1st shopping trip after diagnosis

By kitty725 Latest Reply 2012-03-18 15:28:17 -0500
Started 2010-09-03 21:33:43 -0500

It became very clear to me getting home after my diagnosis how bad of an eater I truly have been. My kitchen is stocked with sugar, carbs, ect. I need help with making a proper list, ideas of what I should be looking for, anything…

61 replies

JSJB 2012-03-18 05:34:04 -0500 Report

You will find what you are looking for on this site but to start stay away from breads, white rice, pastas and anything with sugar. Read the labels and you will be ok. Good Luck.

carmenrose 2010-10-11 09:39:20 -0500 Report

I've found it harder to stay with the program when shopping for everyone. I have my brother in law and my son also wiith me and my husband and we can only afford to buy for the majority. If I try and buy extra for me, why is to expensive. For example, you buy the cheap bread and the wheat is more expensive and when your on a budget, well, you have to stick with a shoestring budget to get by.

carmenrose 2010-10-14 07:03:13 -0500 Report

I agree, thank you for your post. I will have to make some sacrafices and try and do without instead of going along with the crowd so-to-speak. I'm going to try this week and cut back on different things, like bread unless it is wheat.

jayabee52 2010-10-14 14:12:11 -0500 Report

[Not wishing to be a P.I.T.A.] What often is called "wheat" bread is nothing more than white bread with carmel coloring added to the dough before baking. It is nutritionally no different than white.

The breads which are better to eat from a glycemic index standpoint would be a whole grains bread.

I don't remember where I learned this recently, but the bread lowest on the GI is said to be pumpernickle and then Sourdough. I had been eating a lot of rye bread but in resturaunts now I ask for sourdough, which they usually have.


JSJB 2012-03-18 05:36:24 -0500 Report

The difference with whit bread and wheat is that white bread sticks to you and wheat passes through a lot faster. Does that make sense? I always eat wheat and not for that reason.

GabbyPA 2010-10-14 14:16:36 -0500 Report

The beauty of sourdough is also that you are eating fermented starter in it and I have been reading lately that the fermentation is what brings you the good probiotics that we all pay crazy money for to consume in yogurt and pills.

DeanaG 2012-03-15 09:27:29 -0500 Report

So far Sourdough is the only bread that doesn't spike my blood sugar. Plus the Francisco brand is 22 g carbs for 2 slices.

jayabee52 2010-10-14 01:53:44 -0500 Report

I understand and sympathize with you carmen! However often you can make good choices which are not so high on the glycemic index.

And if you absolutely MUST buy white bread, you can reduce the amount of it that you eat. When I make a meal, I avoid bread altogether. I'd rather comsume carbs I enjoy more than those in white bread. (Oatmeal & raisins, for instance). When eating out I avoid the bread there too. If I get a hamburger, I will eat only half the bun (avoiding the fries altogether) or use the bun only as something to hold the burger and condiments, discarding the bun completely after the meat is eaten.

There are alternatives you can use. You might be able to feed your family well on a shoestring. It may even be healthier for your family if they can eat the same kind of food that you can eat.

Gabby (and others) often say that if you shop the perimeter of the store you can find some healthy items a diabetic can eat without a lot of cost. It may not be as convenient to cook a veggie rather than open a can of a veggie, but it can be done.

God's blessings to you and yours

James baker

hogrider37 2010-09-15 10:48:24 -0500 Report

The most important thing i check is the carb count. Its hard to stay on a low carb diet but it helps, not only to control your diabetes but to loose weight as well. Sometimes i cheat a little, but as long as its in moderation I dont mind. I refuse to let my diabetes control my life as long as i can control my diabetes.

JSJB 2012-03-18 05:38:22 -0500 Report

I guess us bikers think alike. 94 RoadKing(FLHR) bought it new sight unseen and am still enjoying the rides.

texaslavender 2010-09-14 16:23:31 -0500 Report

We just found out my husband is diabetic. I spent over 2 hours at the grocery store just reading labels and making notes. I'm just in awe at how much has got to change. How many carbs are suggested per meal? What kind of snacks does he need to eat between meals? I feel as though there's just so much information out there to absorb - that I don't know where to begin. We're going to sign up for a Diabetes Clinic (2 days) - I'm hoping by the end of those 2 days - all this makes more sense. Good job everybody - there are some really encouraging comments here.

pauline1973 2010-09-22 15:05:12 -0500 Report

OMG!!, that is how I did when my hubby was diagnosed. I went to store and spent 3 hrs. reading and trying to figure out snacks, drinks, carbs, cholesterol, fiber…I was so tired when I got home, I then realized that I didn't buy anything for the kids to eat, lol

jayabee52 2010-09-22 17:26:46 -0500 Report

Well, the diabetes diet if followed, is very healthy. the kids could eat a diabetic diet and thrive. Of course kids do have their favorite foods.

chris k
chris k 2010-09-18 12:23:54 -0500 Report

I was just diagnosed two days ago just before the weekend…I'm completely lost!I dont even know how many carbs I should be allowed to have in a day…!

GabbyPA 2010-09-14 20:05:43 -0500 Report

I know I sound like a broken record, but these two videos are a great help. I really love them and watch them often to remind me of what I should be doing.

The next step is to get him into a diabetes education class. That will help you both if you take it together. There is a lot to learn and you need to be patient and just deal with one or two things at a time.

Glad you are here. You will find out all kinds of great info here. If you can't find it, just ask, and we will be here to help out.

momhargrave 2010-10-06 08:18:28 -0500 Report

Thanks Gabby. These two videos were so simple. I think I have a better grasp on carbs now.

GabbyPA 2010-10-06 14:57:53 -0500 Report

Sometimes we want to make it so complicated. We really don't have to do that. I'm glad they helped. I watch the pin cushion guy often, just to make me laugh.

jason123 2010-09-14 18:52:34 -0500 Report

I would give your first lesson, but I really perfer your CDE to take the first shoot and I can come in later to correct him/her, rather than the other way around…:-)

jayabee52 2010-09-14 18:42:27 -0500 Report

Just give it some time. You don't have to know and do everything about DM all at once. It's been about 15 years since my Dx and I am still learning things about it. I do learn a lot here just by these discussions.

Hops 2010-09-10 09:42:45 -0500 Report

Do not blame yourself for being a bad eater. Grocery stores are designed
to force every customer to walk past many aisles on unhealthy foods packed with simple carbohydrates before you ever get to the health fresh fruits and vegetables sections. Convenience store are worse. All convenience stores have are high fructose soft drinks and high carb snack foods. Join a fresh food co-op in your neighborhood and start feeling what it's like to eat to energize your body with fresh healthy food.

speak up
speak up 2010-09-08 15:19:39 -0500 Report

Yeap I had the same problem, my 28 year old daughter was eating healthier than I was, but now I watch everything, I use to eat one to two meals a day and now I have to eat three, but I could sit down and eat potato soup everynight since I live alone and get home late, but now I have to eat chicken and turkey and the soup is a no no or a treat once in a great while, but I plan to clean out the food that I have that I can not eat, cake mixes and such and give them to the local homeless shelter, I figure that if I can't eat the food I might as well give it to someone who does not have anything!

shellys07 2010-09-09 13:17:30 -0500 Report

How do you rate something?

jayabee52 2010-09-09 20:46:11 -0500 Report

Howdy Shelly! Welcome to the DC family!

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Blessings to you and yours


Elrond 2010-09-04 17:53:59 -0500 Report

If you are feeding just yourself, it will make things both easier and more difficult. I have an elderly non-diabetic roommate who can't seem to grasp the idea of carb counting. She gets confused that I can cook her steak one night then refuse to fry her a hamburger and french frys the next because of the carb count. But I always found cooking for one to be difficult because of the portion sizes. Either way, it's a challenge. I highly recommend the recipe section on this site and there are several very good diabetic recipe sites on the web; notably dlife.com

jason123 2010-09-06 22:51:36 -0500 Report

Why would she care about carb counting? She is NON-DIABETIC, isn't she? T2 is not caused by carbs.

Pynetree 2010-09-08 07:47:38 -0500 Report

Pretty sure Elrond is saying on some nites that he is doing the cooking that HE can't afford the extra carbs…and since he is cooking one meal for two…they are dining healthy!

jayabee52 2010-09-07 02:27:16 -0500 Report

what do you mean "T2 is not caused by carbs."? Explain, please.

jason123 2010-09-09 09:03:37 -0500 Report

What I intend to say was, while carb counting is important for diabetics, calorie counting is probably more important for non-diabetics. But if one's habit is to cook 2 steaks at a time or 2 hambergers & fries at a time, then the non-diabetic will just have to go along on the carb counting routine…even though she doesn't need to…many diabetics will eat a high protein and high fat diet in order to avoid the carbs, while the healthiest thing for a non-diabetic is a very balanced diet…

gregsteele 2010-09-04 16:38:41 -0500 Report

The same for me i took several bags of food to our local food bank this reminds me that i have something to share with everyone love to all GREG

Harlen 2010-09-04 11:30:26 -0500 Report

I know what you meen I was the same way and I didnt know just how bad it was lol.
It takes time to ajust to the new way but you do feel better for it ;
Best wishes

GabbyPA 2010-09-04 11:06:08 -0500 Report

Food pantry here we come! When I was first diagnosed I felt really bad for my mom who lives with us who is diabetic. I was feeding her all this stuff that was horrible for her!

So what we did was gather up all the processed foods, the sugar free foods and the unhealthy snacking foods and put them in bags and took them to the local food bank. I felt a little guilty giving them things I wouldn't eat, but maybe for them they would be okay.

It is an eye opener. Today I was shopping and now I am looking for certain ingredients in the labels that tell me to put it back on the shelf. Oh my...it just got another layer of figuring things out. You want to look at the carb count per serving and then understand if it says a serving is 6 crackers...can you deal with that or would you rather have a nice salad with a dressing that has a few carbs in it? It all becomes a weighing of the value to you in the foods. A salad will fill me up more than 6 crackers. Plus it as a lot more nutrients in it than those crackers. But it is hard to put peanut butter on a salad, so sometimes the crackers win. LOL

When you first start, it will take a long time to go through the store. Try not to shop on a Saturday or a really busy day. Go when you can take your time and take a paper with you so that you can make note of things to avoid and things that are okay. Don't freak out if it has sugar as an ingredient. Worry more if it has words you never heard of or cannot pronounce. Those are the things to be careful of.

After you do this a few times, you will adjust your shopping and pick up the things that are better for you automatically.

The other thing that really, really works is to shop the perimeter of the store. I have heard this for a while now, but I have started doing it now and it does keep the junk out of the cart and the shopping bill lower. I can afford to buy healthier choices that might cost a little more because I don't waste my money on the "cheap" but costly junk foods.

ccfromdc 2010-09-07 01:14:21 -0500 Report

RE: So what we did was gather up all the processed foods, the sugar free foods and the unhealthy snacking foods and put them in bags and took them to the local food bank.

Trash bin would have been more humane, don't you think? It's not like those who can't afford healthy food, much less a doctor to diagnose them with an endocrine disorder are really clamoring for truckloads of processed, sugar free, and unhealthy snacking foods.

There's nothing like facing the idiocy of your previous food habits straight on by flushing them down the toilet or tossing them into the trash bin. Foisting them off on those less fortunate than you (did you remember to get your tax receipts?) does not get you any points in this life or the next one. Perhaps, recognizing your previous poor food choices, you could have purchased double rations for a month and taken half of THOSE to the food bank, leaving your previous poor choices to rot in the landfill.

Just a thought.

- C

jayabee52 2010-09-09 01:34:40 -0500 Report

To ccfromdc: I also respectfully disagree with your "Just a thought" above! The usual person who makes use of the food pantry is usually poor and are usually hungry. Also, not everyone making use of the food pantry is diabetic.

I am sorry that what Gabby did didn't meet with your approval.

Rather than taking Gabby to task, she should IMO be praised BECAUSE she didn't put food which could be used by the hungry in the trash.

Those who are diabetic and must use the pantry need to choose carefully when selecting foods, just like we do when grocery shopping.

Maybe YOU have the luxury of having enough resources to be able to purchase "double rations for a month and take half of THOSE to the food bank" Not everyone is as fortunate as you seem to be.

jason123 2010-09-07 20:55:39 -0500 Report

I respectfully disagree with your thought ccfromdc. Just because those food donated are not as healthy as food you get from an organic farmer or Wholefoods, does not mean they belong in the garbage. They are proud product of American food industry that pass all FDA inspections and American consumer, rich or poor, pay good money for every day. Folks fall into hard time are lucky to get those food that they use to pay for free of charge. Some of the foods are less tolerable by us diabetics due to carb content are much more tolerable by healthy, non-diabetic people…If you still think nobody should eat those food, you really have an issue with FDA and American food industry, not Gabby's donation…

GabbyPA 2010-09-07 19:58:29 -0500 Report

You do have a point. And no, I don't donate to get a tax break.

When I say unhealthy, it was crackers, hamburger helpers, and things like that. I suppose trashing them would have been good, but people who don't have anything can use what I cannot eat. In this economic atmosphere, I have friends who purchase what they can afford with no consideration of health because it is affordable for them. I have also gone out and purchased groceries with my limited funds for some of my friends who have to go without. So I am not as flippant as you imply.

It seems quite a crime to just throw them away. The sugar free foods we did throw away because poisoning people is not high on my list of things to do. But popcorn, canned soups, and certain cereals were part of what I can no longer eat, but others can. Regular pasta, white rice and some cake mixes as well.

I suppose the fact that I have had to use food banks in my recent past, makes me view all food stuffs as something that people should have the choice of. There was no way that I could do what you suggest as a double ration. What we do now is choose better for our hurricane supplies. Every November when hurricane season ends, we donate much of our surplus then. Now it is healthier than it was then.

jayabee52 2010-09-09 01:38:29 -0500 Report

Good answer Gabby! I want to say "bless you" for caring enough for others to give the food to somewhere it would do some good, especially in this economy! Blessings to you and yours!

thabrat30 2010-09-08 19:55:39 -0500 Report

So very proud of you! It is wonderful to give to those who are in need. Did it atleast make you feel good? I wouldn't get receipts either. The good feeling you get helping someone out even when you feel like you could use the help is enough. God takes care of the rest.

GabbyPA 2010-09-11 15:21:39 -0500 Report

Thank you guys for your support. Just to let you know ccfromdc and I had a chat and we cleared many things up. He has a point, and as sated, perhaps the FDA should be held to task more than anyone, but the fact that we still do have choice here in America and we can let our dollars do the talking, even if we only have a few of them.

RAYT721 2010-09-04 04:23:20 -0500 Report

I went through my cupboards after my diagnosis and made up several bags of foods for our local "Harvest for Hunger" food drive. I got rid of the jellos, boxed mac and cheese, canned ravioli, and so much more. As for replacing the foods I didn't start out with a shopping list but rather with menu plans of healthier alternatives. Just because you are diabetic doesn't mean that you have to stop eating because, in contrast, I find that I am eating less food but eating more frequently. Reading food labels is going to be one of the best things you can learn in terms on dieting and controlling you diabetes… and your life. You want to aim for alternatives for the unhealthy recipes and ingredients that you like. It isn't a matter of what you CAN or CAN'T have as much as what you SHOULD or SHOULDN'T have. This does not mean you are to go no carb, no fat, no cholesterol but you'll learn about portion control and how your body reacts to certain foods. Your meter is your friend. If you use moderation, you can still enjoy many of the things you enjoyed before but make simple swaps … brown rice for white, bran flakes instead of sugar smacks, sweeteners instead of sugar, etc. Think more of what you like that you will get the best value from… low fat milk, cheese sticks and yogurts; lean meats, nuts; more vegetables; more water; etc. Salads are good but you don't have to live on them. There's more to life than salads and vegetables. Reduce your intakes of carbs but do not eliminate them from your diet. As you write your menu plan you will build your shopping list. I personally eat 5-6 times a day but still stick to a calorie intake around 1700-2000. Find out what works for you and it won't be easy but will be easier to control your mind, body and soul. We are all in the same boat here so you're on the right ship… FRIENDship!

jason123 2010-09-03 22:54:44 -0500 Report

kitty, I hate to give your this heads up, but the worst could be yet to come, wait till your 1st shopping trip after your diabetic education class. You will learn how to read food labels. You suppose to buy food that has carbs no more than this, total fat no more than that, trans fat at 0, sodium no more than XX, Saturated fat no more than YY…If you really follow the guidelines given to you, you just could walk out supermarket empty handed and in tears…Have you meet your friendly CDE yet?

Beerlilly 2010-09-03 22:01:03 -0500 Report

Its hard going into the store for the first time knowing what you want to get and eat the most you can't anymore. If you want a good morning/breakfast item try Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls. For Lunch try a turkey sandwich; the twist is for the bread try a pita. Cut it in half and stuff the pita with your sandwich toppings. Jello cups are a good snack option, so is string cheese.

thabrat30 2010-09-08 19:59:20 -0500 Report

Cottage cheese is good too. I typically eat a serving of cottage cheese with a half of a white peach, sliced. It is a delicious and healthy snack. I never liked cottage cheese before (my mom ate it all the time) but then I found Breakstones and fell in love with it! I also cut up a green pepper and eat some of that as a snack as well. I do it with pretty much any veggie.

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