It's 3 p.m., and your stomach is rumbling. The urge to grab something quick, easy and perhaps savory or sweet is strong…and that may be all right. We all experience snack attacks from time to time. But snacking doesn't have to be a guilty pleasure.
In fact, for diabetics, snacks are an important part of the day. For type 1 diabetics and insulin-dependent type 2 diabetics especially, snacks can help to keep blood glucose at normal levels and prevent low blood sugar.
As most diabetics know, insulin has peak times when it's actually working the most. Once you take insulin, it will your lower blood sugar no matter how much glucose is in the blood. If there's too little glucose in the blood, hypoglycemia or low blood sugar occurs. That's why diabetics should carry a supply of snacks with them—at work, in the car, in their gym bag or purse—at all times to prevent blood sugar lows.
But having a snack is only part of the battle. For diabetics and non-diabetics alike, making healthy snack choices is key.
When deciding which snacks to eat, consider these tips:
- Make sure your snack is truly a small snack-size portion and not a meal. Like all other foods, snacks need to be considered part of the calories and carbohydrates for the whole day. Eating high-calorie snacks or too many snacks throughout the day can lead to weight gain over time.
- Consider the nutrient density of your snack. Look for treats that provide you with vitamins and minerals and not empty calories, which may only give you energy in the short term.
- When possible, opt for combo snacks. Pairing carbohydrates with protein will make you feel full longer than carbohydrate-only snacks. Choose granola with yogurt, fruit with cheese and whole wheat bread with peanut butter for longer-lasting satiety.
- For some great snack options any time, savor summer flavors with Tomato Basil Snackers or serve the crunchy Quick Stovetop Granola over low-fat yogurt to tide you over until your next meal. If you're in the mood for a sweet treat but not high calories or carbs, try the fruity Lemon Cloud Desserts. Whichever snack you chose, you can't lose!
Healthy Snack Recipes»