Nov 09, 2017

There’s nothing wrong with munching between meals

The world of healthy eating has had mixed opinions about snacking over the years.  To snack or not to snack…that seems to be the overarching question.

But snacks can play an important role in your diet and can be enjoyed as part of a healthy eating plan.  If nothing else, a snack can help to decrease your hunger and prevent you from overeating at mealtimes.  And of course, there’s the bonus of the extra energy in the middle of the day, thanks to a healthy snack.

To keep those energy levels going, it’s fairly well documented that you should eat every four to six hours.  This is particularly true for people with diabetes who should not go longer than five hours without food, especially if you are looking to optimise blood glucose control.  Eating meals that are evenly spaced throughout the day and working on a plan to eat the same amount of carbohydrate at the same time every day will also help to keep blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible.

So is regular snacking during the day a good option for people with type 2 diabetes?  The chances are that you will already be following a regular, well-documented meal plan.  And, if this hasn’t already incorporated one or two healthy snacks a day, maybe now is the time to add them in.  As with your main meals, snacks should count towards your daily calorie and carbohydrate goals; a diabetes-friendly snack should contain 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates and between 100 to 200 calories.

And the good news is, you don’t have to stick to snacks labelled as ‘diabetic’.  There is an abundance of diabetic-friendly, healthy eating snack ideas out there that you can quickly and easily make at home.  The key is to plan your favourite snacks in advance so that they fit into your overall weekly diet. And don’t forget to keep an eye on your portion sizes. 

Here are some great ideas for smart snacking that will not only satisfy your hunger, but are low in fat and sugar meaning they will not have a huge effect on your blood glucose level:

  • Celery and peanut butter
  • Apple and cheese
  • Full-fat yoghurt with berries
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Carrot sticks and humous
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Deli meats with mustard
  • Tzatziki
  • Bread sticks or crackers
  • A selection of fruit

Although snacks are a great way to recharge those batteries during the day, as well as helping to manage blood glucose levels, you should be careful not to snack for the sake of it.  Regularly eating a snack just before a meal could result in overeating.  And snacking out of boredom will often mean choosing the wrong choice of snack; both of which are likely to mean you eat too many calories, resulting in a long-term weight gain.

Ideally snacks should not be used in place of main meals, but added as part of a healthy diet.  As long as you choose a good balance of healthy food over a week, and don’t consume too many calories on a daily basis, there is no shame to enjoying a snack.  In fact, the benefits of snacking to energy levels and blood glucose control can outweigh the negative chances of weight gain if they are properly managed and well planned.

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes and would like to know a little more about how to manage your condition, then register for a free account at today where you can also view hints and tips on energy-boosting recipes and exercise routines…great for at home or in the workplace.

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