Hyperglycemic Shoppers Can Make It Past the Impulse Buy Rack

Even if you’re hyperglycemic and diabetic, it can be tempting to buy candy bars and other goodies when you check out at the supermarket. Why is the urge so strong? Because grocery stores have spent millions studying the psychology behind impulse spending. They know what you want, and they know how to tempt you.

Here’s how to stand up to these powerful sales pitches (and these tips can help whether you’re hyperglycemic or not):

1. Be skeptical about the “latest diet breakthroughs” you read about in the tabloids.

These miracle weight loss stories typically involve celebrities shedding 30 or 40 or so pounds within weeks. The stories never discuss the science of metabolism. Even articles that celebrate the low carb diet (or some variant thereof) do so in a superficial way. Don’t rely on anecdotal evidence - even evidence that supports your point of view - to draw conclusions about health issues. Always talk to your doctor before making health and diet decisions.

2. Be wary of low-calorie junk foods.

Low calorie does not necessarily mean low carb. Any food that impacts blood sugar and insulin can potentially be problematic if you’re diabetic or hyperglycemic. Also note that just because a nutritional label says “zero” carbs doesn’t mean that the item contains literally zero carbs - it means that it contains fewer than 1.0 grams of carbs.

3. Choosing between dried fruit and nuts? Go nuts!

We tend to think of dried fruit and nuts as basically equally healthy. These two ingredients are often combined together in granola and health food mixes and cereals.

In fact, dried fruits - particularly dried grapes (a.k.a. raisins) - contain tremendous amounts of sugar. Basically, they are like concentrated sugar/fructose pills.

Nuts, on the other hand, generally contain far fewer carbs. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all pretty low carb.

4. Indulge every once in a while.

So what if you cave at the register and buy a Snickers bar? Enjoy it! Candies and treats can fun (if occasional!) pick me ups. Lose the guilt and self judgment. Focus instead on arming yourself with scientifically vetted information about what’s healthy and what’s not. In the grand scheme of life, having a candy bar or ten is (probably) not going to kill you. What seems to make a big difference in the long run is the overall carbohydrate intake.

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