Frequent snacking often gets frowned upon. If you have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, incorporating healthy snacks into your daily routine can be a great way to maintain blood sugar levels in a healthy spectrum and energy levels at an all-time high. So, what are the best snacks for low blood sugar?
Balanced meal plan
Keeping your blood sugar stabilized is often an overlooked determinant in maintaining your overall health. Even more so if you have type 2 diabetes because blood sugar management can prevent severe complications.
We tend to assume that snacking will lead to overeating and weight gain. Well, the complete opposite is true.
When you make sure to eat every 3-3.5 hours, you prevent your blood sugar from dipping.
Low blood sugar will make you feel cranky, exhausted, unfocused, and stands a higher chance of triggering you to overeat during your next meal. Ultimately, snacks will help keep your blood sugar in check, which is the essential factor!
In truth, the ideal diabetic diet is a nutritionally-balanced meal program with the sole aim of maintaining blood sugar levels within a stable range and establishing a healthy weight.
Three nutrient-rich meals and two daily snacks are the optimal amount of food for managing type 2 diabetes.
Make sure to measure blood glucose levels before, during, and after meals.
Apart from being a quintessential part of diabetes management, this will help you become a bit savvier about the impact that foods, mainly carbs, can have on your blood sugar levels. That way, you can individualize and tweak your future meal plans.
Glycemic index vs. glycemic load
Understanding the difference between what glycemic index is versus what the glycemic load is will help you consume the correct type and quantity of carbohydrates suitable for your daily activity level or mealtime.
What is the Glycemic Index (GI)?
Your insulin and blood sugar levels depend significantly on the types of carbohydrates you consume. Simple carbohydrates are released at a faster rate than complex carbs into the bloodstream. The more quickly the carbohydrate is discharged into the bloodstream, the higher the insulin and blood sugar levels will be.
Therefore, the Glycemic Index shows the rates at which particular carbohydrates are transformed into glucose and delivered into the bloodstream. The quicker the glucose is delivered into the bloodstream, the more insulin will be secreted by the body in response.
What is the Glycemic Load (GL)?
The Glycemic Load is a more precise way to compare carbohydrates because it not only takes into account the food's glycemic index but additionally it considers the number of carbohydrates per meal or serving.
For instance, watermelon is low in carbohydrates, has a high glycemic index, but a low glycemic load. That is because even though it contains quite a lot of carbs, you will probably not eat enough of it at one sitting to ruin your blood sugar levels.
You can calculate the glycemic load using the glycemic index number and multiplying it by the number of carbohydrate grams in the serving of food that you're preparing, and then dividing that figure by 100.
By taking into account the glycemic load, you won't have to eliminate watermelon and other high-glycemic-index foods from your diet.
Six Best Snacks for Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia or blood sugar levels drop a couple of hours after a meal. Eating a snack to prevent blood sugar fluctuations can help ward off unwanted symptoms.
Avoid snacks that contain refined sugar, which can raise your blood sugar levels increasingly fast but then also can produce a rapid drop.
Similarly, it's recommended that caffeine and alcohol be avoided for type 2 diabetics, although we wouldn't consider them snacks, would we?
Furthermore, fiber, protein, and healthy fats can help to stabilize blood sugars.
Nevertheless, we've collated a list of the best snacks for people with type 2 diabetes. Hopefully, this will help you get an idea of what snacks you can add to your weekly meal plan. And don't worry, healthy snacks don't have to be boring, as you'll see below. It's all about finding the snacks that you enjoy eating and sit well with your body.
Hummus & Veg
Hummus has fast become one of the most popular snack foods around and is ideal for people with type 2 diabetes. Both vegetables and hummus are excellent sources of fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
Hummus is a smooth spread made from chickpeas, naturally low in sugar and low-fat. It tastes fantastic when paired with raw veggies like carrots or celery.
Moreover, hummus contains lots of protein, with approximately 3 grams per tablespoon. All of these features can help with blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Air-popped popcorn is often championed as one of the all-time favorite and best snacks for people with diabetes.
It's preferable for you to air-pop your popcorn instead of purchasing it from the store ready-made. Most store-bought packs contain large amounts of trans fats, salt, and other unhealthy ingredients.
Popcorn without added butter, oil, or salt is a much better choice when it comes to a diabetes-friendly snack.
Nuts are a great snack for people with diabetes or hypoglycemia. They contain several key elements that help to slow the absorption of glucose.
Nuts are also high in fats, fiber, and protein, all of which increase the time-frame required to breakdown and assimilate glucose in the body.
Another bonus is that nuts are easily portable! Meaning you can carry them around in your bag for a quick snack and go about your daily routine.
Keep in mind that they are high in calories, so eat in moderation.
Boiled eggs have almost no carbohydrate content making them an ideal snack for people with type 2 diabetes. They won’t spike your blood sugar levels and will help keep you satiated.
Boiled eggs are a super simple snack, but frequently their snack-value flies under the radar. Let’s change that!
The great thing about using boiled eggs as snacks is that they can be customized to your taste. For example, you could add two slices of tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil for enhanced flavors, fiber, and healthy fats, or make some deviled eggs for a fun treat.
Natural Yogurt and Fruit
Last on our list is one of our favorite snacks for that mid-morning slump.
Natural yogurt that doesn't contain any added sugar can supply a hearty amount of protein and fats. You can then add your choice of fresh fruit for fiber and satiety.
Yogurt bowls with fruit are a great snack that will deliver carbohydrates for energy and protein, fat, and fiber to help slow glucose metabolism.
The Bottom Line
Snacks are a great way to keep your blood glucose levels regulated in between meals. The best part about snacks is that you can always mix them up!
Don't fancy nuts? How about some sliced vegetables and a spoon of nut butter? That might do the trick!
Get creative. It's all about creating healthy snacks that you enjoy while managing your blood glucose levels with tasty treats.