A super market tour

Published 7:54 pm Saturday, April 22, 2017

Even for those of us with the most basic desire to pursue healthy eating, a trip to the grocery store can be a confusing matter of weighing the various health benefits or drawbacks of sugars, proteins, fats and the like. The simple task of reading labels can make a shopper feel as if she needs a degree in nutrition just to choose the best foods for her family.

For those with diabetes, the challenge comes with an added level of significance. Poor dietary choices can be deadly for diabetics, and for those who are prone to the disease, making the wrong food choices can push them farther down the path toward a lifetime of health problems.

Add to the complicated nutritional labels present on packaged foods the fact that much of the advertising related to food is blatantly misleading, and there’s a recipe for disaster, one that has helped cook up an epidemic of diabetes in this area.

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At least one area grocery chain is working to ensure that its customers have as much good information about smart food choices at their disposal as possible. Farm Fresh Supermarket is in the midst of a “My Diabetes Coach” initiative designed to bring together pharmacists and dietitians to help shoppers navigate the ins and outs of eating healthy to manage their diabetes or prevent its onset.

Participants in the program get a free diabetes assessment — including blood pressure, cholesterol and weight checks and an A1C measurement to determine blood sugar levels — along with tours of the Farm Fresh stores and a series of classes designed to help people with diabetes set and achieve their health goals.

The tours might be one of the most interesting parts of the program. With the pharmacist and dietitian in the lead, customers will have a chance to explore the grocery store and learn the ins and outs of nutritional labels.

Unsurprisingly, those tours spend a fair amount of time in the produce department, where the customers learn that not everything there is created equal. Potatoes, in particular, receive a hard look. Suffice it to say, less is more when it comes to spuds. You might want to choose broccoli, instead. And as you’re passing the hot food section in the deli, it might be a good idea to avert your eyes and hold your nose so you don’t get tempted toward the fried chicken.

Really, though, healthy eating is all about balance and moderation. Everybody loves fried chicken, but a little goes a long way when it comes to your diet.

That’s the kind of advice folks can expect on their tours, and it’s solid advice, indeed. It’s surprising, perhaps, that a grocery store is taking a leadership position in this regard, but it’s a refreshing recognition by Farm Fresh that its customers’ health is a good thing for everybody involved.

Kudos to this company for taking such a step. We hope their store tours and free diabetes screenings fill up quickly.