7 Snack Tips for Diabetics
Limit Yourself to 150 Calories or Less
When thinking about whether or not its a good idea to have a snack in between meals, ask yourself if you are truly hungry. Our minds have a funny way of deceiving us into thinking we are hungry when we are bored or stressed.
If you determine that you are indeed truly hungry, Reader's Digest recommends that you limit your snack to 150 calories or less. Anything more than that runs the risk of turning into a full-fledged meal.
Think About Portions
Most snack foods come in one large box with the only indication of serving size written in small print on the back. Often, our natural instincts are to eat from the box until we no longer feel hungry no matter what the serving size information says. That is a huge mistake.
Even if the box says that the snack is healthy, eating more than a serving size can make all the bad stuff add up. In fact, according to Readers Digest, studies show that people eat approximately 28 percent more from packages that are labeled low fat, thinking that they are being healthy eaters.
To avoid this problem, Readers Digest suggests separating your food into serving sizes using plastic bags immediately after you return from the grocery store. That way, the next time you feel hungry you have a healthy serving waiting for you. If this seems too cumbersome, think about trying the many 100 calorie snacks that are now on the market. They separate a serving size out for you so there is no danger of over eating.
Nuts are a great snack food because, in addition to being healthy, they fill you up fast. Certain nuts, including almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, and cashews contain monounsaturated fats, which can lower cholesterol and fight heart disease.
But remember, these nuts are only useful in moderation. Avoid eating more than a handful of nuts in one sitting. Because they are high in calories, Reader's Digest says that a handful should be just enough to reap the benefits without accumulating too many calories.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
Through years of conditioning from your mother, you have undoubtedly come to the conclusion that eating fruits and vegetables is a necessary evil. But it doesnt have to be all that bad.
The wide variety of tastes, textures, and cooking techniques available to you should make it easy to incorporate veggies into your diet. If you dont savor the idea of dipping carrots into low fat ranch dressing, perhaps you will enjoy a stir-fry of spinach, squash, and bok choy. It should go without saying that you should avoid using butter or excessive amounts of salt.
Many fruits are sweet and they require no intensive preparation to be delicious. If you are interested in trying something new, think about making a fruit smoothie. Diabetesselfmanagement.com offers this useful recipe. You will need 1/2 of a medium banana, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (unsweetened), 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder, 1/4 cup apple juice, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1 cup crushed ice. Mix in a blender and enjoy! If you are feeling adventurous, think about adding a pinch of flax seed to the mix. It will complement the smoothie by adding some additional fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Be Smart About Chocolate
If youre going to indulge in chocolate, do it the right way. According to Reader's Digest, dark chocolate is acceptable in moderation. There are various trail mix packages that contain small amounts of chocolate. When enjoying a chocolate trail mix treat, make sure to buy it unsalted and read the correct serving size on the back. Dont attempt to be clever and pick out more chocolate than nuts. You are only cheating yourself!
Low fat frozen fudge bars are also a useful treat. They have all the rich, creamy taste of chocolate at only about 80 calories.
String cheese is not just a useful food to shove into your kids lunch box. Its also a practical adult snack, packaged for you into the correct serving size.
String cheese snacks are only about 80 calories, and they contain a good deal of protein. If, however, the idea of peeling your food doesnt wet your appetite, consider Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Light cheese. Like string cheese, Babybel is portable. It can be served with fruit and crackers, and is capable of providing about 20 percent of your recommended daily calcium intake.
Eat Whole Grain
When looking for food at the grocery store, it is important to buy whole grain when you can. Whole grain foods contain fiber, B vitamins, iron and magnesium, among other things. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in addition to reducing your risk of developing many chronic diseases, whole grain products may help with losing weight and lowering cholesterol levels.