5 Tips for Smart Snacking with Diabetes
December 21, 2016
By Liza Resurreccion
Liza Resurreccion joined Medtronic Diabetes in 2006 as a Diabetes Clinical Manager in Philadelphia, PA, where she worked directly with patients and healthcare providers. She enjoyed training patients on insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems, helping them to achieve better diabetes management. In 2010, Liza joined the Clinical Education team at Medtronic Diabetes in Northridge, CA, providing clinical input and training strategies for our pump and CGM products.
Finding yourself reaching for that mouth-watering cookie, sugary candy bar, or bag of greasy chips when cravings hit? Don’t let hunger strikes derail your diabetes meal plan. Healthy snacks can help optimize your blood glucose control, support your overall diabetes diet, provide you with a boost of energy, and help you avoid overeating. The number of snacks you eat and when you eat them depends on your diabetes management and meal plan needs. Here are 5 tips for smart snacking that you may find helpful.
1. Know How Carbs Affect You
Smart snacking begins with understanding how your body reacts to insulin and carbohydrates. It’s important to be aware of the type and amount of carbohydrates you’re eating to avoid potentially dangerous spikes or drops in blood glucose. Carbs that may cause a larger spike in blood glucose than other carbs include high glycemic-index foods such as regular soda, candy bars, and white-flour pasta and bread. Don’t forget to count the amount of carbohydrates in your snack in your overall meal plan and bolus accordingly.
2. Plan Ahead
Resist the urge to run to the nearest vending machine or stop at the nearest fast food place. Prevent hunger strikes by preparing a healthful snack to carry with you at work, in the car, in your purse, or in your bag. Not only will preparing your healthful snacks help manage your glucose levels, you’ll also do good for your wallet and waistline. If easy-to-find snacks are too hard to resist, make them less readily available. Stock up on healthful options, such as raw almonds, hard boiled eggs, and blueberries, keep raw-cut vegetables in your fridge (you’re more likely to grab them if they’re ready to eat– try with a low-fat dip on the side), and avoid buying unhealthful snacks that are high in calories, sodium, and fat, such as chips and cookies. If there’s always food around at work, prevent mindless snacking by taking a break elsewhere or eating your prepared healthy snack.
3. Choose the Right Snacks
Look for snacks that help you achieve your targeted daily calorie and carbohydrate goals while meeting your personal taste preference. Unless you’re experiencing a low blood sugar, healthful snacks should be a combination of protein and carbs, such as an apple with peanut butter, whole grain crackers with low-fat cheese, and low-fat cottage cheese that won’t cause spikes in your blood sugar and will keep you full longer. An apple or orange, three cups of popcorn, a hard-boiled egg, or 15 almonds are just a few examples of healthful snack options.
4. Mind your Portions
Portion control is key, and without it, those light bites may end up having as many calories as a meal, wreaking havoc on your blood sugar and contributing to weight gain. Pre-packaged individual sized-snacks can help you keep portions in check, and if you purchase foods in bulk, measure out single servings using measuring cups and spoons into a baggie for individual sized portions. Be sure to check labels on pre-packaged foods, as some bags may have more than one serving size, and low-fat or fat-free foods may have added sugar and salt to make up for flavor.
5. Snack Mindfully
Think before you eat. Are you actually hungry, or are you bored? Munching mindlessly out of boredom or in front of the TV is an assured way to gain unnecessary pounds and interrupt your meal plan and diabetes management goals. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat your favorite snacks in front of the TV. Just be sure to choose a healthy option that’s an individual serving size.
Have you thought about trying an insulin pump and CGM system to manage your blood sugar? Now could be the right time. Purchasing the MiniMed 630G system now will put you among first in line for the MiniMed 670G system, the world’s first hybrid closed loop system. Through our Priority Access program from the MiniMed 630G to the MiniMed 670G system, you will have the opportunity to get used to the new MiniMed pump platform. The upgrade from also be as little as $0 for those who qualify (restrictions may apply). To learn more, please visit: http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/products/priority-access
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
The Medtronic MiniMed 670G system requires a prescription and is intended for continuous delivery of basal insulin (at user selectable rates) and administration of insulin boluses (in user selectable amounts) for the management of type 1 diabetes mellitus in persons, fourteen years of age and older, requiring insulin as well as for the continuous monitoring and trending of glucose levels in the fluid under the skin.
WARNING: Medtronic performed an evaluation of the MiniMed 670G system and determined that it may not be safe for use in children under the age of 7 because of the way that the system is designed and the daily insulin requirements. Therefore this device should not be used in anyone under the age of 7 years old. This device should also not be used in patients who require less than a total daily insulin dose of 8 units per day because the device requires a minimum of 8 units per day to operate safely.