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5 Tasty Snacks If You Have Diabetes
Plus: Celebrate a World of Flavors for National Nutrition Month in March
When it comes to snacking, I recommend looking for something delicious and satisfying, typically a carbohydrate combined with a healthy fat or protein. For individuals managing diabetes, the type of snack I suggest also takes into consideration what activity they might be doing before or after the snack, or even blood glucose levels or medication regimens. Snacks should be personalized, but here are a few of my favorite snacks that are delicious and nutritious for those managing diabetes. What are your favorite snacks? Share with us in the comments.
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Many of my clients managing diabetes shy away from eating some fruits because they are concerned about increasing their blood glucose (sugar) levels. Berries are great choices not only because they delicious but also because volume-wise someone with diabetes can eat more berries for a smaller amount of total carbohydrates.
Raspberries are often overlooked, but one cup of the berries provides 8 grams of dietary fiber (great for digestive and cardiovascular health) and only 15 grams of total carbohydrates! Top fresh raspberries with a dollop of Greek yogurt for a sweet midday snack or simply eat the berries with a small slice of cheese or a few nuts for a more filling option.
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Pistachios are a fantastic snack option because they are a satisfying source of plant-based protein. A serving will provide you with 6 grams of protein, and contains over 30 vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. I like to suggest shelled pistachios because the process of unshelling the nuts creates a mindful snacking process, and the shells are actually a great visual cue for how much you’ve eaten. A serving of pistachios is 50 shelled nuts, so it gives you lots of snacking satisfaction. If you need a little flavor consider trying one of the seasoned shelled versions and mix with plain shelled pistachios, if you need to watch your sodium intake.
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Popcorn is one of my favorite whole grain snacks. It provides dietary fiber and three cups is considered one serving from the grain group. Air-popped popcorn has only about 30 calories per cup, while oil-popped popcorn contains about 35 calories per cup. Making popcorn at home allows you to control the amount of butter and salt added. Or season it with other herbs, spices or cheeses to create a different flavor.
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Looking for something that will satisfy your hunger for a longer stretch? Avocado toast is a great choice. The whole-grain toast paired with a healthy fat is the perfect combination for balancing blood glucose (sugar) and satisfying hunger. Make it a meal by adding extra protein with an egg and side-salad.
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There is nothing wrong with a simple vegetable platter and dip but if you’re looking for something portable and a way to elevate eating your vegetables, try spring rolls. Traditionally made spring rolls might be higher in carbohydrates but you can easily create a delicious lower carbohydrate version with a few modifications that will make a nutritious and delicious snack or appetizer.
Load your favorited julienned vegetables, herbs and even protein like shrimp or pork into rice paper wrappers for a portable snack. Omit rice noodles to keep these lower in carbohydrates. Pair with your favorite lower carbohydrate sauce for dipping, like this one. Individual spring rolls will vary in carbohydrate content, with the average around 12-17 grams per roll.
Did you know March is National Nutrition Month? This year's theme is Celebrate a World of Flavors! Throughout March, embrace the foods and flavors of your heritage and other global cultures.
What are some of your favorite flavors? Do you have particular foods of your heritage or other global cultures that you enjoy regularly?
There are so many ways to eat a healthy diet, let’s continue to celebrate that every day —not just during the month of March.
Learn more about #NationalNutritionMonth here.
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