KEASBEY, N.J. – November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and as part of ShopRite’s continued commitment to providing free health and wellness services to its shoppers, the supermarket is offering a variety of free diabetes-themed educational classes, food demonstrations and store tours led by in-store dietitians.
“This month our team of over 100 trained registered dietitians is offering a wide array of classes, events and in-store food demonstrations focused on diabetes education,” said Natalie Menza-Crowe, director of health and wellness at ShopRite. “For customers who have been diagnosed with, or are taking care of someone who is living with diabetes, we hope these interactive events will help them to lead healthier lives, and assist them with their nutritional questions, needs and concerns while managing this condition.”
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are an estimated 30.3 million people living with diabetes in the U.S. About 86 million Americans ages 20 years or older have prediabetes. In prediabetes, blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.
While events vary from store to store, Menza-Crowe says that the ShopRite dietitian team also offers year-round free counseling sessions to assist customers who are looking for personalized assistance in managing diabetes, or other nutrition-related concerns. Customers can find out more information about diabetes-themed events happening at a ShopRite near them by visiting shoprite.com, or stopping in the office of their local dietitian.
As for customers who are looking for overall suggestions on how to make smart choices at the supermarket when managing diabetes, Menza-Crowe has a few suggestions:
- Make friends with the produce section: “There are countless ways to prepare fruits and vegetables so that they become a staple of your diet,” says Menza-Crowe. “If you need help coming up with easy–to-prepare recipes, our dietitians can help with suggestions.”
- Stay educated: “Along with exercise and any medications that may be recommended by your medical team, staying in control of your diet is important. Reading labels and practicing portion control is a key way to help you achieve optimal blood sugar control.”
- Don’t fear fruit: “Fruits contain carbohydrates but also have vitamins, minerals and fiber. It’s okay to include whole fruit into your daily meal plan, just don’t go overboard,” says Menza-Crowe.
- Be adventurous: “An easy way to create more healthful meals is by incorporating different kinds of whole grains, lean meats and fish into your weekly repertoire – you’ll never know if you like something unless you try it! And as a bonus, your family will get to enjoy new foods, too.”
ShopRite Pharmacies also offer a list of free diabetes medications with a valid prescription.