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Recommendations from Adi Bezalel, Clinical Dietitian and Diabetes Nutrition Coordinator in Jerusalem's Central District.
It's not always easy to be a smart consumer in a time of wide assortment, aggressive marketing and high cost of living. And if we have the desire to stay healthy, make the right choices, and balance a chronic condition like diabetes, it's essential that we have the tools and knowledge to make smart purchases. In the end, everything starts and ends with what ends up in our home.
So here are ten helpful tips and tools:
1. Composition of products. Not everyone knows that in the description of the composition of the product components it goes in descending order. It's always worth checking what exactly we buy. If we are sold rye or spelled bread, which, judging by the description, contains only 30% flour, then we are misled. It is worth paying attention to products, the description of the composition of which is clearly and briefly spelled out. If the content of the product description is framed in incomprehensible and long texts, most likely they want to mislead you, and it is clear that this is a product that will not give anything useful to our body.
2. Types of sugars. Even though we are talking about known sugars that are considered beneficial, it should be remembered that they also have the potential to increase blood sugar and lipid levels. Remember these types of sugars: glucose, fructose, lactose, fructose syrup, malt, barley, molasses, maple syrup, agave syrup, silane (date syrup), brown sugar, cane sugar, coconut sugar, and even honey. And, of course, sweeteners such as maltitol and xylitol.
3. Markings. The label for diabetics gives us important information that the product does not contain sugar. It also means that it contains a reasonable amount of saturated fat and salt. And yet this sign does not confirm the usefulness of the product and certainly does not mean that it can be eaten freely. Therefore, always check the percentage of carbohydrates – it is listed next to the note. If the product contains white flour, then it is better to exclude it from consumption.
4. Red marking. Thanks to the Ministry of Health, we now have a red label on products containing salt, fat and sugar to help us. But not in all cases, labeling with a sticker indicating fat means that it is better to exclude the product from the diet. There are fat-containing foods, such as quality dark chocolate or nut mix, that can definitely stay on the menu.
5. Flour substitutes. There is a whole world of healthy low-carb flours out there. It is usually a flour based on seeds, nuts and legumes. For example: almond flour, flax, coconut, soybeans, nuts, peas, lentils, etc. It is worth getting to know these species better!
6. Not only a supermarket. Sometimes during the month it is worth visiting specialty stores, vegetable and health food stores and getting acquainted with new types of healthy products.
7. Price comparison. Buying healthy food is expensive. It is worth comparing prices, because sometimes the difference can be 200% or more. If you have the opportunity – It is highly recommended to buy products online.
8. Beware of pretty marketing. Products may state that it is natural, made without added sugar and gluten-free. But it is not a fact that this is a useful low-carb product.
Sometimes the product contains substances that are not of natural origin at all, but are the result of a high degree of processing and are artificial substitutes that are completely unsuitable for diabetics.
9. Not go shopping hungry. The most important consumer rule. It is advisable to come shopping after a meal, focused and with a list. This way you will be able to choose better and purchases will not be impulsive.
10. Help us! The Clalit nutrition team will be happy to assist you in a personal or group meeting. In various branches and clinics of your city or settlement, we will be happy to receive you, advise and answer any question!
Happy and healthy shopping!
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