By Hope S. Warshaw, R.D., CDE; Photos by Blaine Moats
A trip to the grocery store can easily turn into a headache, and not just because of rising food prices. Competing claims on food packages -- Made with whole wheat! Reduced sugar! A good source of fiber! -- vie for your time, attention, and money.
What matters most on a food label depends on what type of diabetes you have and your weight-management concerns. People with type 1 diabetes and those who take insulin before meals may be most interested in the total carbohydrate count, but that information may be less important for others. "Having diabetes doesn't mean your highest priority is to count total grams of carb," says Madelyn Wheeler, R.D., CDE, co-owner of Nutritional Computing Concepts in Zionsville, Indiana. "A person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes might choose to zero in on fat grams and total calories to trim pounds."
Are the Facts Exact?
Nutrient numbers may be rounded, although how the rounding is calculated is regulated. This makes nutrient counts a bit less precise, especially when you eat multiple servings.
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