Tips for Snacking for Type 2 Diabetes
Ask yourself these questions:
Do you plan ahead for the foods that you will feel good about snacking on?
Do you shop for the foods you planned to and resist grabbing the tempting foods that manufacturers want you to buy?
Do you put the good stuff in a place where you’ll see it?
Do you snack mindfully, savoring the taste, texture and break?
“Snacks” in the US are often synonymous with “treats”. While treats historically meant foods eaten rarely and savored, today snacks are everywhere. Manufacturers have capitalized on our love of convenient, crunchy, salty, and sweet foods and design snacks that are hard to resist. But those snacks are often sources of guilt and extra calories, salt, and saturated fats. They can be a backdoor way to make us feel worse physically and emotionally.It is not to say that there is not a place for tasty low-nutrient snacks, but for everyday munching those foods fall short.
But, snacks have an important role! They hold us over from meal to meal and can provide a nutritional boost to your day. But CHOICES MATTER and there are many options other than the packages of savory crunchiness or sweetness that we often turn to by default.
4 ways to get control of your snacking
Plan ahead for what you will eat when hunger strikes
Resist buying snacky foods that are high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium.
Put the good stuff where you’ll see it and the other stuff out of sight.
Take a break and enjoy the food you are eating.
What to look for in a healthy snack
Whole, unprocessed foods that naturally contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals
Food that is minimally processed. Highly processed foods are often high in added sugar, sodium, and low in fiber
Food that is not high in sodium (unless you are sweating!)
Foods that have fats that are healthy (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated)
Foods low in saturated fat (saturated fat comes from animal fat, hydrogenated vegetable oil, palm oil, coconut and palm oil)
If you are watching your weight, choose smaller portions or lower calorie foods.
Snack ideas that are great for you
Wasa Crackers with Hummus, fresh ground peanut or almond butter
Fresh or frozen unsweetened apples, pears, bananas, blueberries, mangos
Leftovers from homemade dinners
Nuts, unsalted or lightly salted peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds
Cut up vegetables with hummus
Cut up celery with peanut butter
Whole grain loaf bread or pita bread with leftover chicken, tuna salad, egg salad, peanut, butter, almond butter avocado, or egg prepared any way.
Dried fruit in small calculated portions
Homemade muffins (ideally whole grain)
Different situations call for different kinds of snacks.
On the go - choose food that are:
Safe at room temperature
At home - Almost anything goes
At work - take foods that will:
Save for days, for example, nuts, low fat whole grain crackers with peanut butter
Fit your storage and refrigeration
Guideline for Carbohydrate Content of Snacks
Since carbohydrate from all sources raises blood glucose, people with Type 2 Diabetes should also consider the carbohydrate content of snacks .
If it has been less than 2-3 hours after a meal, limit carbohydrates to about 10 grams
If it has been 3-4 hours after a meal, limit carbohydrates to 10-20 grams.
I hope this helps you choose healthier snacks. Stay tuned for more information about my Free Live Program, “5 Steps on How to Eat for Type 2 Diabetes” where you'll get practical tips and actionable advice that will help you eat better for your diabetes.