Today’s grocery stores offer a wonderful array of foods. When looking for healthy options, an aisle-by-aisle approach is a smart way to fill your cart with diabetes-friendly and down-right delicious food. Ready? Let’s go!
The produce aisle is a perfect place to start! Fresh fruits and vegetables are a mainstay of healthy meal planning. Most plant foods are fat-free, rich in fiber, and naturally low in sodium—making them heart-healthy as well. Aim for as many different colors as possible: berries, leafy greens, citrus, squash and apples are all excellent choices. With high quality produce available all year long, it’s easy to find variety, flavor, and those unique plant-based nutrients that are thought to provide many health benefits.
Next stop, the bread and grains aisle. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain bread and pasta, oatmeal and brown rice add flavor, texture, fiber and many vitamins and minerals. These minimally processed foods retain the nutrients found in the grains from which they are made.
The dairy aisle contains foods that provide protein and important minerals such as calcium. Choosing reduced or low-fat dairy products is important for heart health; fortunately there are many varieties of low-fat yogurt, cheese and milk to choose from.
Meats and other protein foods round out our shopping trip. Best choices from this aisle include fish, poultry and lean cuts of beef such as sirloin and round steak. Protein is also found in beans – especially soybeans, as well as nuts and legumes, such as lentils. Naturally low in sodium and high in fiber, these foods are also heart-healthy and great choices for helping to control glucose.
With your shopping cart filled with delicious and nutrient-packed items, creating well-balanced, tasty meals becomes a lot easier. Enjoy!