If you're living with diabetes in India, you're not alone. While the forecast is pretty grim across Southeast Asia, know that Type 2 diabetes is a very common lifestyle condition that's can be managed by adopting a healthy diabetic eating plan. And if you're big on snacking, having diabetes doesn't mean forgoing all the fun foods. You only need to choose the right kind of snack to ensure good diabetes care.
Eating small meals, monitoring glucose levels, avoiding processed foods — you know the drill on that. But how do you find the perfect snack for your diet plan? What is the right combination of protein, fats and carbohydrates to fuel your day? Read on to get started.
Snack for the Right Reasons
Snacking is typically more due to habit than hunger. You snack when you're bored, angry, overjoyed or even surrounded by amiable company at different social events. If you're not keeping tabs on your snack intake, it's easy to go overboard. Sure, a bag of chips or a handful of namkeen can seem insignificant, but the impact on your diabetes care plan is huge.
That said, managing diabetes doesn't mean banning your favourite finger foods. Instead, strive to make healthier food choices and eat only when you're hungry.
Make Health a Priority
One way of ensuring that you're on top of your diabetes diet plan is by indulging in a healthy, timely snack to fuel your body with energy and essential nutrients. Diabetics feel hungry more frequently and more severely than others, so ignoring hunger pangs is not always advisable. Instead go for healthier option like a steamed sprouts salad topped generously with chopped cucumber, cottage cheese and tomatoes. You can also include boiled kala chana or beans with one tablespoon of lemon juice. A bowl of yogurt with raw vegetables is an equally filling and healthy option. Add celery, carrots, broccoli and tomatoes to make the dish delicious and rich in protein and calcium.
Smoothies are yet another healthy option that will tingle your taste buds, and they're easy to make. Pick fresh fruits and vegetables, such as spinach, amla or cucumber, and add refreshing coconut water to the mix. Add five to six soaked almonds and one or two walnuts for extra protein, and you're good to go. Other light snacks, such as oats idli or homemade dhokla, ensure that you'll stave off those hunger pangs.
And what about that post-meal pick-me-up? Well, working desserts into your diabetes eating plan is easy as pie! Custard apple kheer with jaggery (gur) and coconut milk is a pure delight, as is ragi coconut laddu, which is all ragi flour, coconut, jaggery and crunchy peanuts.
Manage Your Snacking Deliberately
Now that you have plenty of snacking options that won't add too many carbohydrates and calories to your diet, you should be able to regulate your daily snack intake. Here's what to note when adding snacks to your meal plan:
- Control portion sizes to measure your snack intake.
- Plan at least two snacks each day to avoid impulsive snacking.
- Count the nutritional value of your snacks toward your overall diabetes care plan.
- Keep fruits and nuts in your bag for healthy on-the-go snack options.
- Consult your doctor or dietician for snacking suggestions tailored to your condition.
Thoughtful snacking decisions can take you a long way and make your life healthy and happy. For a guilt-free way to power through your day, try munching on fresh fruits and vegetables, or even popcorn. Having the right options available when hunger strikes means you'll be more likely to make a healthy snacking decision.
Disclaimer: This publication/article/editorial is meant for awareness/educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation of any Products. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.