HEALTHY SNACKING WITH DIABETES
India is known as the diabetic capital of the world. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition in which the absence or insufficient production of insulin in the body leads to higher-than-normal levels of glucose in the blood. Taking regular medication, healthy eating patterns and lifestyle modifications can go a long way in successfully managing it and keeping other medical complications arising because of uncontrolled diabetes far away.
Regulating our eating pattern and healthy food choices are essential to maintain a normal level of blood glucose.
The mantra to manage diabetes and live healthy is to spread our daily carbohydrates or food intake throughout the day to maintain blood glucose levels and avoid any unhealthy spikes of blood glucose after meals.
To achieve the above goal, wisely eating food during 3 major meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner at fixed time is important and equally important is to have snacks at mid-morning and evening time. (1)
SECRET BEHIND CONTROLLING DIABETES
Most diabetics know that we should avoid sugar, honey, jams, jellies, any sweet dishes, fruit juices and sweet drinks like sherbets and sweetened aerated colas in each and every meal.
Care should be taken to avoid consumption of starchy vegetables like potato, yam, arbi, raw banana, etc. Refined and processed food items like maida, noodles, pasta, white bread and white rice also should be avoided as all these food items leads to sudden increase in blood sugar levels which worsens diabetes.
The key to manage diabetes is to eat high fiber, high protein and low carbohydrate foods like whole grains, millets, dals, pulses, legumes, beans, peas, tofu and low-fat milk and dairy products like cheese, curd etc on daily basis.
It is advisable to eat three to five servings of vegetables (both green leafy and others) and low sugar fruits like apple, papaya, guava, melons and oranges daily to get good fiber that aids in managing diabetes.
WHY IS HEALTHY SNACKING IMPORTANT IN DIABETES MANAGEMENT?
Eating a mid-morning snack 2 hours after breakfast and 3 hours before lunch and a healthy evening snack 3 hours after lunch and 2 hours before dinner is important. (3)
Mid-morning and evening snacking is of great importance as it avoids any dip in the level of blood glucose in between major meals and avoid any hunger pangs before lunch and dinner which usually leads to overeating and hence leads to sudden and dangerous rise in blood glucose levels.
Adding a sachet of ActiFiber Natural Sugar Control to each of the 2 main meals will help in regulating blood glucose levels and keep us energized and hydrated in between meals too. It dissolves easily with no taste, odour or colour thus fitting into your regular diet effortlessly.
HEALTHY SNACKING DECODED
A nutrient dense food or drink high in fiber, protein & healthy fats and low in carbohydrate is an ideal snacking choice. (2), (4)
Care should be taken that snack food or drink should be able to curb hunger without increasing blood glucose so the portion size should be small. Some good options for snacking with diabetes are -
- Half cup curd/ Greek yogurt with few berries.
- A medium sized apple or pear or orange.
- A handful of roasted chana or roasted makhanas.
- A handful of roasted seed mix of flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds and watermelon seeds with dried fruits.
- Nuts like 6 almond with half a walnut.
- One fourth cup popcorns without butter.
- 1 cup cucumber slices with lemon and chaat masala.
- Roasted or plain cottage cheese or paneer.
- Apple slices of half an apple with peanut butter.
- Carrot or cucumber slices with a little hummus.
- 1 hard-boiled egg with a few vegetables like – onion, cucumber, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc.
- Drink a glass of buttermilk or coconut water in summer days when you feel more thirsty than hungry.
Another good addition to a healthy diabetic diet is ActiFiber which has the goodness of fiber and prebiotic which helps in regulating blood glucose levels and keep us energized and hydrated in between meals too.
As more and more diabetic people are becoming aware of the complications arising because of uncontrolled diabetes like heart diseases, kidney problems and obesity, this awareness is leading to a better understanding of the importance of healthy snacking in diabetes.
Healthy snacking ensures excellent management of blood glucose and insulin levels which will keep your energy levels high without any extra efforts and guarantees a good quality of life today and in the coming years too.