Grocery shopping tips

  • Make a shopping list of items you need:
  • Lots of whole grain products
  • Mixture of colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Low fat dairy products
  • Lean meats (skinless chicken, lean beef) & alternatives
  • Variety of foods – try new foods
  • Choose healthy snacks from the five food groups (low fat yogurt, low fat granola bars, nuts &
  • seeds, dried or canned fruit, whole grain crackers etc…)
  • Do not grocery shop when you are hungry
  • Read product labels carefully
  • Leave the snack food aisle to last
  • If you don’t need an aisle, avoid it
Common nutrition claims

The label says

The label means

Be aware

No added sugar

No sugar has been added to the product

There may be a large amount of

naturally occurring sugar in the product

Sugar free

Less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving and less than 5 calories per serving


Fat free

Less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving

This does not mean calorie free

Low fat

No more than 3 grams of fat per serving

Check the serving size. The product may not be low in total calories

Fat reduced

Product must contain at least 25% less fat than the original product

The product may still be high in fat and total calories

Cholesterol free

No more than 3 mg cholesterol per 100 gram serving

The product may still be high in hydrogenated and total fat

Trans fat free

Less than 0.2 grams of trans fatty acid per serving

The product may still be high in total fat

Light or lite

This can mean anything, e.g. light in colour, flavour, taste or fat

The product may not necessarily be low in fat or salt

Label reading

Choose products with:

  • Lower energy (kcal, kilojoules)
  • Lower saturated fat and moderate total fat
  • Lower sugar
  • Lower sodium
  • Higher fibre

Label reading tips

Is the food lower in fat, especially saturated fat?

Tip: Healthier options have less than 5g total fat per 100g or 5–10g total fat per 100g if saturated fat is less than 1/2 total fat

Is the food lower in salt (sodium)?

Tip: Healthier options have less than 450mg sodium per 100g. Low sodium foods have less than 120mg sodium per 100g

Is the food high in fibre?

Tip: Healthier options have more than 3g dietary fibre per 100g

Eating out

Pay attention to food choices and serving sizes • 

Try to choose meals that:

  • are lower in fat
  • contain breads, cereals (preferably whole grains), vegetabes and/or fruits
  • do not have a large amount of sugar added
  • Limit dishes described as creamed, battered, crispy, pan fried
  • Try a bread roll without butter
  • Request for sauces/dressings on the side
  • Order extra steamed vegetables without butter
  • Share a dessert or ask for a small serving
  • Ask for water before ordering other drinks
  • Stay away from fruit juice

Eating on the run

  • Plan ahead for snacks to help prevent a low blood sugar and curb hunger • Remember to carry glucose tablets/candies/juice to treat a low blood sugar
  • Carry healthy snacks with you:
  • Small piece of fruit
  • 2-3 digestive biscuits

Blood sugar/glucose monitoring

Checking your blood glucose will:

  • Provide a quick measurement of your blood glucose level at a given time
  • Show you how your lifestyle and medication affect your blood glucose levels; and
  • Help you and your diabetes healthcare team to make lifestyle and medication changes that will improve your blood glucose levels
Target ranges



Fasting blood glucose/blood glucose before meals (mmol/L; mg/dl)

Blood glucose 2 hours after eating (mmol/L; mg/dl)

Target for most people with diabetes

≤ 7.0 %

4 – 7; 70 – 130

5 -10; < 180

(5 – 8 if A1C targets not being met)

Target for children < 6 years

< 8 %

6 - 10; 110 - 180


Target for children 6-12 years

≤ 7.5 %

4 - 10; 70 - 180


Follow-up plan

You will have to…

  • Monitor your blood sugar levels using a blood glucose meter
  • Have your A1C levels tested every 3 months (or every 6 months if your blood sugar is consistently controlled)
  • Regularly test your weight, blood pressure, kidney function, eyes, and cholesterol levels
  • Watch for symptoms of low blood sugar (fatigue, hunger, confusion, shakiness, irritability) or high blood sugar (thirst, blurred vision, frequent urination), and note when and how often they occur
  • Check your feet every day for cuts, bruises, sores, swelling, or redness

You should see your physician if…

  • You are having trouble keeping your blood sugar under control
  • You think you may be having side effects from your medication
  • You are not sure how to use your medication
  • You think you may have a complication from diabetes, such as a foot sore, eye problems, or heart problems
Follow-up plan