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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.

  • Take time to enjoy your food.

    Try using a smaller plate, bowl, or glass while you slowly eat your snack.

  • Try to 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.

    For example, 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.

  • 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.

Eat your meals and snacks at the same time each day. Overall, try to eat a wide range of foods. Spread carbohydrates all through the day. This will give you a ready supply of energy and help control your blood sugar.

Credits

Current as of: April 13, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Colleen O'Connor PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian

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