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Diabetes: Healthy snacks to keep your sugar levels in check

From refreshing fruits, gut-healing probiotics to protein-rich mini-meals, Gut health expert and nutritionist Avantii Deshpaande suggests some healthy snacks that people with diabetes can incorporate in their diet easily.

Living with diabetes requires careful and healthy meal planning that keeps one's blood sugar levels controlled and inflammation in check. Balancing your diet with the right amounts of protein, carbs, vitamins and healthy fats could make one feel satiated as well as active and sharp during the day. Once you decide the basic structure of your meals, it is also crucial to think in advance about snack time. (Also read | Diabetes: Signs of poor blood sugar control in everyday life)

Many people may give in to sudden cravings in between the meals and that could result in a spike in blood sugar levels. From refreshing fruits, gut-healing probiotics to protein-rich snacks, Gut health expert and nutritionist Avantii Deshpaande suggests some healthy snacks that people with diabetes can incorporate in their diet easily.

"Keeping the blood sugar in range as indicated by the doctor might be tough at times because not just lifestyle changes in terms of diet and exercise but also stress management and sleep strategies play a vital role. In order to manage better sugar control and prevent the spikes it is recommended to eat a healthy plate, including protein in every meal, including 5 serves of fruits and vegetables, focusing on hydration, reducing simple sugars and processed foods," says Deshpaande.

The nutritionist also suggested some quick and easy ideas one can try during the snack time:

1. Protein snacks

Dry snacks: This is the best way to avoid the spikes and still feel satiated. So along with your cup of sugar-free chai you can surely munch on some handy snacks like Makhanas, Moong Khakras, namkeen made with dry fruits like almonds, roasted chana, or peanuts.

Another great way to manage your snack time is making small bags or packets of nuts like almonds, walnuts seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and a few dry fruits like dry figs. Apricots, dates, and black raisins.

Small fresh snacks: Easy to make dal chillas, sprouts chaat, paneer or tofu cutlets, homemade dhokla, methi or palak paratha, or egg omelettes are great options to serve as 4 pm snack ideas, which will keep you full until the dinner time.

2. Healthy sweets

Yes, that's right. Not all desserts or sweets spike insulin levels. Sweets prepared from good fats like nuts and seeds and sweetened with natural sweeteners like dates or dry figs will satiate your sweet tooth without causing any rise in glucose levels. The best part is that it will keep you fuller for a longer time and to add to it the happiness of eating a sweet. So, a tiny-size dry fruits ladoo made with jaggery or dates is the best choice. But be sure it is a nut-based sweet as the good fats are something most important to avoid a spike.

3. Daily dose of probiotics

Diabetes is caused due to inflammation. Gut-healing bacteria are an excellent source for reducing inflammation. Curds contain lactobacilli which act as probiotics. So, for a snack having a small pack of Greek yogurt or homemade curds with fruit is an excellent idea. Make sure there is no extra sugar added

4. Don’t just have fruit as a snack

Fruits are good prebiotics and snack time is a good time for fruits. However, instead of having fruit independently, combine it with a protein source like curds, nut butter, or just a fistful of almonds. This will ensure there are no sudden sugar rises in case the fruit is overripe. There is no limitation to any fruit as long as you combine it in this way.

5. Repeat your healthy breakfast

To ensure you don’t overeat at dinner time, especially for office goers carry a small portion of the breakfast prepared in the morning and have it during this time. In fact, having overnight oats is a brilliant idea at snack time. It's nourishing and filling too.

"A diabetic person really feels lost as to which is the best snack so, make most of the snack choices suggested and see the difference in your sugar readings," concludes Avantii Deshpaande.

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