When I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes more than 25 years ago, I found the news extremely depressing, and I figured that life as I knew it was over. I wasn’t used to having to read the labels on every can or package I ate – and the realization that there was no cure just added to the despair. At that time, it was estimated that there were 4 million diabetics in the United States – and another 4 million who had it and didn’t know it! Since 1997, that number has ballooned by over 7 times to 29 million and 25% of those who have it don’t even know they have it!
The same holds true for celiac disease which is a heightened sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Years ago, you never heard of or saw the words “gluten free” on your grocer’s shelves. Now it’s estimated that 1% of all Americans suffer from this debilitating disease! As with diabetes, the incidence of occurrence has increased dramatically in recent years. Some claim it’s do to the poor dietary habits we American have, others insist its due to eating processed foods.
Other dietary restrictions include food allergies, carbohydrate intake, the use of probiotics, nutritional needs, plant-based foods, weight management and heart healthy alternatives. Sometimes, it’s all a person can do to make the proper decisions for one’s own health. A routine visit to the grocery store becomes an ordeal taking far longer than usual just to read the small print on the back of the label!
Costa’s Supermarket is proud to announce that we are joining in the new “Eat Right For Life” movement. The exact roll-out is still up in the air due to scheduling conflicts but soon, you will see distinctive shelf labels on our displays that are very similar to the current price tags. However, they have an added benefit in that they also announce, in large colorful logos word like; PROBIOTIC, DYE FREE, HEART HEALTHY, CARB SMART, ALL NATURAL, among others. In addition, we will have in-store signage showcasing the wellness program, and our store website as well as our Facebook page will be incorporating this information as well. There will also be an “Ask the Dietitian” forum where you can gain access to valuable information regarding healthy eating choices.
I will provide more information in this column as it becomes available!