Diabetic smart snacking helps you burn fat and lose weight. That is because eating burns calories. From 5% to 15% of your daily energy is spent digesting and storing the food you eat.
The word for this energy burn is thermogenesis, the production of heat. A calorie is a unit of heat. That's why we say we are burning calories when we are physically active or while we are sleeping.
Plan Your Snacks
Thermogenesis is not magic. Diabetic smart snacking involves some planning so that the snacks are low in calories. An average range of less than 150 calories is very good for diabetic smart snacking.
It also helps if the snacks have protein and fat in them to balance out any carbohydrates. That way your blood sugar will rise more slowly, and insulin will have a chance to keep up.
Low Fat Doesn't Mean Low Calorie
Beware of so-called low fat foods. They make you think you can eat more because of the low fat label, but as a rule those foods aren't much lower in calories than their non-low-fat cousins.
The only exception to that rule is low fat substitutes for dressings and oils. The low fat versions are often less than half the calories of high fat dressings.
Never eat straight from the bag, unless it's a single serving bag. Also, if you think you are truly hungry and nothing appeals to you except a candy bar, that's a clue that you aren't really hungry.
If you are having an attack of hypoglycemia don't eat until you are full. One cup (8 ounces) of fruit juice
or four LifeSavers or half a can of sugary soda or one small banana will bring your sugar back up.
Hypoglycemia is always unexpected, so don't overreact and eat too much. That's a diabetic diet breaker, and you will have an hyperglycemic response.
Diabetic Smart Snacks
Want some diabetic smart snacking ideas? Here are a few great ones.
Almonds, dry roasted or uncooked, are a good source of fiber and protein, good fats and magnesium. One almond is 7 calories, so count out how many you will need and put them in small zip bags.
A handful of nuts, any kind, makes a great quick snack that's full of fiber and good fats.
Peanut butter is 90-100 calories in a tablespoon. Put it on celery for a quick snack that will stick with you. The protein and good fat in natural supplements
peanut butter has staying power, and there is no added sugar.
One-half cup of 2% cottage cheese is 97 calories. Have it with bell peppers or slices of tomato.
How about one-half cup of plain yogurt (68 calories) with some fresh strawberries? One cup of strawberry halves is 49 calories.
One large hard-boiled egg is 70 calories. It has no carbohydrates, and it's full of good protein and fat to stave off hunger.
Eat 80-calorie string cheese and a real rye cracker. Some are 60 calories each. Wasa and Ryvita have true rye grain, the lowest glycemic crackers with whole grain.
Try some hummus (garbanzo beans, sesame seed paste and olive oil) with any bright colored vegetable you like. There's broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, snap peas and bell pepper strips just to start.
For a super low calorie snack in cold weather, have a cup of warm vegetable soup. Make your own with colorful low glycemic vegetables simmered in a vegetable or chicken broth. It's really good and low carb too.
Freeze some grapes. There are 100 calories in 20 red seedless grapes, and eating them frozen makes them a real treat.
Eat an apple with the skin (one small apple is 70 calories), a small orange (45 calories) or a small pear (80 calories). It's a feast of antioxidants, natural sweetness and fiber.
If fresh cherries are in season, have a bowl full. They are only 5 calories each, they are full of antioxidants, and they actually encourage your body to burn fat.
You can find a frozen fudge bar that is less than 80 calories, and it's not even sugar free.
If you are craving a high calorie candy bar, improvise. One Dove dark chocolate Promises piece is 42 calories. Eat it with 4 or 5 almonds and get the same satisfaction. Plus dark chocolate has antioxidants, and so do almonds. Bonus!
Microwave popcorn comes in individual size portions now, so you can watch a movie and eat a whole bag. Look at the calorie counts and pick the box you want.
FiberOne makes a 90-calorie brownie that is delicious, and it adds to your fiber count too.
Diabetic smart snacking is simple. All you have to do is plan for your snacks and add their calories into your overall healthy eating goal for each day. If you love to snack at night, plan for it and you won't feel guilty.
If you know you get hungry between lunch and suppertime, have something ready and you won't raid the snack dispenser at work or the fridge at home.
You are an individual, and you know what will work for you and what will not. Some diabetics are happy with three meals a day, and that's fine. But some of us love snacking. We're the ones who need diabetic smart snacking ideas.
I hope these suggestions encourage you to make your own diabetic smart snacking list.