Jewels Doskicz, RN, is a freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. She and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
You have a mental taboo food list— I'm sure of it. Perhaps these foods continue to sneak their way into your grocery cart regardless. The good news is some taboo foods may have health benefits. See if yours make the cut.
Registered dietitian Pamela Nisevich Bede distinguishes which "grocery store finds really do have a place in your cart, and which grocery store myths should be left behind for good."
• Iceberg lettuce. A top lettuce choice? No, because it has fewer nutrients than other types of lettuce. However, it is filling, low in calories and hydrating because it's 96 percent water by weight. Better than no greens on the plate? You betcha. It's also a fiber source. Make a wrap with it and lose the bun to save added calories.
• Frozen veggies. Convenience and price drive many to the frozen veggie aisle. Not a bad choice — they are picked and processed in their prime allowing for vitamin and mineral retention. Shy away from the salted and saucy varieties out there for the healthiest choice.
• Canned tomatoes. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which is readily absorbed in cooked tomato products. When choosing canned versus raw, be sure to get the no-salt-added options (we already get enough sodium in our daily diet). Salsa, anyone?
• Instant oats. Don't get fussy with stovetop oats in order to glean the health benefits associated with them. While they may not work for everyone with diabetes, instant oats are effective at lowering cholesterol and can stabilize blood sugars for some with their high fiber content. Throw a pack in your bag for a mid-morning work snack.
• What else made the list? Peanuts, orange juice, potatoes, and cauliflower. Read more about the health benefits found in these foods at Runner's World.