I had my doubts. It was a chilly and rainy Saturday. But eight of my friends were joining me for a heart healthy, diabetes-friendly supermarket tour at Costco Polaris in Columbus, Ohio. Allen greeted us and told us about Costco in general. We were surprised to learn that Costco sells more organic products than Whole Foods! Using handouts downloaded from www.cdiabetes.com, we reviewed how to read a food nutrition label and how to compare different types of foods throughout the store.
Knowing that half of our plates should be non-starchy vegetables, we were excited to see the variety of options at Costco. The produce cooler was stocked with low calorie, healthy vegetables. I was intrigued by the baby cucumbers; I bought some, and the crunch is delightful.
We discussed the benefits of color in our diet. Fruits and vegetables are awesome ways to add color to a plate. We get bored eating the same fruits and vegetables over and over. Costco had a wide variety that my friends had not tried. Those were added to carts!
Using the heart health guidelines on saturated fats, we went on to the meat case. Several cuts were fairly low in saturated fat. We also found fish, poultry and soy proteins. There was a lot to choose from in both the fresh and frozen cases.
The emphasis on heart healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber guided our selections in pantry staples. By looking at the nutrition facts label, and not the front of the product, we found some items that were healthier than we thought, and some that we decided to avoid.
Diabetes testing supplies and medications are available at the Costco pharmacy. The pharmacist, Lisa, talked to us about the benefits of getting them there.
Allen joined us again as we concluded our tour. We shared some of the things we had learned, and several of us signed up for a Costco membership. With our new memberships in hand, we went back through the store on our own, buying healthy foods for our families.
Visit cdiabetes.com/guide to get a free “Costco Diabetes and Heart-Healthy Shopping Guide” eBook.