Snacking with diabetes can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Read on to learn about some healthy snacks for diabetics that are not just tasty but also safe and nutritious!
Diabetes is a long-life disease that requires alterations to your lifestyle, especially your diet. Diabetes is a life-long illness in which your body does not process or produce enough insulin, the hormone that converts sugar into energy. It can lead to high blood sugar levels that may damage your organs, such as the kidneys and heart.
Those with diabetes, specifically Type 2 diabetes, may need to adopt a healthy diet that includes low-fat or carb-free foods to avoid spiking blood sugar.
Snacking can be challenging when you have diabetes. You have to be careful about what you eat. Eating junk food or unhealthy snacks can lead to a surge in your blood sugar levels. Some foods can increase your blood sugar level, whereas others can control them.
You may need to steer clear of trans fat, carbohydrates, and other foods that can make your diabetes worse. You do not have to cut foods completely, but controlling portions can help.
The best approach is to discuss your condition with the Best Nutritionist in Karachi and get a customized meal plan according to your body type. Meal plans may vary according to your type of diabetes.
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Healthy snacks for diabetics
When it comes to food, it is usually a hit and trial for diabetics. As everyone has a unique body and needs, some foods may suit some diabetic patients, whereas they may not suit others. It depends on how your body responds to the consumption of certain foods. Apart from the changes in the regular meals, snack options also change for diabetics.
A diabetologist may recommend adding snacks that contain protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates because they can regulate blood sugar levels. Foods with a low glycemic index can normalize blood sugar levels and keep diabetes at bay.
Bedtime snacks with the above nutrients can prevent sugar spikes at night or in the morning. The following are some healthy snacks that can help you manage diabetes.
1. Hard-boiled eggs
Eggs are a superfood that is a source of nutrition and protein. A large egg contains 6.3 grams of protein and can stop your blood sugar from increasing.
They are also low in carbohydrates, which makes them a fantastic snacking option for diabetes patients. They also give a feeling of fullness, which may aid in weight loss. Hard-boiled eggs can be tasteless. To cater to that, you can season them with salt and pepper.
Nuts contain vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and fiber making them a power snack for those with diabetes. A handful of nuts can give you the nutrition you require. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and peanuts provide nourishment. However, do not go overboard with nuts. Limiting salt as a seasoning may also help.
3. Cottage cheese
Another viable option for snacking, cottage cheese, is a yummy alternative to cheesy crisps or puff snacks. Cottage cheese is low in carbohydrates and has adequate vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
It is a delicious snack to control blood sugar. You can also eat it with whole-grain crackers to add taste to it. You can also use other cheeses with low calories, such as ricotta.
Greek yogurt with some berries can be a delicious and diabetes-friendly snack to add to your daily food regime. Yogurt has probiotics that may help with blood sugar levels. It also contains protein that is good for people with diabetes. Berries can relieve inflammation and have a good amount of fiber that can assist in controlling blood sugar.
Mixing the tartness of the yogurt balances the sweetness in the berries, making it a flavorsome snack for diabetes patients and weight watchers.
Air-popped popcorn is a terrific choice for those with diabetes. A handful of popcorn can decrease hunger and has a minimum amount of calories. It can lead to weight loss and can be advantageous for those with diabetes. Losing weight can lessen blood sugar levels and help with diabetes management.
6. Dark chocolate
A plain block of dark chocolate can help regulate insulin effectively. There is a variety of dark chocolate available in the market, but you have to choose the one that suits you. A piece of dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa, low carbs, and no added sugars are the perfect snack for chocolate lovers with diabetes.
7. Organic berry popsicles
Owing to the high antioxidant levels and fiber content, berries are a great superfood for diabetic individuals. Organic berry popsicles are a yummy snack option if you are a fan of ice lollies or frozen treats.
Hummus is a Middle Eastern creamy spread made with chickpeas, tahini, and garlic. It has many essential nutrients, such as iron and magnesium that can be nourishing. Moreover, it contains protein and fat that help control blood sugar levels. Pair them with green, non-starchy vegetables. This combination makes for an appetizing snack for those with diabetes.
Chickpeas are rich in fiber and protein. A cup of 164-gram chickpeas has 12.5 grams of fiber and 14.5 grams of proteins. You can roast them, and they become a crispy yet tasty snack. Chickpeas are a convenient snack you can carry with you. It is also low in calories which helps with weight loss.
You can eat them after boiling and seasoning too. Though if you like a bit of crunch in your snacks, roasted chickpeas can address your craving. You can add them to salads for crunchiness too.
10. Sliced apples with peanut butter
Mixing peanut butter with apple slices can be a mouth-watering and fulfilling snack. Apples and peanut butter have numerous nutrients that are favorable for your health. They pack loads of fiber and contain vital nutrients that can help manage diabetes.
Apple in itself is a wholesome snack for diabetes patients. Home-made peanut butter may be better for those with diabetes because peanut butter available on the market may have sugar that you should avoid.
11. Home-made Protein Bars
Protein bars provide abundant protein to your body, but store-bought protein bars usually have high sugar content, making them counter-effective. You can make protein bars at home with ease. Do not add any ingredient that contains sugar.
You can use oat flour, whey protein, honey, and peanut butter to make them. Be sure to use a moderate amount of honey to limit the sugar in the protein bars. If you cannot make them at home, opt for protein bars that are sugar-free or diabetes-friendly.
Snacks to avoid if you have diabetes
Diabetes comes with food restrictions, and you may be unable to eat the snacks you previously loved munching on. There is no cure for diabetes, but with a healthy lifestyle, it is easily manageable. You may need to avoid foods that increase insulin and blood sugar in your body.
Sugar and starch are carbohydrates that are detrimental to your health if you are a patient with diabetes. Fiber is also a carbohydrate, but as your body does not absorb it, it is not a threat. Some snacks that you should avoid if you have diabetes are:
- Processed foods, including white bread, pasta, or rice
- Fruit-flavored yogurt
- Cereals with sugar icing
- Sugary beverages, such as cold drinks, packaged juices, etc.
- Packaged chips and snacks
- Fried items
Cutting back on these foods is crucial because if you continue eating these foods, you will be at risk of diabetes complications, such as heart attack, stroke, nerve damage, etc.
Diabetes is a life-long illness without any definitive cure. You can manage diabetes by medications, insulin, and replacing unhealthy habits with healthier life choices. It may mean replacing harmful eating habits with those that are good for your health. Foods with low glycemic index can help with managing diabetes. Foods with healthy fats, proteins, and fiber can control blood sugar and handle diabetes.
It is a common belief that snacking is unhealthy. Snacking on heavy and oily items may be dangerous, but a snack that contains low fat and carbs is effective for regulating your blood sugar throughout the night. There are many diabetes-friendly snack options available. Be creative with your snacks and try different snacks to see which suits you the most.
Every snack may not suit everyone and may vary from person to person as every individual has different needs. You can get a custom diet plan from a Nutritionist in Islamabad so that your meals are according to the kind of diabetes you are suffering from and your body type.
Ensure that you take a well-balanced diet full of healthful foods and snacks. Snacking before bed can help manage diabetes. If you have diabetes, there are certain foods you may need to steer clear from, which include sugar, refined carbs, and processed food. Controlling or changing your everyday food regimen can be difficult, but it does keep your diabetes in check. Untreated diabetes can cause complications and damage your organs.