a salad with tuna and balsamic dressing. 7 Tricuits and apples slices. And of course my decaf unsweet tea.

2009-03-17 22:26:33 -0500 Report

In answer to your request about my dinner tonight. I had roasted cauliflower and broccoli, 1 serving of Dreamfields pasta with homemade marinara sauce, added 1/2 cup of kidney beans and a sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese, and strawberries with balsamic vinegar for dessert. I always drink water with my meals so beverages don't count for me. It was pretty good, not sure what's on deck for tomorrow but I will be out the next two nights for dinner so it should be interesting. Eating out is difficult sometimes both as a diabetic and trying to eat vegetarian. :( We'll see how it works


2009-03-16 19:48:28 -0500 Report

Sometimes I honestly am glad I have Type 1, and am on an insulin pump, versus being diet controlled, cause I honestly don't think I would do very well at all!!!

This discussion has helped me find new good to eats!!!! I had no idea the chocolate that we were warned about is good for us!!!!

Caspersmama, I LOVE spaghetti squash, I'm tryin to get my hubby to try it, but I don't think he can get past the thought it should have butter and brown sugar on it, LOL.

2009-03-16 23:07:04 -0500 Report

I just saw an episode of Emeril Green on the Planet Green channel on cable and he used spaghetti squash.

Check out Planet Green.com , they have great whole foods recipes and even one segment about Diabetes.


MeiMei 2009-03-17 09:12:28 -0500 Report

I watch Emeril Green all of the time. There was even an episode for t2 diabetics where he made chocolate brownies for the diabetic couple. I also watch the food network and get some great ideas for foods where I can control the sugar content. Instead of sugars you can add spices or herbs depending on whether you are making something sweet or savory. It is great.

caspersmama 2009-03-17 10:58:38 -0500 Report

The first time I heard about spaghetti squash was Rachael Ray from the Food Network. I watch all the time too.

svengali35 2009-03-17 17:02:04 -0500 Report

Legs, there is a great brown sugar with Splenda (not my Favorite but better than sugar) it is wonderful on the Acorn Squash that I think you are referring to… and Butter is better than that other stuff… Yummy Squash!

vgarrison 2009-03-16 17:40:55 -0500 Report

Wow there is some great ideas on this post…I'll add just a couple more…first off chocolate is actually good for you…yah I know sounds weird huh, but true…the really dark chocolate…70% or higher is the best. I eat it whenever I really need some chocolate. I buy the lindt bars and 3 squares are about 27 grams of carbs…but I have found that only one square does me great and for only 9 grams..its better for you than "sugar free" chocolate.

Second thing is that there is no "list" of foods we cannot eat. I eat ice cream, cake, cookies, and pasta. I just eat smaller amounts, factor them into my carb count, and choose the "healthiest" form of whatever to eat. Did you know that whole wheat pasta doesn't taste much different when there is spaghetti sause on top? Also Olive Garden now has a choice of their white pasta or whole wheat…Also I have gotten into the habit of eating Ben n Jerry's ice cream. I get them in the little tiny containers. That way I am not tempted to eat just a little bit more. I get the Cherry Garcia, and it's about 19 grams of carbs for the small size…I don't mean the pint, but the little single serving ones.

I was told to aim for 30-45 for breakfast and lunch and 45-60 for supper. I don't normally eat this many, but at first it was hard.

Hope this helps alittle more


caspersmama 2009-03-16 18:11:44 -0500 Report

Also about the pasta, I have been using spaghetti squash and it is great. I do agree about the ice cream, the little ones are a perfect size. I do eat dark chocalate also. No food is off limits to me. I love mexican food and instead of eating all the chips and tortillas. I get fajitas and just eat them with a little beans, no rice. I usually take about half of it home for the next day.

MeiMei 2009-03-17 09:05:42 -0500 Report

You can also make your own ice cream, and then you can control what you put in it, the amount of sugar or sugar substitute (such as Splenda or stevia), fresh fruit and real cream (which does not have any carbs). It really works when you can make your own not only ice cream, though, I make my own bread and can control the ingredients there too.

MeiMei 2009-03-17 09:08:48 -0500 Report

Anything with too much sugar in it you can make at home and control the amount of sugar, bbq sauce, catsup, ice cream, bread,brownies,chocolate cake or other desserts.

MeiMei 2009-03-17 09:16:04 -0500 Report

I even make my own pasta. I can control the amount of protein which I can make higher by adding wheat gluten to the dough and can use any flour I choose. I can also add things like spinach or carrots or herbs making them more nutritious and savory.

donna13 2009-03-17 11:44:32 -0500 Report

When I was told I had diabetes 2 the dietician said I could have only 15g carbs for breakfast, 30g for lunch and again for dinner, and have two snacks a day, 15g each. (These should be eaten no less than 3 hours before or after meals.) When I was in the hospital last fall, they gave me 45 grams for each meal. I would order yogurt with my meal and eat it later as a snack. Since my blood counts didn't go up, I've been following that regime since.

Flybob 2009-03-16 16:31:02 -0500 Report

This has been great! More and more helpful advice. So glad I found this site. I have a totally different idea of what to do now. Cut the carbs…man I love bread, tortillas, buns, etc…just going to have to make changes. I just got back from the market…carrots, apples, bananas, asparagus, celery…wholesale changes…

2009-03-16 17:11:58 -0500 Report

Good for you Bob. There are many schools of thought on how to manage Diabetes or PreDiabetes. I myself prefer 'Controlled Carbs'. I also like the bready things but I switched to 100% whole wheat bread, and brown rice, and whole wheat pasta or Dreamfields brand. I limit them to about 30-40grams per meal and use fruit in between as snacks. There are many wonderful posts on here about what to eat and what to avoid. In reality, all of us being human with wants and desires, there is nothing that you can't have, you just have to plan for it. Example: If you just have to have a piece of cake, then don't eat potatoes or pasta or rice with dinner, and substitute the piece of cake (small one lol) for the carbs you would have normally eaten. Whole foods with spices and seasonings will change your world and your tastebuds!!!

Good luck and I hope you can keep it at bay at least until you are older… :)


Sarguillo 2009-03-16 11:24:21 -0500 Report

Shop at your regular grocery store. Learn to shop the edges of the store and stay away from the center. You will find usually, the Meat departments in the back or side, with the produce department on the other side away from the meat. If it has a bakery, it will be along the edges mostly. Your processed foods would be in the center. Eat like a cave man. Fruits and Vegtables. Meats, nuts and grains and most things non-processed and you will do fine. Oh yeah, See a diatician. Read books. Lots of information online and in library. Not many things are sugar free, and most of them, You dont want them. I do like Crystal light as a beverage. And I have learned to love Ice Tea when eating out. As for craving, I do eat one mini reese peanut butter cup a day. That is my limit and my chocolate fix for the day. Most say to count carbs. Good idea. Low carbs seem to work for me. I try 35-45-60.
Thats 35 in the am with 45 for lunch with 60 for dinner. Stay away from White bread. It does nothing for you nor give you any thing back. Only reason for sliced bread is to hold the middle. I have learned to love a good lettuce wrap. Lettuce will hold the fixings just as well. You being in Southern Cal, Try and see if you have a Trader Joe's near you. You will be surprised at what you find there. Good luck. Knowledge is king in this fight.

caspersmama 2009-03-16 11:48:13 -0500 Report

That is what I do. Shop the perimeter of store. It is funny how stores are all set up the same. I do venture into the frozen foods for frozen veggies. My new love this week is asparagus with a slash of lemon juice and asiago cheese.

freddyg2u 2009-03-17 13:08:20 -0500 Report

Hi from Hillsboro, Ohio. I agree with Sarguillo, his outlook is like ours. You need to adjust as you go along your eating ways. Carbs will be your downfall and shoot your BG upwards in a hurry. Trader Joe's is a God send for me as I am always looking for a fix to sweet stuff, they have it, without the sugar. It's a shame that supermarkets, the likes of Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Krogers only slam you with more sugar and carbs.

Quaker Oats has those rice cakes and they are great, have just a few mgs of sugar and are a good snack.

But in allhonesty, all we really need to do,is take controlof our diets, eat right and the rest of this equation will take care of itself. God bless. Freddyg2u

MeiMei 2009-03-16 11:04:45 -0500 Report

My suggestion is that you go to see a dietition, havew your doc refer you to one. In terms of shopping my suggestion is Whole Foods Market (used to be called Henry's Market). Stick to real foods like produce either locally grown or organic, and meats. Sugar-free usually means there is a sugar substitute usually aspertame which is not good for you. Stick to splenda or truvia for sweetening. You can occasionally have regular sugar and honey items but don't get carried away. You need to start counting carbs. A carb unit is about 15 grams of carbs. Watch out for the number of servings per container and measure the amount you consume. And exercise to reduce you blood sugar. Good luck.

SkipT 2009-03-15 19:59:58 -0500 Report

I avoid all food that says sugar free or for diabetics. I eat real food. If you learn to skip the sugar you will eventually lose your craving for sweets. Nowadays vegetables are as sweet to me as candy was two year ago.

caspersmama 2009-03-16 10:50:08 -0500 Report

I am like you Skip. I love veggies. Sometimes I have them for breakfast instead of "breakfast foods". Have salads for snacks instead of sweets.

2009-03-15 19:54:02 -0500 Report

Hey Bob who is it that told you that you are Pre-Diabetic? If it was your doc, then the FIRST thing that doc needs to do is set you up PRONTO with a Dietician!

A friend of my husbands was told he is Type 2, but his doc didn't send him to a Dietician! How can someone know what to eat, what not to eat, and how much to eat, without seeing a Dietician??? What kind of doctor is this??

And Bob, Dietician isn't a person who puts you on a weight loss diet, they counsel you, and teach you how to eat BETTER! Especially if you are Pre-Diabetic.

Good luck bud!

Flybob 2009-03-16 00:06:53 -0500 Report

It was my general doctor. He gave me a list of foods to avoid, and a list to eat. And he put me on Glipizide.
He said my whatevers…(can't remember if it was tryglicirides or what) was at 95 last year and now they were at 138. Maybe those numbers mean something to you? I just want to attack it immediately and hopefully avoid becoming diabetic. It's not like I haven't been warned before…previous doc said I was heading that way. Lost 30 pounds, but last 6 months I've been extra bad with sweets and sodas. That has completely changed since he gave me the news. Thankfully, I'm getting great info from all of you.

KStylesP 2009-03-31 10:51:31 -0500 Report

Hey Legs,

I understand how that may be frustrating. I was frustrated as well because I focused on what I couldn't eat as opposed to what I could. Looking back this was a simple transition. It most certainly seemed more difficult at the time. I also had no expert advise, So as my hunger grew for food so did my hunger to know what to eat. There are many Diabetic Cook books are the market, simply google one and be surprised.

Flybob 2009-03-15 13:04:32 -0500 Report

I have learned much from you guys already. Thanks for the comments. One question at this point, is there a target level of Carbs I should be holding myself to each day?

caspersmama 2009-03-15 14:26:58 -0500 Report

Flybob have you gone to a Diabetic Education class, that is where I learned a whole lot about carbs, low cal and sugar free stuff and what to eat with what. Had been diabetic for years when I took the class and learned so much stuff. Your doctor can send you to one plus most hospitals offer classes that insurance pays for. at least mine did plus I got a new meter and strips. And I can call anytime with questions.

GabbyPA 2009-03-15 15:08:42 -0500 Report

Being Pre-diabetic your doctor might not have recommended a class, but you may want to contact your hospital for one. Sometimes they are free.
Eating health whole natural foods is the best thing. If you keep your carbs between 35-50 per a meal you will do well. You can find carb counts on "unlabled" foods from the the ADA. They have a good starting booklet that is free if you ask for one. That is how I started.
If you are testing your BG levels, test about 2 hours after a meal and record your level. That will help you see if you are eating a good amount of carbs.
It is all kind of tricky in the beginning and something I did to keep me from getting overwhelemed and quitting was just to focus on one thing at a time. Get used to doing that, then add another thing you want to work on. It helped me so much.
You are going in the right direction though, you are taking action and that is a great first step to keeping healthy for a long, long time.

KStylesP 2009-03-31 10:41:45 -0500 Report

Hey Fly Bob,

Depending how active you are, you may wanna stay between 66 - 75 Carbs per meal. Switch to whole grains. There are plenty of Pastas and Breads to choose from. When eating questionable items like rice (brown) and potato's (red russet) about the size of your Fist will do for the Potato and the palm of your Hand will do for the rice. Do not be afraid to pop healthy snacks such as (nuts) Almonds and Pistachios they are the most densely nutritious as well as (berries) like Blue Berries and Black Berries and even Strawberries…moderate snacks that are not filled with simple sugars (processed or bleached). Remember everything in moderation, and most of all stay active. Learn ways to trick your metabolism and speed it up. I personally started eating 5 smaller meals a day. I wasn't afraid to read labels and I began increasing my cardio progressively, you will be surprised how far you can come in just a few months if you commit. Best Wishes bro and good luck.

2009-03-15 00:11:40 -0500 Report

HUGE misconception about having to go sugar free!! There is a discussion on here about the cereal issue, that basically boiled down to regular cereal having about the same offerings as a diabetic cereal, at a lesser cost. And yeah, DEFINITELY don't eat too much sugar free chocolate, or if you want to lose weight, while sitting upon the throne! Good luck!

Flybob 2009-03-15 13:03:30 -0500 Report

I have learned much from you guys already. Thanks for the comments. One question at this point, is there a target level of Carbs I should be holding myself to each day?

Avera 2009-03-14 22:20:15 -0500 Report


Most regular grocery store chains all have both low carb and sugar free sections within the store. Even chain drugstores have sugar free and low carb sections.

These days many of the low carb or sugar free items are just mixed in with the regular items.

It is better these days and the stores are beginning to carry a wider variety of these types of products. However, they never have enough for me so I usually buy online and have it shipped. It is usually cheaper.

Remember when buying the products labeled "sugar free," always check the label for the carb count. You are wanting to keep the carbs low if you are prediabetic.

Here are some links for you to the places where I buy some things. Hope this helps.






Bluebutterfly 2009-03-14 13:44:38 -0500 Report

Hi Flybob,
I live in the south and still enjoy a glass of sweet tea now and then. You don't have to go sugar free. You can have a piece of cake if you use moderation and not often.I eat an ocassional piece of chocolate.Just make sure you test your bs. I go by that. If my sugars are good and I want something sweet I have just a small amount ,enough to satisfy my cravings. This is what I do and have been ok. You have to try and see what you can do.I do hope this has helped and saved you some money too.

rbergman 2009-03-14 13:00:25 -0500 Report

You'll also find that fat free and low cal don't necessarily mean better for you either. What many of us do instead of the sugar free stuff is just to count carbohydrates in the everyday foods you enjoy already, if you watch portion size and count the carbs plus eat natural foods such as fruits and veggies and get fiber in your diet you'll see results better than trying to go the sugar free route, besides too much of the sugar free stuff has an "exlax" effect that isn't pleasant. It can also cost you more money with less results.
There are many discussions on here about carb counting and low carb foods, just do a search for them with the "search discussions" tab at the top of this page.
You don't have to go sugar free you just have to eat sugary things in moderation. Also Truvia and Stevia are great sugar substitutes, better than the equal and Sweet-n-Low and such.
Hope this helps!

Wally - 31923
Wally - 31923 2009-03-14 12:55:15 -0500 Report

Unsure where you may shop for I am in Indiana. However, be careful on the sugar free stuff for they are not always better for you. An example would be chocolate kisses versus sugar free. The chocolate is better for you. Watch any sodium products over 500 mg also. Search the internet and possibly that will direct you. Also call your local grocery stores and ask them if they have a diabetic section. Make the suggestion they put one in place. If you do not ask, you will not get. They might surprize you and make that change.

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