Which aisles do you shop in the grocery store?


#1

Most grocery stores are laid out so that outside aisles contain the produce, meat, and dairy items and the inside aisles are filled with all the processed/convenience offerings.

It’s taken me a long time to change my eating habits but I’ve come to learn to suspect any food with an ingredient list as likely not only a poor value, but nutritionally poor as well. Now, I’m not a complete purist in this regard and will venture into the inside aisles to pick up peanut butter.

I came across this 2015 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s consumer show, Marketplace, video that I think does a good job of giving consumers a balanced perspective about the nutritional and marketing claims made on food labels.

As people with diabetes, if we want to maintain our health, we need to be extra vigilant about how we feed ourselves.

Which aisles of the grocery store do you primarily shop?

Does the marketing label claims of the food industry as portrayed in the CBC video bother you?


#2

Basically shop the out side isles and a short written list for the interior isles, (no browsing

It’s our responsibility to educate ourselves and monitor our food choices not the food industry.


#3

Some stores here have the freezers in the aisles, so in those cases, I’ll go in to get things. Generally, I don’t eat too many processed foods, and those I do tend to have no mystery ingredients. Between diabetes and multiple food allergies, regardless of what I eat, I’ve usually read the nutritional and ingredients labels several times nad am well aware of what’s going into my body. I ignore marketing statements as they mean nothing most of the time.

One thing that surprised me last summer when I spent a week and a half in the US was how much more highly processed everything in the US seemed to be, even though I consider Canada and the US to be pretty similar. Trying to find peanut butter without a bunch of additives was very difficult and I think I eventually gave up and bought one with added sugar or maple syrup or something. Even the exact same brands had more ingredients listed in the US versions than the Canadian equivilent. Here you can typically find peanut butter at any store that just has peanuts and salt. The same was true of tuna fish; there were three of us searching the shelves of two stores before we finally found one that just had tuna, salt, and water. Almost every brand of tuna here just has tuna, salt, and water, and I had never seen things like “vegetable broth” in tuna fish before that trip. It was impossible to find chicken or turkey without things like potato starch added, so I just gave up there and took a pass.

I’m going to the US for two weeks this summer, travelling to several cities, and I’m going to try to bring most of my own food. That will be challenging since you’re not alllowed to bring fresh produce or any meat across the border. But luckily I think I”lol be able to bring things like peanut butter and tuna fish without problems and can just buy fresh produce when I arrive.


#4

I’m a vegan, so my shopping might be a little different!

But produce department!!! if I’m hungry I will bring too much home! All the fruits and veggies I go crazy! But I will make side trips to the frozen section for frozen veggies, then to pasta for whole wheat spaghetti etc, and to the canned veggie aisle for olives, mushrooms etc! That’s about it for a regular grocery store.

I do a lot of shopping at the health food store for sprouted bread, whole wheat crackers, tempeh, seitan, fake meats, condiments, frozen vegan dinners, nut butters, mmm almond butter! And of course any cookies, candy also comes vegan from the health food store, I do like my chocolate. There are some very low carb choices in dark chocolate there for those that are interested!!! 1 carb per small square for the 85% cocoa bars.

I also will try to buy organic when given a choice.


#5

The health food stores probably have some of the choices you are looking for, even the more pure tuna. Definitely plain peanut butter. But Laura Scudders peanut butter is usually in the regular grocery store ( at least it was in So Cal) and just has peanuts or peanuts and salt.


#6

Organic fruits and vegetables. Canned beans, dried lentils, and rice. Organic broth. Once in a long while a bag of chocolate chips for garbanzo bean cookies.


#7

What aisle? the one with the yummiest looking pastries, of course! :slight_smile:


#8

I also buy the Laura Scudder’s peanut butter since it only contains peanuts and salt. Since I prefer the higher fat version of dairy products, I sometimes find it difficult to find full fat yogurt since most consumers like the low-fat or no-fat versions, generally the ones with sugar added. One product that puzzles me is the oxymoronic fat-free half and half! (My apologies to the low-fat adherents.)

@Jenn, with your upcoming visit to the US, you might consider ordering some groceries items on Amazon. Whole Foods is now part of Amazon and I believe they offer same day delivery. I haven’t used the service yet but I’ve heard positive remarks. I’m not sure about minimum order size, though.


#9

Usually I stick to the perimeter of the store and the frozen food section. I mostly skip the middle aisles with all the over processed packaged foods except for specific, planned items.

I travel a lot overseas and I am always amazed by the difference in ingredient lists between the same brand items sold in the US vs elsewhere.

I am joining a local farm’s CSA for a produce box this year from May-December as there is a pickup point next to my office. It’s $695 for the small share and you can add free range eggs for $2/week.


#10

That’s really good to know! I’ve had others suggest it. I typically stay in hotels, so I don’t think that would be a problem especially if it’s same-day delivery and I ordered it the day I was checking in. I could call the hotel ahead of time and let them know to hold the package for me, as long as nothing inside required refrigeration.

In the past I have tried going to a physical store, which means I’m mostly limited to stores close to the hotel (I usually travel for business, not vacations), and once I got stranded at a store after closing hours with no cab companies picking up. Not a fun experience! Delivery would be so much easier!


#11

Marketing labels are marketed to people, who marketers think, are gullible. And they have found their market. It isn’t right, but I have accepted that it is us, the consumers, who can control our purchases. I have read labels since far before T1D.

Just recently I tasted Nutella for the first time. If a recipe calls for an ingredient from a can, it is not worth my while.


#12

Mostly I shop the meat, dairy and veggies but I do make forays into the aisles for canned goods or items that others in the house want ie. sugar, flour, etc. I avoid the cereals like the plague though because I am partial to sugary cereals so I try not to test my resolve.


#13

I think many people, including me in the past, have a drug-like addicted relationship with breakfast cereal. Eating it calms at the outset, fails to nourish and then just sets up a craving for more. With our deficient pancreas function, breakfast cereal, even the no-added sugar variety, mercilessly spikes blood glucose. I suspect that even the gluco-normal metabolism permits a substantial spike.

In someone with some residual pancreatic function, this spike often provokes reactive hypoglycemia. In people with insulin-treated diabetes a sweet slurry of cereal, milk and fruit often rewards one with a ride on the glucose roller coaster. Before I was diagnosed, I experienced reactive hypoglycemia about two hours after my morning bowl of breakfast cereal.


#14

Terry - takes me back to when I was a kid and my mom would feed me a large bowl of Rice Krispies, 2% milk, topped with a sliced banana. Followed by a couple of pieces of toast and a large glass of OJ :flushed:

All of which was considered “healthy” :joy: :joy:


#15

A carb bomb! It’s as if this food was designed to perform in advance the job of the beginning part of the digestive system. The body is relieved of this burden and food just passes through much too quickly.

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I was eating corn pops, milk and bananas every morning. In a concession to diabetes, I switched to shredded wheat, milk and bananas thinking the “no-added-sugar” feature would make all the difference. I was soon rudely shocked when I discovered post breakfast glucose excursions north of 300 (16.7). That was long before I learned that starches, like cereal grains, are nothing more than a long chain of glucose molecules easily freed by amylase, an enzyme in the mouth and digestive system.

All I can say is that we have been thoroughly manipulated and propagandized to sustain the profits of Big Food. We consumers do, however, share some responsibility in this ruse. We really want to believe the fantasy sold by the cereal producers. Our sustained denial enables this health-damaging habit.


#16

I am a vegan! I love whole grains ! Whole grains can be very healthy for you! I eat whole wheat pasta, whole wheat sprouted bread, unsweetened whole grain cereals, things like quinoa are great! One of the benefits is fiber which turns out to feed the good gut bacteria. I do always (try to) prebolus for a higher carb meal. I generally don’t go higher than 140-160 and my A1C is 6.4 and I’m happy with that!


#17

@Terry4 Almost every large grocery store is set up the same, as you observed. Perishables on the perimeter loop, with a centrally located freezer aisle in the middle of the store. There have been numerous well funded studies by the grocery industry that observed that other than the perimeter loop, customers rarely traversed an entire interior aisle. This is the reasoning behind the newer style half aisles in the interior of the store that some chains are adopting. Another well known chain is experimenting with a centrally located produce section, breaking up the perimeter loop. To date it has been successful and.we.will most likely see. Iterations of the model in the future.

Smart grocers put tempting impulse buy items near the beginning of the perimeter loop to boost the average sale (a key kpi for most grocers). The theory is that if it’s in your basket early, you will overlook the price as you work your way around the store. By the time you start to determine your basket cost/contents, the sale is complete, boosting the sale price.