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Quick Tips: Smart Snacking When You Have Diabetes

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Follow your body's hunger and fullness signals. Smart snacking can help you keep your blood sugar levels stable, especially if you are taking medicine for diabetes.

Try these tips:

  • Enjoy eating the right portion. Try using a smaller plate, bowl, or glass while you slowly eat your snack.
  • Make healthy choices. Eat a piece of fresh fruit. Or combine that fruit with some protein, such as a small apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter. Or try dipping your fruit in some light yogurt.
  • Be prepared. Keep cut-up raw vegetables in your refrigerator. If these are ready to eat, you're more likely to grab them than something else. Try a low-fat dip on the side.
  • Eat nuts. Try a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pecans. These treats each have less than 15 grams of carbohydrate.
  • Choose filling foods that can satisfy your hunger without a lot of calories. Try a hard-boiled egg or an ounce of reduced-fat cheese, such as string cheese.
  • Skip high-fat dips. Instead, mix plain yogurt, fat-free mayonnaise, cottage cheese, or fat-free sour cream with a small amount of dry soup mix. Or try a bean dip made with fat-free refried beans, topped with salsa.
  • Get more fiber. Put that turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread. Mix wheat germ into yogurt or sprinkle it on salads. Choose whole-grain breads and cereals.
  • Try something new. Make a pita pizza with a piece of whole wheat pita bread, tomato sauce, and a sprinkling of reduced-fat cheese. Top with sliced zucchini or mushrooms. Bake until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

And remember:

  • Don't eat out of the bag or box. Take a single serving, and eat from a plate or bowl. It's easy to eat more than you need or want when the bag is open in front of you.
  • Don't buy snacks that aren't healthy choices. If unhealthy snacks aren't around, you won't eat them.
  • Keep an eye on the nutrition facts label, especially in low-fat or fat-free foods. To make up for flavor, sugar and salt is often added when fat is taken out.

Other Places To Get Help

Organizations

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Eat Right (U.S.)
Web Address: www.eatright.org

American Diabetes Association (ADA)
Web Address: www.diabetes.org

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Current as of June 4, 2014

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