July 2011

JULY 2011 HEALTH NOTE: Hilton Head Hospital - To Host Healthy Grocery Shopping Tours for People with Diabetes

Author: Special to CH2

Beginning in July, Hilton Head Hospital will offer Smart Diabetes Grocery Shopping tours for people with diabetes. Elizabeth Huggins, certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian at Hilton Head Hospital, said the tours are an initiative by the hospital to help promote greater awareness of healthy eating as it relates to diabetes. These tours will provide participants the knowledge and skills to shop healthfully and economically.

Basic everyday activities like grocery shopping influence our health. For some with diabetes, grocery shopping can be overwhelming and confusing. Having the knowledge and the confidence to make smart choices in the supermarket is the first step on the path to a healthy diet.

Huggins noted that individuals who make an effort to purchase healthy food are able to maintain control of their diabetes much more effectively than those who don’t. “If you have type 2 diabetes, some simple purchase decisions at the supermarket can easily lead to positive overall changes as well as healthy weight management,” she said.

The tours will provide tips for people with diabetes, including how to shop healthier and more efficiently, choosing the right type of fats and carbohydrates. Participants will have the opportunity for questions and answers.

The first Smart Diabetes Grocery Shopping tours will be held Wednesday, July 13 from 10-11 a.m. at the Piggly Wiggly at Shelter Cove Plaza on Hilton Head Island and on Wednesday, July 20 from 10-11 a.m. at the Food Lion in Okatie. Others will follow depending on the response. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (877) 582-2737.

Here are some additional tips from the Hilton Head Hospital Diabetes Education Department if you are shopping on your own:

Before you go
• Make a list. Shopping from a list ensures you get all the things you need and fewer of the things you don’t. It is good for your budget and saves time.
• Go when you are not hungry.

While you are there
• Shop the perimeter of the store. Often the outer aisles contain the most healthful foods: fruits and vegetables, dairy, and meats.
• Read the food labels and the shelf tags. This will allow you to find the product with the most nutritional punch in a category.
• Focus on fiber. Adults should consume about 20 to 35 grams of dietary fiber per day from a variety of sources such as legumes, whole grains, fruit and vegetables. Be careful, though. If you increase your fiber intake too quickly, a result could be constipation. Instead, gradually introduce fiber-rich foods into your diet and drink plenty of water.
• Cut the sodium. Aim for more fresh foods; many packaged items are loaded with sodium. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans issued by the US Department Health and Human Services recommends less than 2,300 mg. of sodium a day. For persons who are age 51 and older, are African American of any age, or have hypertension or diabetes, it is recommended to further reduce intake to 1,500 mg. of sodium per day. Some canned soups have more than 1,000 mg. per serving.
• Choose the right type of fats Buy more poly- and mono-unsaturated fats (such as olive, canola and safflower) and less butter and stick margarine.
• Pick the right carbohydrates. Carbs are necessary for energy, so don’t cut them out of your diet. Just make smarter choices about the ones you consume. Unprocessed, unrefined carbs such as whole oats, whole-wheat pasta, beans and whole fruits are the way to go. Be sure to pair them with lean protein and vegetables for a nutritionally balanced meal. Work with your doctor and dietitian to determine how many carbohydrates you can consume each day.
• Consider your choice of proteins- Instead of red meat or chicken all the time; try some omega-3 containing fish such as mackerel, salmon or fresh tuna. Nuts and seeds are also a good protein source.

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