Living with diabetes requires a careful and healthy meal plan that regulates one’s blood sugar levels and controls inflammation. Balancing your diet with the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and healthy fats can keep a person feeling satisfied and active and sharp throughout the day. Once you’ve decided on the basic structure of your meals, it’s also important to think ahead about snack time. (Also read | Diabetes: Signs of poor blood sugar control in everyday life)
Many people may give in to sudden cravings between meals and that can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. From refreshing fruits, gut-healing probiotics to protein-rich snacks, gut health expert and nutritionist Avanti Deshpande suggests some healthy snacks that people with diabetes can easily incorporate into their diet.
“Keeping blood sugar within the range prescribed by doctors can sometimes be difficult because not only lifestyle changes in terms of diet and exercise, but also stress management and sleep strategies play an important role. To maintain good sugar control and prevent spikes it is recommended to eat a healthy plate with protein at every meal, including 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, Focusing on hydration, reducing simple sugars and refined foods,” says Deshpande.
Nutritionists also suggest some quick and easy ideas to try at snack time:
1. Protein snacks
Dry snacks: This is the best way to avoid spikes and still feel satisfied. So along with your cup of sugar free chai you can definitely have some handy snacks like Makhanas, Moong Khakras, Namkeen made from dry fruits like almonds, roasted chana or peanuts.
Another great way to manage your snack time is to make small bags or packets of nuts like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and some dry fruits like dried figs. Apricots, dates and black raisins.
Small Fresh Snacks: Easy to prepare dal chillas, sprout chaat, paneer or tofu cutlets, homemade dhokla, methi or palak paratha or egg omelettes are great options to serve as 4pm snacks that will keep you full till dinner time.
2. Healthy desserts
Yes that’s right. Not all sweets or desserts raise insulin levels. Sweets made with good fats like nuts and seeds and sweetened with natural sweeteners like dates or dried figs will satisfy your sweet tooth without any spike in glucose levels. The best part is that it keeps you full for a long time and gives you the pleasure of eating sweets. Hence, small sized dry fruits ladoos made from jaggery or dates are the best choice. But make sure it’s a nut-based dessert because good fats are key to avoiding a spike.
3. Daily dose of probiotics
Diabetes is caused by inflammation. Gut healing bacteria are an excellent source for reducing inflammation. Yogurt contains lactobacilli, which act as probiotics. So, for a snack, having a small pack of Greek yogurt or homemade yogurt with fruit is a good idea. Make sure there is no added sugar
4. Don’t just snack on fruit
Fruits are great prebiotics and snack time is a great time for fruit. However, instead of having fruit on its own, combine it with a protein source like yogurt, nut butter or just a handful of almonds. This ensures that there is no sudden sugar spike when the fruit is overripe. There is no limit to any fruit as long as you combine it this way.
5. Repeat your healthy breakfast
To ensure that you don’t overeat at lunch time, especially office goers take a small portion of breakfast prepared in the morning and eat it at this time. In fact, eating overnight oats is a wonderful idea at snack time. It is also nourishing and filling.
“What is the best snack for a diabetic is really lost, so make more of the suggested snack choices and see the difference in your sugar readings,” concludes Avanti Deshpande.
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