Unlike normal, healthy people, diabetics don’t have the freedom to eat whatever they want. If you’re a diabetic, you can’t eat foods that can make your blood sugar levels shoot up. Instead, you need to follow a strict diet plan, which your doctor or nutritionist will prepare.
Following this diet plan is important if you want to keep you blood sugar levels at a safe and manageable range. However, most of the foods included in a diabetic’s diet don’t taste right. That’s the reason why most diabetics cheat on their diet.
That shouldn’t be the case with you because the last thing you want is to make your condition worse. So, here are some snack tips you can enjoy but are safe enough to keep your blood sugar steady. Just remember, though, to consult with your nutritionist for more information on these snack tips.
1. Enjoy A Handful Of Nuts
Nuts are known to have healthy mono-unsaturated fats, and that’s why they can reduce cholesterol and minimize the threat of heart diseases. However, more than what nuts can do for the heart, nuts such as pecans, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, and almonds are packed with protein and some “harmless” fat that are actually good for daily consumption.
Nuts will practically give you the same effects that crackers and pretzels would if you eat them. Therefore, eating those nuts mentioned above will not cause an increase in your blood sugar.
Nevertheless, you still need to be mindful of the amount of nuts you’ll consume as these are packed with calories as well. Learn how to limit yourself. Nuts can be very addicting, especially during those lazy days when all you want to want to do is relax in front of television. Have enough nuts to fit the palm of your hands and limit yourself to eating those.
2. Raw Veggies As Snacks
If you’re used to eating junk foods and have been diagnosed with diabetes, then it’s time to overhaul your eating habits. There is a much healthier snack alternative, but it would require some getting used to. It would not take a very long time to get to used o snacking healthier food such as raw veggies. You just discipline and consistency.
Gather up those fresh carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and other greens and start munching on these instead. They’re delicious when eaten fresh and even more delicious when dipped in light salad dressing or non-fat yogurt. Plus, you don’t get to worry about taking too much salt.
To help you get used to eating veggies instead of chips, start by filling your kitchen with fresh veggies and eliminate junk food in your shopping list. Place vegetables in an area in your kitchen where you can easily see and grab them whenever you feel a little hungry.
3. Freeze Peeled Bananas And Grapes
Are you looking for a healthy and refreshing snack that can keep you away from type 2 diabetes? There is an excellent snack idea that you can try especially during the summer season. This is an easy-to-make snack that even kids can prepare – frozen grapes and banana combo. Now, go head straight to your favourite Farmer’s Market near you and grab some fresh organic grapes and bananas.
This truly refreshing snack is made by putting some fresh grapes (20 pieces of red seedless grapes only have 100 calories) and a piece of peeled banana in a sandwich bag and seal properly. Let it sit in the freezer for a while.
Once fruits are frozen, take the sandwich bag out of the freezer and indulge yourself with a refreshing and healthy snack. If you are looking for other ways to include this in your meals, try putting them on top of your favorite low-fat yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast.
4. Enjoy A Few Decadent Bites
Many people think that one of most satisfying but unhealthy choice of snack is chocolates. This is somewhat true on a case to case basis. One type of chocolate that is exempted to this is dark chocolate. Even as a diabetic, you can indulge in a square or two of dark chocolate.
Research shows that dark chocolate can significantly improve markers of insulin sensitivity. It contains polyphenol, plant substances that serve as antioxidants. This is believed to have the potential of preventing heart disease and decrease blood glucose levels.
Moreover, it can decrease fasting insulin and glucose levels, as well as insulin and glucose responses to the glucose tolerance test. This is because dark chocolates are made with more cocoa and less sugar, hence the bitter taste. You can enjoy your dark chocolate with dried apricots and walnuts or almonds. So go ahead and spoil yourself. But always keep in mind that these should be eaten in moderation, anything beyond that is harmful.
5. Eggplant Slices With Salsa
Over the centuries, eggplants have been consumed to keep blood sugar levels under control. Eggplants are low-carb vegetables and eating these will not significantly increase your blood sugar. You can incorporate salsa in your eggplant dish to infuse flavor into it. Just pop some sliced eggplant in the oven until tender and dip it in salsa.
This yummy eggplant dish only has 80 calories, a gram of fat, and 15 grams of carbohydrates. A study conducted at the University of Massachusetts shows that extracts from several types of eggplant prevent an enzyme that converts starch to blood sugar. These compounds inhibited the glucose-releasing enzymes by up to 60%.
Eggplants are also a great substitute for lasagne noodles. So instead of using lasagne noodles in your favorite pasta dish, lay pieces of eggplants thinly sliced vertically into a baking pan, just like how you do it when laying pasta to make your lasagne. After each layer of eggplant, pour in some meat sauce and finally, your own choice of cheese on top.
6. Eat An Apple A Day
You don’t say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” just for the heck of it. Those words literally mean that a daily dose of apple provides a long list of health benefits.
For instance, an apple with the skin on has 3 grams of healthy soluble fiber. This is already 20% of the daily recommendation of fiber. This can reduce cholesterol, thereby helping you avoid certain heart diseases.
Moreover, there is research conducted involving pre-diabetic patients. The findings show that daily consumption of apples has a potential of keeping these patients from actually developing diabetes. After twenty-four hours upon the consumption of apples, these patients showed fewer symptoms of diabetes.
Apples also contain a significant amount of antioxidants that fight off free radicals, so it curtails problems related to diabetes. Besides, the sweetness of an apple is not enough to cause your blood sugar levels to rise.
7. Sip A Small Cup Of Veggies Soup
There is nothing more comforting and fulfilling than a hot bowl of vegetable soup. More often than not, you whip up a vegetable soup because you want to get rid of leftover vegetables you have in your kitchen. However, this hearty dish can actually be good for diabetics. People with diabetes constantly look for healthy snacks and alternatives that they can eat that will not trigger the sudden increase of their blood sugar levels.
A vegetable soup cooked in chicken stock that contains non-starchy vegetables like green beans, spinach, onion, and squash can be a healthy, low-carb snack substitute for diabetics. Remember to refrain from using too much seasonings and preservatives as much as possible.
A cup of vegetable soup is sure to make you feel full and satisfied. Go ahead and put whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator, but make sure they go well together. Whip in some fresh tomatoes for some dose of lycopene.
8. Put Your Snacks On A Plate
Do you have a habit of eating food right from its pack? Perhaps you’re fond of reaching into that jar of cookie or scooping up some chips straight from the bag. Well, if you do, then you should know that you are eating more than what is right and required. Do you know what that means?
The more junk food you eat, the more calories you gain. That’s the last thing you want to happen especially if you’re a diabetic. Low-calorie intake is crucial to diabetics, so rather than reaching into a bag for a handful (or more) of chips, try placing the snacks in small portions on a plate and immediately put away the bag of chips. Make sure to eat only what is appropriate or required.
Another smart tip from health experts is to choose a smaller plate when eating. It keeps you from eating very large portions of snacks. When you are using a small plate, the food looks plenty. So this is some kind of an illusion, but with a good purpose.
9. Low-Fat String Cheese
A variety of low-fat cheeses is always a welcome addition to a diabetic’s diet plan. However, the ideal cheese to eat is the string cheese. It offers a lot more health benefits for diabetics compared to other types of cheese. A string cheese could be made from one type of cheese or a combination of two or more cheeses.
This healthy snack is recommended by the American Diabetes Association because it is one of the many foods that help stabilize a person’s blood glucose levels. String cheese is rich in protein. Actually, it can substitute meat-based protein like fish, beef or poultry.
String cheeses are sold in individual, pre-packaged forms for easier portion control.
There are only 80 calories in a pack of string cheese. That makes it one of the few handy snack treats a diabetic can enjoy, especially since it is also a rich source of sugar-steadying protein.
10. Bag Your Servings
For busy individuals, there is a tendency to just grab whatever is available in the pantry or refrigerator. Controlling the right amount of food to eat is a little more difficult for diabetics.
It would be a good idea to bag each serving of snack, filling it with just the right amount of goodies for that hungry stomach. Better yet, use single-serve containers where you can pack the snacks you’ll eat throughout the day. Small Ziplocs are available at your local grocery stores.
Keep in mind that portion control is important when you’re a diabetic. You can eat almost anything you want, but everything should be kept in moderation, or controlled portion. So keeping your snacks in individual bags or containers is a good way to make sure you’re not going over your limit. Besides, pre-packed snacks are handy, so you can bring them when you go to work, school, or out to run some errands.
11. Few Whole-Grain Crackers
Make sure to include a pack or two of whole-grain crackers, which are usually made from whole-wheat flour or rye, on your list the next time you shop for groceries. If those are not available, you can choose multi-grain crackers, too. Whole-grain and multi-grain crackers contain fiber, are low in calories and fat, and practically have no sugar, so you can be sure they’re perfect for diabetics.
Nevertheless, if you want to add some taste to it, you can spread a small amount of peanut butter. Just make sure it’s a tiny amount so your blood sugar won’t shoot up.
When talking about whole-grain, there are many other foods that are made of whole grain such as pasta, bread, and tortillas. If you want to opt for a high fiber diet but low in calories and fat, you better start choosing whole grain food. So the next time you shop at the supermarket, keep an eye for the “Whole-grain” mark on your food items.
12. Be Cautious On Snacks Labeled As “Low-Fat”
Seeing your favorite pre-diabetes snack now labeled as being “low-fat” could cause you to lose sight of your limitations. You’d think that snacking on it is okay since it’s low fat anyway. In fact, and this is according to research, people who eat low-fat snacks actually eat 28 percent more of the snack than others do. Perhaps the “low-fat” label isn’t so clear to them. For example, two cups of low-fat yogurt is worse than a cup of regular yogurt.
The truth about low-fat snacks is that they have fewer calories, but only 11 percent less than the calories in regular snacks. You don’t need to do the math to realize that you are still getting most of the calories you don’t need and want. So rather than opt for low-fat snacks, just remember to eat in moderation. Or better yet, choose low-fat snacks but still take them in moderation.
13. Fruit Smoothie
Do you want something cold and refreshing to beat the heat of summer but are worried about your blood sugar levels? Worry no more because fruit smoothies are here. Choose fruits that aren’t too sweet or fruits which are known to be “diabetic-friendly.” Any fruit can do as long as they have low sugar content. The good thing about this is that you don’t need to put sweeteners to make it taste because fresh fruits are naturally tasty and nutritious.
A banana would be a good option. Chop a banana and combine half of it with 3/4 cup non-fat plain yogurt and a non-nutritive sweetener. Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth. You now have a cold, refreshing, and healthy fruit smoothie.
Berries are also among the most delicious but healthy ingredient for smoothie. They have natural sweeteners so you don’t need to add sugar for it to taste. Include some low-fat yogurt into the blender, and your nutritious smoothie is ready to drink. Easy!
14. Keep An Eye Out Of Snacks With More Than 150 Calories
Binge eating is a no-no for those who desire to lose weight, but even more so for people who suffer from diabetes. Eating too much at a time could make you lose track of how much calories you should be packing in. So to avoid binge eating, eat snacks only when you feel hungry.
It doesn’t matter if you eat five times a day, as long as you do exercise regularly to burn those calories and keep on track. Eating small portions of food and snacks at correct intervals is the best way to address hunger pangs, and it’s an even better way to make sure you’re not overeating.
For diabetics, the suggested amount of calories per snack pack is 150. If you think the snack you have in mind exceeds the caloric limit, measure the calorie content of the snacks you’re packing. Learn to track your calories so you’ll never go overboard.