November is National Diabetes Month, and understanding how your body responds to sugar and snacking is super important.
Today, more and more of Americans are snacking. In fact, the lines between meals and snacks are starting to blur.
Being overweight and physical inactivity are the two most common causes of type 2 diabetes, which is 95% of diabetes cases.
Making healthy snack choices is super important, as 94% of Americans snack at least once a day and 50% do it two-three times a day.
The question remains – are your snacks making your blood sugar out of whack?
What you need to know
To choose healthy snacks that support a healthy blood sugar (not to mention a healthy body) look for the following:
- A source of fiber or produce (a fruit, veggie, whole grain, or beans/legumes)
- A source of protein (nut butter, beans, lentils, eggs, yogurt, chicken, turkey, seeds, nuts, etc)
- And/or a source of healthy fat in your snack (think nut butters, seeds, nuts, avocado)
Bottomline: when it comes to snacking, choose whole foods and combine protein, fiber, and healthy fats or at least mix two of these, so your blood sugar stays more even-keeled (not spiking and then crashing, as you see happen with soda or candy), leaving you cranky, still hungry, and eventually, light-headed.
Some healthy snacking options:
:: Strawberry-banana stackers: a dollop of natural nut butter sandwiched in-between a banana and strawberry slice
:: Nut butter on whole grain toast: 1 tablespoon of natural nut butter on whole-grain toast or half a whole-grain English muffin. Optional: top with ¼ cup berries or a few banana slices.
:: Yogurt & fruit: ½ cup plain unsweetened yogurt with ½ cup berries, topped with slivered almond slices
:: String cheese & fruit: 1 string cheese with any hand fruit (i.e., apple, orange, pear, plum, peach, orange)
:: Hummus & veggies: 2-4 tablespoons of hummus with veggie slices (carrots, celery, peppers, cucumbers)
:: A sweet potato: 1 small baked sweet potato (4 ounces aka the size of computer mouse) topped with a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt, salsa, and a sprinkling of cheese, if desired
:: Homemade trail mix: ½ cup of a whole grain cereal (any cereal >5 grams of fiber & <6 grams of sugar per serving) + 7 nuts + 4 dried apricots or apple rings
:: Nonfat cottage cheese and fruit: ¾ cups low-fat cottage cheese with 1/2 cup fruit
:: Salmon & whole grains: 2 ounces of smoked salmon on ½ English muffin, topped with a tomato and 1 tablespoon of hummus
:: A veggie burger: An a la carte veggie burger topped with 1 tablespoon of hummus and tomato slices
:: Eggs and fruit: 1 hardboiled egg + piece of fruit
:: Ricotta & cinnamon: ¼ cup part skim ricotta cheese in half a whole-grain pita with sliced apples and cinnamon
:: Nuts and cheese: 15 almonds + 1 string cheese + baby carrots
:: Smoothie: 1/2 cup non of low-fat Greek yogurt + 1 cup berries
:: Apple and nut butter: 1 tablespoon natural nut butter spread on a apple or small banana
:: Avocado toast: 1/2 an avocado spread on a whole-grain cracker or slice of whole-grain toast
Want even more snacking ideas?