All About Snacking with Type 2 Diabetes
The definition of a snack is: "a small bit of food between meals." This begs the question - what constitutes a small bit of food? Typically, we say to limit snacks to 200 calories or less.The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that you make snacks "nutrient rich, mini meals" that will not exceed your daily calorie budget. Snacking with Type 2 diabetes can be especially tricky because not only are you managing calories for weight purposes, you also need to snack in a way that doesn't negatively impact blood sugars.
Ideal snacking will depend on your lifestyle, blood sugar patterns, and medications. If you do need a snack, it's probably best to limit snacks to about 15-30g of carbohydrates and make sure that the snacks contain protein and fiber. The exact timing of snacks and amount of carbohydrates will vary from person to person.
How Do You Know if You Need a Snack?
Your Blood Sugar is Low: Are you feeling shaking, sweaty or disoriented between meals? This may mean that you blood sugar is too low. Certain medications can put you at increased risk of having a low blood sugar - and if you delay or skip a meal, or don't eat enough carbohydrate at a meal your blood sugar can drop. A low blood sugar is considered anything less than 70mg/dL (some people can have symptoms at higher levels). When you feel "funny" or symptomatic, you should test your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is low, you will want to treat it with 15g of fast acting carbohydrate: 3-4 glucose tablets, 4oz of juice (1 small juice box), 8oz of skim milk, and then re-test to make sure it has inc Continue reading