Hurry! Its last week of #MyfriendaAlexa
And this is the post 7 of “Diabetes Awareness series”.
In this post, I am talking about “Healthy snacking options for Diabetes”
Why healthy snacking is so important for management of diabetes? What are the healthy snacks for diabetic people? And what are the key points that should be kept in mind while planning to snack for diabetic people? Read on to know more!
Importance of Healthy Snacking for diabetes
Healthy and controlled eating is one of the major components of the management of diabetes. Healthy snacking for diabetes is one of the challenging aspects of it. Unfortunately, many people pick unhealthy sweet or savoury snacks to their diet that are filled with empty calories. And this thing not only leads to raised sugar level but weight gain, and other systemic disorders too.
According to the American diabetes association, snacks can curb the hunger. And it is an excellent opportunity to boost your nutritional energy boost to your day. Snack time is a great opportunity to add extra fruit or vegetable to your diet.
Basic rules of healthy snacking for diabetes
Here are some basic rules of healthy snacking for diabetes.
- Just like the “Diabetes main meal “, “diabetes snacking” also requires a proper pre-planning. It is very important to discuss your meal plan with your health care provider (and dietician too). As soon as you diagnosed with diabetes, and thinking about changing your dietary habits, it is very important to discuss this thing with your doctor. Any sudden changes to eating habits may cause more harm than good. So, it is advisable to take a proper medical consultation before making any significant changes to your main meal as well as snacks.
- There are various factors that help in deciding the “diabetic meal plan”, Such as your age, general physical condition, and level of physical activity and advancement of the disease.
- Healthy snacking for diabetes, consist of mainly 2 factors.
- Portion or size of the snack
- As per expert advice, it should be approximately 15-25 gm of carbohydrate should be used as a snack option.
- Using dietary nutrients in proper amount – in simple words, limitation of carbohydrate and fats. And add vegetables, fruits, protein in adequate quantity.
Here are 8 best healthy snack ideas for diabetic people:
Fresh fruits and vegetables
fresh fruits and vegetables are one of the best snack options for people with diabetes. Fruits are vegetable have great anti-oxidant properties and rich in various essential nutrients like fiber and vitamins. They help a lot not only in managing the blood glucose level but also help in weight management as well. Here are a few things that should be kept in the mind.
- Avoid fruits that are high in sugar and have the high glycaemic index. Like grapes, mango, and banana.
- Use innovative and different ways to incorporate fruits and vegetable in your diet. Some of the easy options are vegetable sticks with hummus, mixed fruit chat, stir fry veggies with seasoning.
It is a well-known fact that almonds are highly nutritious and contain various essential nutrients that are beneficial for our body. Scientific studies suggested that incorporation of almonds in a well- balanced healthy diet leads to multiple beneficial effects on glycaemic and CVD risk factors in Asian Indian patients with type 2 diabetes. In fact, the same effects have been observed in a clinical trial too.
Approximately 60-gram intake of almonds increased dietary intakes of fiber, magnesium, fatty acid and vitamin E. and help in reduction of blood sugar level up to 9%.
Popcorn is one of the most amazing snack options for diabetic people. It is tasty, healthy and easy to make.
Popcorn is a low calorie and high fiber food. One cup of air-popped popcorn contains only just 31 calories and 1 gram of fiber. These both qualities make it a perfect snack for diabetes. Along with diabetes, popcorn can help a lot in weight option. Avoid using pre-packaged popcorn; it contains unhealthy ingredients like butter, sugar and salt. Air- pop popcorn is best for use as a snack.
Whole grain crackers
This is another excellent option for diabetic people. But you have to choose this very carefully. Many crackers are made up of refined flour and contain added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. So make sure to select crackers that are made with 100% whole grain. Read the list of ingredients before buying it.
You can do various healthy twists with whole grain crackers. Add interesting and healthy toppings like fresh fruits, vegetables or cheese slice with seasoning is the excellent way to enjoy this delicious snack.
Scietific studies suggested the protein-rich dairy products have consistently been shown in epidemiologic studies to be beneficial for reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Yoghurt is an easily available dairy option that can be used for managing type 2 diabetes.
It is rich in antioxidants and helps in reducing inflammation of pancreatic cells. It also contains a fair amount of protein and rich in probiotics. These qualities help a lot in reducing the blood sugar level. And improve the body’s ability to metabolize foods that contain sugar.
You can add a handful of berries to yoghurt to balance out the taste. Click here to know the other recipe options with yoghurt.
Roasted chiwda or chickpeas
Chickpeas are the good source of fiber, iron, phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6. This bean helps in limiting blood sugar levels after meals.
Chickpeas have a lower glycaemic index (28). And lower GI index helps in preventing the sudden spike in blood sugar level. This is one of the major qualities that make chickpeas a perfect snack option for diabetic people. As an alternative, you can make chiwda (Indian recipe) by adding more ingredients (boondi, sev, fresh vegetables) in chickpeas.
Cottage cheese or paneer
Cottage cheese is another perfect snack option for diabetic people.
Most of the cheeses have little or no carbohydrate. Also, they have a lower GI index. For diabetic people is always advisable to choose foods that have the lower glycaemic index. These foods help in maintaining blood sugar level. Cottage cheese or paneer is one of them.
Cottage cheese high in protein and helps in reduce carb craving. One scientific study suggested that cottage cheese play an important role in the prevention of diabetes. Regular intake of 55 gram of cheese (approximately 2 slices) helps in reducing the development of diabetes by up to 12%.
The boiled egg is another good snack option for diabetes, because of its high protein content. Though scientific studies have controversial input about it. According to a Scientific study, the daily inclusion of eggs in the habitual diet of adults with type 2 diabetes does not improve GI index but can improve other factors that will help in managing blood sugar level properly. This includes,
- Help is reducing body weight
- Also, lead to reduced visceral fat rating and reduced waist circumference.
As a takeaway, people with diabetes choose their snacks wisely. It is not as difficult as seems. Here are few things to keep remember.
- Always try “proper meal and snack planning”, to avoid unhealthy calorie intake and indulge in junk foods.
- Prefer snacks that are low in carbohydrate and fat. And high in protein, fiber, and vitamins.
- Increase intake of foods that have a lower GI index.
- Reduce the intake of food that has high sodium content.
- Read the labels properly before buying any pre-packaged snacks.
- Include more fruits, vegetable and whole grain in your snacks.
- Also, pay attention to the portion of snack size. It should be in between 15-25 gram of carbohydrate.
- Hydrate your body properly. Drink at least 8-10 glass of water daily. It helps in maintaining hydration. And reduce food craving.
- Also, pay enough attention to a method of cooking. Avoid fried snacks. It is best to use steam, or baked, Stir fry foods as a snack.
So these are some great healthy and tasty snack options for diabetes? If I had missed something in this list, please share in the comment box?
Next post will be the last post of #MyfriendAlexa and #Dibetesawareness series.
In this post, I will share some handy tips to help a family member who is suffering from diabetes. Stay tuned to learn more!
if you had missed previous part of this series, click here for part 1
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