Case of Bob
“You have diabetes.”
The words needled in Bob’s brain as his doctor handed him a prescription for Metformin, advised him to monitor his blood sugar regularly and provided him dietary guidelines to follow.
“Now what?” Bob’s mind reeled, “I wasn’t sure what disturbed me more – knowing that I had diabetes or having to give up all my favorite snacks that I loved to eat while watching TV.” Then he lamented, “No more tubs of buttery popcorn, quarts of premium chocolate ice cream or homemade chocolate chip cookies. As a true connoisseur of snacks, or “snackoisseur” as Bob dubbed himself, he now faced making big changes in his snack choices. Finding satisfying snacks for diabetics loomed as the biggest challenge.
In a panic, Bob drove to the drugstore to pick up his prescription and buy a glucometer to measure his blood sugar. Afterward, his hands fumbled as he nervously read the operating instruction in his favorite chair in front of the TV. Mind you, this was the same chair where he often comforted himself with rich, sugary goodies after a hard day at work. “All my bad habits had come to this.” he lamented. “No more huge portions, no more decadent treats.”
Bob embarked on his own investigative assignment to find healthy but tasty snacks for diabetics. First, he needed to learn about portion control and balancing carbs with lean proteins. Then he needed to research foods that measured low on the glycemic index. Most importantly, he needed to develop a new relationship with foods, particularly his beloved snacks.
After a few fumbles and relapses, Bob eventually perfected his list of acceptable snacks for diabetics that had to meet his “snackoisseur” standards. He also wrote short mantras to help him change his attitude towards snacks.
Fruit for Thought
Fruits head the list of snacks for diabetics. However, since fruits contain mostly carbohydrates, it’s wise to pair each serving of fruit with some lean protein. The brain thrives from the quick energy from fruit plus the slower burning fuel from protein.
- Apple slices and peanut butter
Dollop a swirl of creamy or crunchy peanut butter or almond butter over slices of one apple.
- Sliced fresh peaches and nut milk of your choice
Refrigerate the peaches, slice one into a bowl, and add cold nut milk of your choice along with one tablespoon of chia seeds. Let sit in the refrigerator for one hour – enjoy a delicious pudding!
- Chilled cantaloupe and cottage cheese
Cut the cantaloupe in half and fill the center with cottage cheese– very satisfying.
- Frozen grapes and string cheese
Wash and stem fresh grapes, then freeze overnight – better than popsicles.
- Berries with Greek yogurt
For a luxurious parfait, layer Trader Joe’s Very Cherry Blend with plain Greek yogurt.
- Apple sauce on high-fiber bread.
For a hearty snack, spread low-fat cream cheese on Ezekiel brand high-fiber bread and top with apple sauce. Check out these flavored Applesauce Crushers from Trader Joe’s.
You Cracker Me Up
Aged to perfection, natural cheese atop a crispy cracker rates as one of life’s true pleasures. Here are crackers for diabetic food plans which make great diabetic snacks. Remember to mind the serving size! For an excellent gluten-free-crunch experience, check out Trader Joe’s Norwegian crispbreads which yield 7 net carbs per cracker (the size of a slice of bread).
Here are three top choices for low fat cheeses.
This fine cheese maker offers a wide variety of flavorful cheeses with less fat.
- Laughing Cow
Oozing with Swiss flavor, this soft cheese spreads like butter.
Fluffy and smooth, Alouette spreadable cheeses offer a decadent delight.
Wine with that cheese
Choose a low-carb wine and follow these guidelines when consuming alcohol.
Living on the Veg
Tired of plain old celery and carrots? Veggies fit on any diet, but they serve as exceptional snacks for diabetics. So here are some ideas to add a little pizazz to those veggies.
- Top cucumber slices with bruschetta topping, hummus or cream cheese.
- Mix fresh riced cauliflower with diced cucumber, chopped onions, and bruschetta topping.
- Add broccoli slaw to tomato soup.
- Try these cauliflower bites from Atkins– a great hot appetizer.
- If you love guacamole and chips, try homemade guilt-free tortilla chips by baking a low-carb tortilla (La Tortilla Factory) until crunchy, then break into pieces.
Nuts About Chocolate
For many diabetics, life without chocolate seems unthinkable. However, there are plenty of options that can serve as appropriate snacks for diabetics. Adding a few nuts not only enhances the chocolate but helps to balance the carbohydrates.
- Hershey’s Sugar Free mini chocolate bars offer full flavor, variety and portion control. Melt one in your mouth slowly for a rich chocolate experience.
- Lily’s Dark Chocolate Bars offer a dark chocolate experience without aspartame or sugar alcohols since they are sweetened with stevia.
- Carb Smart Ice Cream bars live up to the Breyer’s reputation. They resemble those nostalgic ice-cream bars sold on ice-cream trucks when you were a kid.
- Nomu Skinny Hot Chocolate warms your heart on those cold winter nights.
- Save room for dessert with this easy-make cheesecake. Place a layer of chopped walnuts in a small bowl, top with Trader Joe’s light whipped cream cheese mixed with your favorite low-cal sweetener and vanilla flavoring. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- For portion-controlled on-the-go snacks, check out Blue Diamond Lightly Salted Almonds or Planters’ Salted Cashews.
After a year choosing healthy snacks for diabetics and following sensible portion-control guidelines at meals, Bob lost nearly 100 pounds and the need for his glucometer. His doctor not only reported that his blood-sugar levels and A1C were within normal range, his entire blood panel looked great. Although not everyone will be as lucky as Bob in reversing diabetes, every diabetic can learn to live a healthy lifestyle.
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