How Smart Snacking Can Help You Manage Your Blood Sugar
reverses diabetes type 2 symptoms in children (🔴 characteristics) | reverses diabetes type 2 drugshow to reverses diabetes type 2 for When craving something crunchy, you may immediately be inclined to reach for pretzels, chips, crackers, and other easily accessible eats. But while convenient and satisfying, these choices can pack a hearty dose of carbohydrates — a characteristic that, when consumption is not moderated, can be dangerous for people with diabetes.
You see, the body processes carbs just like sugar, sending them straight into the bloodstream and spiking blood sugar levels, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Carb-heavy packaged snacks can be major offenders: A single 1-ounce bag of regular potato chips, for example, contains 14 grams (g) of carbohydrates — more than a slice of 100 percent whole-wheat bread — not to mention unhealthy saturated fats and a lack of the valuable fiber that is found in the bread.
But does that mean you can’t snack when you have diabetes? Not at all, says Lori Williams, RDN, at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, who has more than 24 years of experience working with people diagnosed with diabetes. Williams explains that, when chosen wisely, snacks can give you a boost of energy, help prevent overeating at meals, and, in some cases, actually help control blood sugar levels.
The potential benefits of smart sacking don’t end there. Focusing on foods lower on the glycemic index may also help reduce inflammation in the body, according to a review published in April 2014 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Meanwhile, in other research, weight loss was significantly lower among participants who had a mid-morning snack — in the study, that was sometime between 10:30 and 11:29 a.m. — versus participants who did not have a mid-morning snack. Losing weight can be beneficial for people with diabetes, as it increases insulin sensitivity.
The study also found that women who snacked had a higher fiber intake, likely by way of eating more diabetes-friendly fruits and veggies, than those women who didn’t. Fiber can be a powerful ingredient for controlling blood glucose, as it helps to slow the rate at which food is broken down and glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream, lowering the risk of blood sugar spikes.
In terms of diabetes prevention, eating more frequently, potentially through snacking, may also offer some benefits: A study published in March 2012 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that compared with men who ate three times a day, men who ate one to two times per day had a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even after adjusting for BMI and diet quality.
But again, the key to reaping these benefits is choosing wisely when hunger strikes. Lucky for you, there’s a way to satisfy your craving for something crunchy without resorting to pretzels, corn chips, nachos, and crackers, while avoiding blood sugar spikes. Try one of the following dietitian-approved options.
Munch on Nonstarchy Vegetables With a Protein-Rich Dip
While they’re sure to satisfy your craving for a crunch, snacks like corn chips and cheese dip contain loads of salt, saturated fat, and refined carbohydrates — spelling out danger for your blood pressure and blood sugar alike. If you have diabetes and are looking for a dip-friendly snack, skip the chip aisle and opt instead for raw, nonstarchy veggies, including celery, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, says Nicole Patience, RD, CDE, at CNC360, and a nutrition and diabetes educator for the Joslin Diabetes Center, who is based in Lexington, Massachusetts. These options are full of fiber and low in sodium, which can sharpen hunger cues, Patience explains.
reverses diabetes type 2 quora (👍 term) | reverses diabetes type 2 treatment aafphow to reverses diabetes type 2 for As for a dip to pair your veggies with, steer clear of fat- and salt-laden dressings, as well as creamy processed dips, which contain added sugars and can imperil blood sugar levels and contribute to weight gain. Reach instead for a protein-rich hummus with tahini or a black bean dip; an avocado-based dip, which contains healthy fats; or even low-fat ranch dressing on occasion.
Just be sure to practice portion control, as eating too many healthy fats can still lead to weight gain. A good portion size would be about 1 cup of nonstarchy vegetables paired with 1/3 cup of hummus, Williams says.
Pair Heart-Healthy Tuna With Hydrating Celery
If you’re not a fan of bean dips, consider pairing tuna with celery sticks, Patience suggests. And for added portability, you can pick up a tuna pouch: “A flavored tuna pouch is something you can travel with, so it can be convenient — and it’s very low in carbs,” she explains. One medium stalk of celery contains 1.19 g of carbs, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). In addition, celery sticks are easily filled with different kinds of dip, making them a great scooper veggie, Patience adds.
reverses diabetes type 2 treatment (🔥 treatment and prevention) | reverses diabetes type 2 sugar levelhow to reverses diabetes type 2 for Just make sure you always pick tuna packed in water, not oil, and pay attention to how much fat and sodium is in each tuna pack if you’re going that route, Williams says, as fat has more than twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates. Try to stay under about 200 milligrams (mg) of sodium per serving for a snack, and under 2,300 mg of sodium per day, Williams says.
If you are worried for 1 last update 05 Jun 2020 about salt content, opt for plain pouches, Patience says — often, these can have half the amount of sodium as flavored tuna pouches, and you can always add your own herbs or spices, she notes. For instance, try the low-sodium chunk light tuna packed in water to meet this target, she says.If you are worried about salt content, opt for plain pouches, Patience says — often, these can have half the amount of sodium as flavored tuna pouches, and you can always add your own herbs or spices, she notes. For instance, try the low-sodium chunk light tuna packed in water to meet this target, she says.
As for fat, keep in mind that one serving is equivalent to about 1 teaspoon of oil, butter, margarine, or mayonnaise, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Each serving contains about 45 calories and 5 g of fat.
If you need to raise your blood sugar due to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) consider substituting your celery sticks for crackers, Patience says.
Roast Chickpeas for a Protein-Rich Snack
Another great snack option is roasted chickpeas, Patience says, adding that they are fairly simple to make at home, though some varieties are commercially available as well. Just make sure that if you’re buying a commercial version, you read the label to see how many carbs are in each serving, and watch out for added sugars — like cane sugar and corn syrup — on the ingredients list, Patience says.
To make them for 1 last update 05 Jun 2020 at home, thoroughly rinse canned chickpeas and remove any skins that come off the beans, Patience says. Toss about 1 tablespoon of olive oil per can of chickpeas, and top with your favorite herbs and spices — you can make Mexican, Italian, Moroccan, Ranch, BBQ, or smoked flavors, she says. Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to cool one hour before serving.To make them at home, thoroughly rinse canned chickpeas and remove any skins that come off the beans, Patience says. Toss about 1 tablespoon of olive oil per can of chickpeas, and top with your favorite herbs and spices — you can make Mexican, Italian, Moroccan, Ranch, BBQ, or smoked flavors, she says. Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to cool one hour before serving.
Munching on chickpeas may help you lose weight due to their satiating protein, as well as help keep your blood sugar in check because of their fiber and protein, she says. Not to mention, they’re low in calories when eaten in moderation.
Since chickpeas are a starchy vegetable, know that they will make your blood sugar go up more than a nonstarchy vegetable, Williams adds — though she notes that they’re still a great choice because they contain protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber in one package.
Pay attention to the sodium level for each portion size, and try to stay under about 200 mg of sodium per serving for a snack, she says — the same goes if you’re trying out something like store-bought kale chips, she notes. Overall, a healthy person should aim to limit their sodium to about 2,300 mg max per day, Williams says, so if that roasted chickpea snack, or any other food item for that matter, advertises 1000 mg per serving, you know you might want to choose something else for your snack.
Reach for a Bag of Popcorn to Get Some Fiber
Just like roasted chickpeas, popcorn is a higher-carb snack — but it still could be a healthy choice. “The nice thing about popcorn is it has lots of fiber in it, and it the 1 last update 05 Jun 2020 also has lots of volume for relatively few calories. It can be more filling than, say, a granola bar,” Patience says.Just like roasted chickpeas, popcorn is a higher-carb snack — but it still could be a healthy choice. “The nice thing about popcorn is it has lots of fiber in it, and it also has lots of volume for relatively few calories. It can be more filling than, say, a granola bar,” Patience says.
Fiber can help improve your blood sugar management if you have diabetes. A meta-analysis published in January 2012 in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine analyzed more than 15 studies and found that higher levels of dietary fiber helped decrease fasting blood glucose and HbA1c levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Popcorn is portable and convenient, so you can stash it in your desk drawer, or not worry about it melting on your desk during the summer, compared with snacks that aren’t as shelf-stable, Patience says. If you can, pop the popcorn yourself, and limit the amount of added salt and oil — air-popping without oil is best.
If you’re purchasing popcorn from a store, try to avoid kettle-popped popcorn, which often has added sugar, Patience says. You don’t always need to go for air-popped popcorn (which has no added oils), but be mindful of portion size, she adds.
“There’s nothing wrong with choosing small portions of exactly what you feel like you want, as opposed to eating lots of something else,” Patience says, noting that sometimes choosing the latter can lead to a feeling of want or lacking.
If you are eating air-popped popcorn, stick to about 3 cups of popcorn with less than 3 g of fat per serving, Williams says. You could pair the popcorn with a protein, like an ounce of cheese or ¼ cup of nuts (about a handful), she adds.
Enjoy Nuts or Cheese With a Diabetes-Friendly Fruit
Another great option is to pair nuts or cheese with fiber-filled carbs, like berries or whole-grain crackers. For example, have ½ cup of blueberries with ¼ cup of walnuts, Williams says.
“It’s important to pair protein, carbs, and have some the 1 last update 05 Jun 2020 fiber in there too, because that slows the release of the sugar into the blood,” she explains. As a result, Williams says, blood sugar doesn’t rise as quickly, which is much better for blood sugar levels.“It’s important to pair protein, carbs, and have some fiber in there too, because that slows the release of the sugar into the blood,” she explains. As a result, Williams says, blood sugar doesn’t rise as quickly, which is much better for blood sugar levels.
You could also pair five or six whole wheat crackers with an ounce of cheese, Williams says. If you’re looking for a healthier cheese, you can opt for a lower-fat Swiss cheese, which often tends to be lower in sodium, too, she notes. Or choose a reduced-fat variety of another type of cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella.
Finally, if all you’re really craving is that handful of potato chips or pretzels, that’s okay, too: “I try to make everything fit,” Williams explains. “You can make those fit, but you can’t eat the whole bag.”
Instead of labeling those foods as off limits, or worrying about pairing them with the perfect healthful snack, you can enjoy those foods as treats on occasion. Just make sure to read the label on those foods, Williams says, and then try portioning them into little baggies that you can enjoy in moderation. As a reference, 17 plain potato chips contain about 15 g of carbs, and three small, hard, unsalted pretzel twists contain about 14 g of carbs, according to the USDA. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics points out that 15 g of carbs translates to about one serving of food with carbohydrates.