Type 2 Diabetes - Learn How To Read Food Labels!

As a Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic, the types of food you put into your body really matters a lot. Most food products have labels BUT do they fully reveal everything?

Every time you go shopping, always take a list. Never shop without a list or you'll buy more than you need. Never shop when you're hungry because you're more likely to buy unhealthy foods.

Read food labels on everything so you know whether it's healthy or should be left on the shelf.

Here are some tips to help you better understand how to read food labels:

Size matters. Don't assume a product is one serve. For example, a packet of 12 cookies is usually 12 serves. So if the packet says 143 calories (600kj) one cookie will be 12 calories (50kj). So eating one cookie isn't a bad thing unless it's full of sugar. But if you eat the whole pack, that's a different story!

The label will also tell you the amount of the other ingredients in the packet and per cookie. So if it says 60 grams of sugar, it will say 5 grams per serve. The same goes for protein, fats, carbohydrates and sodium. 0 grams of fats is the ideal number to see on your labels.

Your shopping list becomes very important because you can develop a master shopping list. Make a list of every product you buy and the break down of each ingredient. If you do this each time you shop, eventually you'll have your "master plan" shopping list to use as a guide when making up your weekly lists. Eventually you won't need to read labels if you're buying the same items each time

As a diabetic you know to avoid sugar, regardless of the name the companies use for it. Sugar has virtually no nutrients except for carbohydrates. So the empty calories will fill you for a brief time and then leave you hungry again so you will end up eating more often and gaining weight.

Apart from sugar, avoid these names on the food labels:

    high fructose corn syrup,
    fructose,
    molasses,
    honey,
    corn sugar,
    corn syrup,
    maltose,
    dextrose,
    cane sugar,
    brown sugar,
    agave nectar,
    glucose,
    corn sweetener, and
    fruit juice concentrate.

Avoid fats. You want 0 grams of cholesterol, saturated and trans fats. Avoid the phrase "partially hydrogenated vegetable oils." If you need to cook, use extra virgin olive oil and other similar healthy alternatives.

Keep an eye on the amount of sodium listed on the food labels. Too much salt in your diet isn't healthy so choose low salt options where possible and when planning your daily meals, look at the overall amount of salt for the day to see if you're having too much.

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