Smart snacking tips for managing diabetes
November is National Diabetes Month, but it’s also the start of the holidays, and we all know what that means: Tempting treats are everywhere. This makes it extra challenging to make smart snack choices, which is especially important for the 23 million people with diabetes. Here are a few tips and snack ideas to help you navigate the holidays — healthfully and happily.
Timing is everything
Planning healthy snacks into your daily meal plan can help you keep your blood sugar steady throughout the day. While the timing of snacks will depend on individual needs, many people find it helpful to incorporate a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. Some people may even benefit from a late-evening snack as well. Your registered dietitian can help you determine an appropriate snack schedule.
Nutrients to know
Snacks can be a great way to sneak in additional vegetables, grains, fruits and other nutrient-rich foods. When selecting snacks, remember that a combination of fiber, protein and healthy fat will help prevent blood sugar spikes and keep you full in-between meals. The amount of carbohydrates you should aim for per snack will depend on your individual needs. Generally, an appropriate snack has between 15 and 30 carbohydrates.
Snacks to prep
Spending as little as 10 minutes in the evening to prepare snacks for the days ahead can be the difference between enjoying a healthy yogurt parfait and resorting to less-than-ideal options from a vending machine. Sliced apples or celery with peanut butter; carrot sticks and hummus; cheese and whole-grain crackers; yogurt with berries and nuts; and smoothies made with diabetes-friendly drinks such as Glucerna Hunger Smart are easy-to-prepare choices. Remember, the idea is to combine protein, fiber and fat.
We all know that planning meals and snacks for every day of the week is not always feasible. Fortunately, there are many convenient grab-and-go options to keep you on track. String cheese, beef sticks and yogurt cups are great because they come in single portions. Stocking up on shelf-stable options that are designed to manage blood sugar can also help you get through busy days. Glucerna makes a 140-calorie Snack Shake that contains 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of unsaturated fat. Glucerna snack bars are an option as well.
Strawberry Fruit Smoothie
To help you maintain everyday health, this simple shake is a blend of protein, vitamins and minerals.
All you need:
• 1 Homemade Vanilla Glucerna Hunger Smart shake
• 1 1/2 cups whole strawberries
• 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
• 1 cup ice
All you do:
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Pour into a tall glass and serve.
Nutrition facts per serving: 280 calories, 13g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 13g protein
Claire Henning, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian at Hy-Vee