What makes the right kind of snack? Read on to find out.
Regular snacks can be important to help you control your blood sugar levels and manage your diabetes. Registered dietitians may recommend having a snack between meals if your meals are more than four to six hours apart.1 Just as with meals, there are certain snacks that are healthier than others. You can eat almost anything people without diabetes can, but what’s key is the amount you eat and the amount of carbohydrates you eat. Following a few tips can help you snack smartly:
- Snacks should contain no more than 15 grams of carbohydrate and should also have protein and/or fibre.
- Limiting carbohydrates in your snacks is important because carbs raise your blood glucose. Be sure to monitor the amount of carbs you’re eating in meals and snacks. Get the 101 on carbs.
- Fibre-rich snacks are great because they help slow the rise of blood glucose levels, improve cholesterol and keep you feeling full.2 Enjoy snacks like whole grain crackers, high fibre cereal, vegetables, and fruit.
- Protein also helps you feel full longer, without raising blood glucose.1 Some healthy protein snacks are boiled eggs, cheese strings, nuts and nut butters. Keep in mind when eating nuts, to avoid excess calorie intake, keep your portions small.
- Read the nutrition label when choosing snacks to check the amount of carbohydrate, protein and fibre.
- Control your portions. Get individual-sized snacks like granola bars or individual yogurts to avoid mindless munching.
- Unless part of your meal plan, snack only when hungry. Try not to snack when you’re bored or stressed.
- Plan ahead. Keep snacks on hand for easy and healthy snacking on the go.
Here are a few quick and healthy snack ideas:1,2
- Handful of unsalted nuts
- Small piece of fruit
- Raw veggies with a low-fat dip
- Low-fat and low-sugar yogurt
- A few whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese or a hard-boiled egg
- A slice of whole-wheat toast with a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter
Snacking may have a bad rap, but it can be a good thing. It helps you control your blood glucose levels and limit your portions at meals by curbing your appetite. Just keep a few things in mind to help you snack smart and manage your diabetes.
1 Kraft Canada. (2020). Smart Snacking For People with Diabetes: Kraft What's Cooking. Retrieved March 10, 2021, from https://www.kraftwhatscooking.ca/article/smart-snacking-for-people-with-diabetes-000000355
2 Diabetes Canada. (2018, March). Eating away from home. Retrieved March 10, 2021, from https://guidelines.diabetes.ca/docs/patient-resources/eating-away-from-home.pdf