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Diabetic Food Shopping That Won't Break a Budget

With prices rising, group offers tips that save dollars, make sense

SUNDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Rising food prices may have people with diabetes and their caregivers wondering if they'll be able to afford a healthy diabetes meal plan. But it's a misconception that these plans have to be costly and consist of high-priced, specialty foods, the American Diabetes Association says.

"Eating well and spending less are not mutually exclusive," Ann Albright, president of health care and education at the ADA, said in a prepared statement. "In fact, healthier foods can actually save you money by reducing portion sizes and buying fewer high-calorie, high-priced foods."

The ADA offers the following advice:

  • Special "dietetic or diabetic" foods are costly and not necessary.
  • Boneless cuts of meat are often a better buy, since you're not paying for the weight of the bone.
  • There's no nutritional difference between white eggs and brown eggs, which are more expensive.
  • Not only do vegetables frozen in butter sauce cost twice as much as plain frozen vegetables, they have more calories.
  • Instead of buying small containers of yogurt, buy a quart and separate it into one-cup servings yourself.
  • You can save a lot of money if you don't buy individually packaged snacks.
  • When buying fruit, consider the cost per edible serving. If you're paying by the pound, you'll be paying for the weight of inedible seeds and rinds.
  • If fresh fruit is too expensive, buy frozen or canned fruit packed in water. If you buy fruit canned in syrup, rinse it before eating.
  • Use nonfat dry milk for drinking, cooking and baking. It's inexpensive and has a long shelf life.
  • You can make your own cooking spray by putting vegetable oil in a spray bottle.
  • Use regular or quick-cooking oats rather than instant oats, which are much more expensive.
  • When soaked and cooked, dry beans triple in volume. A one-pound bag will make six one-cup servings.
  • If you buy fresh greens by weight, give them a good shake before you put them in your grocery cart. An amazing amount of excess water (and weight) can be hidden between the leaves.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about diabetes and nutrition.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE; American Diabetes Association, news release, March 31, 2008

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