Tips on Shopping Healthy for Diabetic, Obese Patients

Posted: Mar 30, 2017 11:15 PM Updated: Mar 30, 2017 11:15 PM

WESLACO – Wise shopping choices for a healthy diet is a great way to keep control of diabetes.

For many, being told to change their diet immediately to survive is always a difficult thing to hear. We spoke to a mother who said learning how to shop healthy completely changed her life.

Ruby Ramos said decided to make a doctor appointment after she stopped feeling like herself a year ago. She was shocked when she heard the results.

“They did an AC1, that’s a three-month average of your glucose level. In five and six you are borderline diabetic. Once you get to a six, between six and seven you are diabetic. I was 13.9,” she said.

Ramos was told numbers that high could put her into a diabetic coma at any time. She had to decide between drastically changing her diet or start to use insulin.

“When they tell you, ‘You’re going on insulin if you don’t make a change. You can be in a coma tomorrow if you don’t make a change.’ You make a change,” she said.

Ramos then met with nutritionist Peggy Rosales to learn the importance of shopping healthy.

Rosales said she emphasized to Ramos the importance of eating multiple food groups at every meal.

“So, always trying to incorporate our non-starchy vegetables, our broccoli, our carrots, our cauliflower, our leafy greens into each lunch and dinner, which is so important, and incorporating your two different food groups as well, your carbs and your fat or your carbs and you protein ratio,” the nutritionist explained.

Rosales said Ramos, like most of her patients, initially had trouble integrating her new diet into her home.

“I have tons of moms and dads who still have teenagers in the house or, of course, little ones still in the household. And it is a struggle when converting or implementing different variety of vegetables, because I hear all day, ‘My family doesn’t like it. What am I going to do, make it for myself?’” she said.

Rosales showed Ramos fun tricks and recipes that made it easier for her entire family to adjust to her new diet.

Ramos said the diet along with medication worked. She said she got her AC1 levels down and lost four dress sizes. Most importantly, she never began an insulin regimen.

Ramos said her new healthy lifestyle also helped her husband’s life. His blood pressure is now under control and he’s lost a few pounds as well.

Many people think shopping healthy means shopping is more expensive. Andie Gonzalez, and H-E-B dietitian, said it doesn’t have to be the case.

“Well, I think that H-E-B strives to make sure that they are meeting the budget or the pricing of our customers when it comes to specifically nutritional needs,” she said.

Gonzalez also met with Ramos and showed her the least expensive way to follow her designed plan. She said the store also has interactive tools that make shopping healthy on a budget easy.

“We have actually (a mobile) app that our customers can download into their phone. And it’s a really great tool because it helps customers identify those products that may be, for example, $2 and then the next week, with these coupons that are digital you can know ahead of time, this item is going to be a $1.50,” she explained.

Gonzalez also pointed out a person can file a formal request with a store manager if a certain product they need for a particular diet is missing from their local H-E-B. They might then be able to get that item in the store.

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