Healthy Snacks: 3 Tips for Diabetics and Others
Healthy snacks and tips for diabetics and others, as refer to in this article, are suggestions for people who have problems controlling their blood sugar levels. It also refers to people who are simply trying to eat healthier snacks for weight loss or weight management.
Those with diabetes may have Type I – the body does not produce adequate insulin (less than 10% of people have this type). Or they may be Type II – the body does not use insulin properly (most Americans have this type).
According to health authorities, diabetes is an epidemic. In the 2008, 7.8 percent of the US population (approximately 23.6 million people) had diabetes. In fact, there are many more who are unaware that they have the disease.
For those who want to work on controlling their blood sugar levels and for those who are concerned about healthy snacking in general, it is important to eat healthy snacks. This article will focus on a healthy way to include snacks in your daily meal plan and suggestions for lower carbohydrate snacks.
Tip #1 – Snacking is important. When it comes to snacking, it is important to have snacks in your daily meal plan. Snacking should be done between your meals and depends on your blood sugar levels.
According to Lara Rondinelli, “snacks may be necessary for some people with diabetes on certain oral medications or insulin. For example, someone on a mixed insulin regimen may find that a morning snack after breakfast keeps blood glucose levels stable and prevents mid-morning hypoglycemia."
She also suggests that "other people may find they need an afternoon snack before exercise to keep blood glucose levels from dropping. And some people just find they can control their weight and blood sugar numbers best, if they eat several small meals and snacks though out the day.
She further says that "the challenge is in finding snacks that don't raise blood glucose levels too much — in other words, lower-carbohydrate snacks.”
Tip #2 – Know how many carbohydrates you need daily. Being a diabetic I have to watch eating too many carbohydrates or carbs in my meals and especially in my snacks. A nutritionist shared with me that a great way to spread your carbs out; thereby keeping your blood sugar levels balance, is eat around 180 carbs a day.
45 carbs for breakfast, 15 carbs for snacks, 45 carbs for lunch, 15 carbs for snacks, 45 carbs for dinner, and if you need an evening snack no more than 15 carbs. This seems simple; however, the issue is finding snacks that are lower in carbohydrates. Let’s look at samples of healthy snacks.
Tip #3 – Learn which snacks are healthy and eat them. Now that we realize that our snacks should be lower in carbohydrates, let’s look some snacks that are 17 carbs or less.
Just remember, if you eat a snack that has more carbs, you have to eat a meal with less carbs. Eating foods with more carbs can spike blood glucose levels. If you have diabetes you can still have desserts.
Just learn how to control portions and make healthy substitutes. Also, when cooking your own dessert, try sugar-free substitutes for sugar baking products.
- 1 small protein bar with around 15 grams carbohydrate = 17g
- 1 small apple with 1 tbsp peanut butter = 17g
- 1 small pear and a small handful (12) almonds = 16g
- 1/2 cup of no-sugar-added ice cream = 15 g
- 1/2 cup of blueberries and 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese = 15
- 3 whole-wheat crackers (Triscuits) with 2 tbsp natural peanut butter = 15g
- 4 baby carrots, 4 celery stalks dipped in 5 tbsp hummus = 15g
- 6 ounces of plain, lowfat yogurt with sugar substitute = 12g
- 2 cups of popcorn with 1 tbsp butter = 12g
- 1/2 cup of sugar-free pudding = 12g
- 1/2 turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread with mayo = 12g
These snacks are well under 15 g of carbohydrates.
- Handful of almonds, walnuts, or pecans
- Celery stalks with natural peanut butter
- String Cheese
- 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese
- Hard boiled egg
- Veggies and ranch or bleu cheese dip
- Sugar-free Jello with whipped topping
Conclusion: Managing your snacks will lead to a more positive experience for diabetics. It will also help others manage weight. Please remember the three tips listed above and learn to eat healthy snacks.
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