What Foods Should I Buy At Costco for Diabetes?
Grocery shopping can feel overwhelming when you have diabetes. What should I buy? What’s going to help keep my blood sugar stable? Even more so, when you go somewhere like Costco with diabetes in mind, you may second guess your purchases because you’re about to get a whole lot of that food since everything is in bulk! There are so many great food options at Costco and this is certainly not an exhaustive list, but we’ve rounded up our favorite Costco finds for you to try!
First, let’s talk about grocery shopping in general. What are we looking for when we peruse the aisles at a grocery store?
Everyone’s carbohydrate goal for meals and snacks is different, so definitely discuss with your dietitian if you don’t know what to aim for. Knowing how much total carbohydrate you want to incorporate into meals will help guide your choices. Does a food item contain 60 grams of carbohydrate per serving but you want to aim for 30 g in a meal? That may not be the best choice to incorporate into your meals often.
For carbohydrate goods like grains, starches, cereals, snack foods, etc, fiber can help keep blood sugar more stable. I try to find foods that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Now, not having that amount of fiber does not automatically disqualify it as a food option (because low fiber foods are delicious or important to us culturally or more accessible to us). You can ADD fiber through vegetables, legumes, nuts, or seeds.
When you have diabetes, pairing carbohydrate foods with protein helps keep blood sugar from spiking and keeps blood sugar more stable. Try to incorporate protein foods into each meal and snack. Costco has a lot of great protein options and buying in bulk (when you have the freezer and pantry space) can really be helpful to make sure you have plenty of protein sources on hand.
Foods to Try at Costco for Diabetes
Costco Snack Foods
For snacks, my goal was to pick out some of the options that I personally enjoy that contains some fiber and/or protein to help build a more balanced snack.
- Boom Chicka Pop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn – Popcorn is a great option because it has some fiber, and this one is just a little sweet and super satisfying.
- Harvest Snaps Baked Pea Snacks – I like pea crisps because they are a nice salty snack with both fiber and protein.
- Sonoma Creamery Pepper Jack Crisps – These are nice and spicy and a convenient source of protein.
- Whisps Parmesan Cheese Crisps – Another good one for some protein, and also make a great addition to caesar salad!
- Food Should Taste Good Multi Grain Tortilla Chips – A tasty chip option with a little more fiber than a traditional tortilla chip.
- Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers – I’m just a fan of Crunchmaster Crackers and they make a great snack when paired with some kind of protein, like cheese.
- Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers – Great option for my GF friends out there.
- Mashed avocado or guacamole cups – Pair the aforementioned chips or crackers with avocado or guacamole cups for a more satiating snack.
- Kind Bars – Kind bars are a great snack to keep on hand, especially if you like nuts.
- Kirkland Nut Bars – Similar to Kind bars, just Kirkland brand!
- Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bars – These are a great bar option if you don’t like the crunchy nuts like in Kind bars and want something chewy.
- Pure Protein Bars – An easy way to get 20 grams of protein. Be aware that there are sugar alcohols in these bars which can cause digestive discomfort in some people.
- Simply Protein Crispy Bars – A protein bar with a pleasant crispy texture. These do have added fiber in the form of inulin which can also cause some digestive discomfort.
- Kirkland Protein Bars – Another protein bar option. I love a chocolate chip cookie dough flavor. As with many protein bars out there, the added fiber can cause digestive issues for some people.
- Jerky, like Archer Provisions Mini Beef Sticks – Shelf stable proteins are not always easy to find and jerky is such an easy option. I love the mini beef sticks but there are a variety of jerky options to choose from.
- NuTrail Keto Nut Granola – This nutty granola is a great way to add a tasty crunch to cereal or yogurt.
- Kirkland Cashew Clusters – Another tasty way to incorporate nuts as a snack!
- Innofoods Coconut Keto Clusters – Great crunchy snack for the coconut lovers out there.
Your starches like grains, breads, and cereals are going to be primarily carbohydrate. I like to check for total carbohydrate and fiber content. Some products may also have protein, like Kodiak pancake mix or Banza pasta. Fiber and protein help slow the rise of blood sugar.
- Dave’s Killer Bread – There are two options for Dave’s at my Costco. The regular slices and the thin slices. The thin slices can make a full sandwich for less carbohydrate, which might appeal to someone with a lower carb goal.
- Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain 15 Grain Bread – Another great bread option that I frequently have at home. Less seedy than Dave’s and still a good source of fiber.
- Outer Aisle Cauliflower Sandwich Thins – If you have a lower carb goal or want to incorporate other carbohydrate foods with your meal (like fruit, chips, etc), these can be a convenient choice to make a sandwich.
Mission Carb Balance Flour Tortilla – I don’t know what it is about these tortillas, maybe the added fiber, but they make for great breakfast burritos. We make a bunch at the beginning of the week and they hold up well for the week.
Siete Almond Flour Tortillas – A gluten free tortilla option with some fiber and protein thanks to the almond flour.
Bake Sense Natural Lavash Roll-Ups – These are a good source of fiber and have some protein, and are a decent size for wraps or making a pizza.
- Kodiak Power Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix – I love Kodiak mixes for a whole grain option with a little added protein. They taste good and you can make a bunch and then freeze them for an easy breakfast option later on.
- Tipiak Roasted Garlic Grains Blend – This is an easy starch to have on hand for a side. The addition of lentils and quinoa to the couscous adds protein and fiber.
Banza pasta – I’m a big fan of Banza pasta because it’s made with chickpea flour for more protein. Also a great higher fiber gluten free option.
Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice with Garlic – Another easy side dish to keep on hand. And it’s tasty!
- Cascadian Farms Blueberry Almond Crunch Cereal (no added sugar) – Breakfast cereal with only6 grams of sugar? Not too shabby.
- Mush Overnight Oats – You can certainly make your own overnight oats, but Mush is a convenient option to save yourself some time.
- Chia seeds – I like keeping a bag of chia seeds on hand to add fiber to oatmeal or baked goods. It’s also tasty when sprinkled on peanut butter toast.
Costco Dairy and Milk Alternatives
I have always found that Costco has decent prices when it comes to dairy. You can stock up on your milk, any cheeses you may like, yogurt, and milk alternatives like almond milk or soy milk. For some dairy products, like yogurt and milk alternatives, they may be sweetened. Be mindful of the sugar content of these products. For certain recipes, like making a smoothie for example, opt for plain, unsweetened yogurt to add protein because you’ll be adding sugar in other ways (ie fruit).
- Unsweetened Milk Alternatives – Unsweetened milk alternatives can be useful for making smoothies or enjoying a bowl of cereal without additional carbohydrate.
- Cheese – A great protein option to pair with carbs for a satisfying snack.
- Chobani Less Sugar Greek Yogurt – This is a great flavored yogurt option with not a lot of sugar, and no artificial sweeteners for those who do not like them.
- Oikos Triple Zero – This is a low carb yogurt option that does use artificial sweeteners, but many of my clients enjoy.
- Large tubs of plain yogurt for smoothies/yogurt bowls/recipes – Larger containers of plain yogurt are a useful ingredient for smoothies, overnight oats, baked goods, etc.
- Fruit: all fruit is great but berries are low glycemic (meaning they don’t cause as much of a rise in blood sugar) and they are a great price at Costco.
- Veggies: all veggies are great too at Costco! I particularly like their bagged salad kits because it’s an easy no-fuss addition to meals.
- Frozen produce: Don’t forget about your frozen options! I like frozen riced cauliflower as an easy side dish or to add to smoothies!
Costco Protein Options
- Sous Vide Egg Bites – These are just like the Starbucks egg bites. A favorite of mine!
- Veggies Made Great Spinach Egg White Frittatas – A great frittata option if you want a vegetarian option.
- Rotisserie Chicken or Hand Pulled Rotisserie Chicken Breast Meat – Rotisserie chicken is such an easy protein to keep on hand for adding to any meal. If you want the convenience of rotisserie chicken without having to pull the meat off yourself, you can get packages of white meat ready to go.
- Fresh Additions Fully Cooked Chicken Breast Bites – I recently came across these prepackaged containers of chicken breast and how perfect are they for topping salads?
- Amylu Caramelized Onion & Aged White Cheddar Chicken Burgers – Burgers are an easy protein, but if you’re looking for an option that isn’t beef, these are a tasty alternative.
- Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage – I love chicken apple sausages in my breakfast egg bakes!
- Jones Chicken Sausage – Chicken and turkey breakfast sausages are a great way to add protein to breakfast with less saturated fat than pork products.
- Kevin’s Korean BBQ Style Beef – A tasty meal starter to serve with a starch and veggie.
- Kevin’s Thai Style Coconut Chicken – Another meal starter that we love!
- Sukhi’s Chicken Tikka Masala – Tikka Masala is a great protein option to pair with naan or rice.
- Frozen Sockeye Salmon Fillets – Salmon is a nutritious protein that offers heart healthy omega 3’s but unfortunately is pricey. Buying frozen and in bulk can be financially helpful.
- Alaska Salmon burgers – Another burger option! Salmon burgers are tasty and convenient.
- Canned Salmon or Tuna – Even a more financially savvy way to incorporate fish is to purchase canned fish!
- Tasty Bite Indian Madras Lentils – Lentils are a great vegetarian source of protein. Just be aware that they are also a source of carbohydrate.
- Kirkland Mixed Nut Butter – I love this mixed nut butter. Peanut butter and almond butter are great for protein and fat, but this seeds added that we often don’t get enough of (hello, flaxseed!).
- Kirkland Organic Hemp Hearts – Hemp hearts are a wonderful vegetarian protein option to add to smoothies or salads or as a topping for yogurt.
Costco Fun Foods
Fun foods is a category that is more for pleasure than nutrition content. We believe that you can incorporate any fun food into your diet and still manage your blood sugars. I’ve rounded up some that were lower carbohydrate, or had some additional fiber, but you can choose fun foods based on your own preferences.
- Aussie Bites – Kind of like an oatmeal cookie with nutritious additions like flax and chia.
- Heavenly Hunks Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Cookies – Another sweet and satisfying oatmeal cookie-like option\.
Made Good Granola Minis – These are conveniently packaged and a great topping for yogurt.
Yasso Greek Yogurt Bars – A sweet frozen treat for 16 grams of carbohydrate.
- Keto Pint Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream Bars – Another tasty ice cream bar option but be mindful it contains sugar alcohols.
- Clio No Added Sugar Yogurt Bar – Chocolate covered yogurt bars with no added sugar (though they do contain sugar alcohols as well) and are quite tasty.
- That’s It Mini Fruit Bars – For those who like fruit snacks or fruit leathers, this is a great option. Also convenient to hold onto in case you’re having a low blood sugar.
- Unreal Dark Chocolate Coconut Minis – Kind of like a mounds candy bar (nothing wrong with just buying mounds though). But this is a lower sugar option!
- Rip Van Chocolate Hazelnut Wafers – I just love chocolate and hazelnut together, so these are a winner for me!
- Hu Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies – At my most recent trip I got to sample these and I thought they were a tasty snackable little cookie.
Looking for more tips on managing diabetes?
An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.