Diabetes is often a costly chronic disease to manage. Medications and special dietary restrictions can cost a lot of money. Therefore, I really enjoy finding healthy bargains to share with colleagues as well as my community. I was recently given the unique opportunity to spend the day at my local Costco to see how the members-only wholesale warehouse can provide nutritious, as well as cost effective items relevant to the diabetic population. I was quite impressed with the store and the variety of healthy options available.
I visited the Costco store located at Clearwater Mall in Clearwater, Florida. I could tell immediately the visit would be worthwhile, as I observed lines of people heading into the store (and at the checkout register) and a pretty full parking lot.
As this was my first time visiting a Costco store, I took hours and walked throughout the entire store. The staff members were friendly, the food samples were delicious and the store was immaculately clean. I was thoroughly impressed with the variety of foods available, and not just the “diabetic friendly” ones. I am confident in saying that whatever your food preferences or dietary restrictions are, you will find options at Costco. Aisle after aisle I saw foods compatible with many diets/lifestyles: vegetarian, vegan, zero trans-fat, low glycemic, kosher, gluten-free, sodium free, no cholesterol, low sodium, nitrate-free and GMO-free.
Specific to the diabetic population, this Costco store’s pharmacy stocks two glucometer brands: the Bayer Contour Next EZ and the True Result Blood Glucose Monitoring System. Both systems are ready to use right out of the box, as neither requires pre-use coding. These two glucometers state a test result can be obtained in as fast as 5 seconds and 4 seconds respectively. Both meters are covered under a variety of private insurance plans, as well as Medicare. Check with your healthcare provider to see which meter is best for you.
In the vitamin aisle, I was pleased to find a vitamin packet designed specifically for the person with prediabetes/diabetes. Designed by the company, Nature Made, this vitamin pack (each box contains a 60 day supply) contains traditional vitamins and minerals, as well as fish oil, alpha lipoic acid, and chromium. This unique combination addresses essential nutrients (which may be lacking) for a person with diabetes.
Looking for a quick, healthy meal replacement to take with you when time is at a premium? Costco has two items that should interest you. First, the Glucerna Shake product line is available. Designed with the diabetic person in mind, this product line can help minimize fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Each serving has only 6 grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein and 190 calories. Interested in losing weight in a healthy way? Costco also carries the Kirkland Weight Loss Shakes. Each shake contains 180 calories, 10 grams of protein, 26 grams carbohydrates and 5 grams of dietary fiber.
Are you looking for a delicious snack that won’t negatively impact your blood sugar levels? Check out the Stabilyze nutrition bars. Available in dark chocolate thin mint cookie and coconut cashew flavors, each bar supports healthy blood sugar levels. They each contain 21 vitamins and minerals, 8 grams of dietary fiber and only 7 grams net carbs.
Diabetes is a chronic and manageable disease. Medications and a variety of treatments are available. Most importantly, though, is the fact that diet greatly influences diabetes management. Cost effective, quality food items are available. Shopping at wholesale warehouses such as Costco affords you quality foods at cost effective prices. Happy Shopping.
Visit cdiabetes.com/guide to get a free “Costco Diabetes and Heart-Healthy Shopping Guide” eBook.