Food Snacks for Type II Diabetic

Written by lisa m. russell
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When diagnosed with diabetes, you initially may feel doomed to life of salads and grilled chicken. Yet living with diabetes does not mean an end to snacks; in fact health professionals encourage snacks throughout your day. Manage your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar level via regulating your carbohydrate intake. Grouping snacks into 15g of carbohydrates will help you stay on a prescribed diabetic diet.

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Expert Insight

The American Diabetes Association recommends that 50 or 60 per cent of your daily caloric intake include carbohydrates. You may be surprised to discover the variety of foods you can include in your diabetic diet. Snacks are an essential part of your diabetic management plan.

"Carb counting is preferred by many people with diabetes because it can allow greater freedom of food choice than the dietary exchange system. With this method, every 15g of carbs are counted as one carbohydrate choice, with a predetermined number of choices allotted daily (as determined by an RD and based on caloric requirements)," according to the diabetes information website dLife.com. This allows for variety in meal planning, including snacks.

Types

Fruit, vegetables, protein and sweets can be portioned into 15 grams of carbohydrates. Dlife.com rated 25 of the lowest carb fruits. Watermelon came in as the lowest at 5.5g of carbs in a 1/2 cup serving. You can eat more than 1 cup of diced watermelon for a healthy diabetic snack. One cup of strawberries contains 13g of carbohydrates. Other sweet fruit snacks with a low carb count include cantaloupe, honeydew melon, avocado, peaches, blackberries, grapefruit, oranges, blueberries, raspberries, nectarines, clementines, papaya, plums, cherries, tangerines, kiwi and pineapple.

Vegetables fill you and add little to your carb count. Baby carrots and celery in 5 tbsp of hummus equal 15g of carbs. Celery can be loaded with 2 tsp of peanut butter or fat-free sour cream. Add salsa to everything: eggs, baked potato, low -fat whole wheat crackers or chips. Salsa contains about 15g of carbs, 80 calories, and 1g of fat. A small cup of low-sodium, low-fat vegetable soup is comforting and low in carbs. The lowest carb is the cucumber with 1/2 cup containing only 2 grams.

Misconceptions

One of the myths about diabetes is that you can never have sugar again. High sugar foods are not recommended as a food group, but everything in moderation. Many alternatives to our favourite sweets satisfy our natural desire for desert. However, sugar-free carbs and low-fat products may contain high levels of carbohydrates.

Low carb-high taste options include sugar-free Jell-O with whipped topping, cheesecake using sugar substitutes topped with fruit, sugar-free jam heated and poured over sugar-free ice cream or cheesecake, 15g of carbohydrates protein bars, sugar-free pudding, no-sugar-added ice cream or yoghurt.

Size

Measuring your food helps achieve a low-carb, high-protein diet. Invest in good measuring tools and a food scale. A small bedtime snack of cereal works well for diabetics, but a mixing-bowl-sized portion of cereal will be over the 15g carb guideline.

Healthy snacks eaten with abandon can spike your glucose levels. Portion your snacks in small bags or container ready to go.

Fruits also must be measured. An apple for instance has 25g of carbs, over the 15g rule for snacks. Other fruits higher in carbs include pears, bananas and grapes.

Prevention/Solution

Having the right kind of food prepared will stave off impulse snacking that will send your glucose level out of range. Remove foods from your pantry and fridge that you have trouble eating in moderation. Find substitutes for your food weaknesses. Eventually your tastes will change, and a large helping will not be an option as you feel better from your healthy food choices.

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