Diabetes Friendly Grocery Shopping

Diabetes Friendly Grocery Shopping
By Jacqueline Gomes, MBA, RDN

Diabetes is a condition many people struggle to control daily, however, taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle is one way to reduce the stress of managing your blood sugar.

A person managing diabetes, doesn’t necessarily need “special foods”. The American Diabetes association reminds us that, as with all foods, we need to work them into our individualized meal plan in appropriate portions for our unique health needs. There is no need to purchase “specialty foods”; everything can be found right in our stores!

Here are 10 Nutrition Tips to get started:

#1: Non-starchy Veggies: Eat at least 3-5 servings of vegetables daily – Spinach, collards, kale and tomatoes.

#2: Starchy Veggies: Keep portions small, these count towards your total carb intake – Try sweet potatoes!

#3: Fresh Fruit: Rich in vitamins and minerals. Fruits contain carbs so count them towards your meal plan. – Try citrus fruits and a variety of berries which are lower in natural sugars.

#4: Poultry & Meat: Choose white, skinless meat or lean cuts of meat that are lower in saturated fat.

#5: Fish & Seafood: Include fish twice a week – bake, poach, grill or broil.

#6: Eggs: A great protein choice, add variety to your meals by scrambling or boiling an egg!

#7: Regular & Greek Yogurt: Some nonfat or lowfat Greek yogurts have twice the protein of regular yogurts (12g & 5g protein respectively per 5.3oz serving). Look for light varieties with delicious flavors and 0% fat per serving.

#8: Dried Beans, Legumes, Peas, Lentils, Nuts & seeds: Beans are an inexpensive source of protein and rich in fiber! Try to include weekly. Keep in mind that dried beans also counts as a starch, so make them count towards your carbohydrate intake. Nuts and seeds are a rich source of healthy fats that also contain protein and fiber.

#9: Whole Grains: Check that whole grains like brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, quinoa, rolled oats, and whole-grain barley, corn, rye or wheat are first on the ingredient list. Try pearled barley and oats/oatmeal.

#10: Beverages: Choose zero-calorie or very low calorie drinks. Try lemon and cucumber water for a refreshing way to stay hydrated! 

The American Diabetes Association. Diabetes.org
The Dannon Company, Inc.

Asparagus soup

White Bean Asparagus Soup

Prep: 8 minutes

Makes: 6 servings


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white canned beans, rinsed
  • 2 bunches asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces, woody end removed (see note) 
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Ground black pepper and kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Garnish: Plain Greek Yogurt or Freshly shaved parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and celery, sauté until soft and onion is translucent. Add in beans and asparagus.
  2. Pour in vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cover pot and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
  3. Remove pot from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Blend soup using an immersion blender. Alternatively, a standard blender may be used. Blend soup until smooth. Season with salt & pepper to taste and stir in lemon juice. Bring soup back to a simmer before serving.
  4. Serve with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or shaving of parmesan cheese.
  5. Top each bowl with asparagus tips before serving. See note below.


  • Reserve tops of asparagus spears for garnish. Simmer tips for 2 to 3 minutes and then quickly place into cold water to retain bright green color. Set aside until ready to serve. 
  • If thinner soup is desired, add 1 additional cup of stock to soup in step 3.

Nutrition Information:

96 calories; 13g carbohydrate; 3.5g fat; 4g protein; 67mg sodium; 4g fiber

Recipe by: Jacqueline Gomes, MBA, RDN