What are the best snacking strategies for people with diabetes?
Snacking is something that everyone likes from time to time. But snacking as a pre-diabetic or diabetic can be challenging. Suddenly, you need to be aware of food ingredients, new restrictions, and how certain food affects your body. Some of the snack options are off-limits now, while others are okay in moderation. All this can get confusing. "Which foods are best to help me manage my diabetes?" is a surprisingly big question to answer. This article will discuss snacks that are good for managing diabetes, snacks that are bad for it, and how you can make better snacking choices as a pre-diabetic or diabetic.
What Are The Best Snacks for Type 2 Diabetes?
Snacking can be a great addition to managing your Type 2 diabetes. As opposed to having three square meals, healthy snacks throughout the day can be better for you. Introducing lower-sugar foods to your body consistently is one strategy for effectively managing blood sugar levels.
Healthy foods like the following are great snacks for diabetics:
- Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are very nutritious and high in calories, helping you offset bad caloric gain from fast food, candy, and sodas. Unsaturated fats or healthy fats, protein, and fiber are found in nuts and seeds. Daily intake in moderation can help prevent heart disease and keep your blood sugar stable.
- Baked goods. Baked goods can still be nutritious as long as you make smart ingredient choices. Looking for a healthy alternative for a calorie-laded cookie? Check out our healthy recipe here.
- Vegetables. Vegetables may not always be in season, but they are a great way to add some color (and nutrition) to your diet.
- Fruits. Apple slices, raisins, kiwis, and other fruits can provide nutrition, as well as delicious natural sugars.
- Liquids. Sugar-free liquids like water, tea, coffee, and even coconut water can be good for you, and even help to keep you feeling full. Many juice companies also offer low-calorie and low-sugar products, or you can juice fresh fruits to keep things 100% natural. Just make sure to drink fruit juice in moderation since they spike sugar faster than whole fresh fruit.
These foods are well-regarded as being good for you. You can find them in many popular diets like the Asian diet, Keto diet, and the Mayo Clinic Diet.
What Is the Best Evening Snack for a Diabetic?
The best evening snack is light and sugar-free. It would be best if you ate just enough to feel satiated. Keep in mind that your stomach will be digesting your snacks while you sleep. Water is a quick and easy way to satiate hunger and is a great way to remain healthy overall. We are approximately 70% water, and our bodies use water to heal our muscles, repair chapped skin, and regulate heat.
What is a Quick Way to Plan an Evening Snack?
You can easily plan and incorporate evening snacks into your diet through proper meal planning. If you eat many small meals or snacks throughout the day, you can schedule one after 8 PM or near your bedtime. This way, you will be able to both eat a meal and reduce any extra daily caloric intake. Another way to plan evening snacks is to allow yourself to deviate from your diet healthily. Leaving carrot and celery sticks in the fridge is a good option. You do not have to have them as a set part of your meal planning, but you reach for one every time you are hungry outside meal times.
What About Diabetes Friendly Liquid Foods?
Liquid dieting is a great temporary dieting option for individuals with Type 2 diabetes. While you will do liquid dieting before medical testing, it may be beneficial to do a liquid diet from time to time to clear your digestive tract. Your medical professional will be able to help you plan a liquid diet for your lifestyle and health.
What About Diabetes Friendly Solid Foods?
However, you may want a more traditional, stable diet. Diabetes-friendly foods that help regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and reduce inflammation include:
- Fish. Eat smaller types of fish to reduce the number of metals like mercury in your meat.
- Eggs. Ethically sourced eggs are a great way to have eggs and avoid factory farming practices.
- Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt has a tangy-sweet taste and much-needed high-protein content that commercial yogurt typically lacks. When selecting a yogurt to eat, bear in mind any dietary restrictions that a nutritionist may have prescribed for you. There are several low-carb and low-added-sugar choices available on the market. Our recommendation is Icelandic Skyr which you can check out here.
- Vegetables. Vegetables have lots of vitamins and minerals, are very low in calories, and can help diversify your diet.
- Fruits. Fruits are good in moderation. They contain sugars but also other beneficial things like antioxidants.
For more information on healthy foods for people with diabetes, join the CuraLife Facebook group. Network with others, share cooking and meal planning tips, and improve your diet one day at a time.
What Foods Make Type 2 Diabetes Worse?
Snacks that can make Type 2 diabetes worse are snacks and food that are, in general, already bad for you. If you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, you should already be avoiding them. Foods high in processed ingredients and sugars, mainly processed sugars, can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. While some sugar is acceptable and even necessary for diabetics, you should avoid eating the wrong foods if you want to avoid raising your blood sugar levels.
Which Foods Should I Avoid?
Some common foods to avoid are:
- Soft drinks. Soft drinks have a lot of sugar and are high in calories.
- Fruit juices. Fruit juices have deceptive levels of sugar in them. It is more worthwhile to juice your fruits.
- Candy. Candy is high in calories, sugars, and fats. While a piece or two may not seem like a big deal, you should stick to healthy snacking whenever possible.
- Processed foods. Processed foods often contain additives and may be incompatible with your diabetic-centered diet.
- Packaged foods. Packaged foods are usually processed. Choosing packaged foods wisely will help you snack healthy and manage your diabetes.
Does this mean that the foods above are bad for you? Not always. If your blood sugar goes too low, you need that piece of candy in your pocket or purse. However, it’s better to reach for a healthier alternative when you can.
What Snacks Can Diabetics Eat at Night?
You want to exercise caution if snacking late at night. Increasing sugar intake levels can increase inflammation and weight gain at any time of the day. However, late at night, you are getting ready for bed. You will not be exercising those calories off for seven or eight hours. The best type of snack you can eat at night as a pre-diabetic or diabetic individual contains low calories and is sugar-free. Vegetables like carrots, celery sticks, and cucumbers are great options. You can enjoy the sensation of eating while also keeping the calories to a minimum. Other great late-night snacking options can include some nuts, an egg, or even Greek yogurt. Look for Greek yogurt or Icelandic yogurt if you have diabetes (also called skyr). Some of the whey is removed during the manufacturing process, producing a thick, protein-rich product with about a third of the carbs found in other forms of yogurt. They also have a lower lactose content (about 5%) than conventional yogurts, making them easier to digest, especially for lactose-intolerantDiabetes-Friendly persons. These healthy options will help manage blood sugar and help you feel full.
What Can I Eat Being Diabetic Type 2?
Just because triple chocolate cake is no longer a recommendable option does not mean you cannot have variety in your diet. Your doctor's main dietary restrictions for you will cover foods that are high in calories, high in sugar, and high in saturated fats to keep your blood sugar levels stable. However, you can still enjoy these foods from time to time in small quantities and if planned correctly. Healthy foods across diets do not change. Lean, low-fat meats, colorful vegetables, fruits, low-calorie, and low-sugar drinks like water or unsweetened coconut water can be good for you too.
What Is a Good Sweet Snack for Diabetics?
Plenty of foods exist that are both sweet and healthy. The key is to choose the better option when eating sweet snacks. Many sweets manufacturers also have product lines that are low in calories, fats, and sugars. You can also make your sweets at home and control the number of sugars you eat more precisely. Sweets are best kept to a limit to manage blood sugar levels and improve your overall health. Consider using a food sweetener like stevia if you need a sugary snack.
What About Food Additives Like Stevia?
Stevia is a food sweetener without additional calories or sugar. Stevia can be quickly added to a snack to make it sweeter so that you can avoid truly bad sweet foods like cake and soda. You can add stevia or other sweeteners to the following typical snacking foods:
- Beverages like water and tea
- Baked goods
- Low sugar desserts like Sherbert, ice cream, and yogurt
Of course, you want to limit additives and additions to your diet, especially if they do not promote healthy living. However, if a sweetener is a difference in reasoning between reaching for a tea and reaching for a Starbucks caramel latte, the sweetener is healthier. Try to keep to natural sweeteners.