FOODPICKER.ORG Subject: diabetes & munchies?

This week’s question for your nutrition blog:

From: Sara D. (e-mail not disclosed for privacy)
To: diabetes@foodpicker.org
Date: 5/14/2011
Subject: diabetes & munchies?

I have diabetes and have grown tired of munching on carrots when the crazy hungry munchies hit.  I’m replacing chocolate bars with almonds in an attempt to lower my weight.  What exactly can I snack on when these munchies hit?

This is a great question and I want to start off by saying, try to control the cravings.  Remember, now that you have diabetes you will need to control your amount of the foods you choose to eat at meals and snacks.  Almonds, all other nuts, and “trail mix” snacks have great health benefits such as healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber but are pretty high in calories. They are often very easy to eat and do affect blood sugar levels.  Dried fruits are also a great snack but very high in sugar.  1/2 of a cup of dried fruit equals one fruit. Some dried fruits may even have added sugar.  Try making dried fruit at home to avoid added sugars.

5 servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended daily. That’s about 2 1/2 cups of fruits daily.

What counts as a cup of fruit?

In general, 1 cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice, or ½ cup of dried fruit can be considered as 1 cup from the fruit group.  The following specific amounts count as 1 cup of fruit (in some cases equivalents for ½ cup are also shown) towards your daily recommended intake.

Although fruit and starchy vegetables contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and other health benefits such as phytochemicals, remember that fruits do contain sugar and raise blood sugar.

I would recommend continuing to snack on fresh, low sugar fruits and vegetables like celery or green apples. Portion control is still important and grams of carbohydrates can easily add up. A great tip that I have recently recommended is snacking on frozen fruits!  Cut up your favorite fruit and freeze them for later. Like grapes for example, when you are craving that snack grab some frozen grapes from the freezer.  Maybe even adding protein to that snack could help to control the cravings, depending on your snack and meal plan and calorie recommendation.  You could slice up banana and add a touch of peanut butter the top of the slices, lay them out on a tray and freeze them.  It is a great snack to try instead of ice-cream or chocolate. Remember portion control is key.  Consuming frozen fruit might take longer to eat and help prevent overeating.

When I find myself wanting to snack or munch it is usually because I am bored and not because my stomach is rumbling with hunger.  I would recommend trying to find something to curb the urge to much.  I usually try to leave my house and take a walk to get my mind of the snacking and focus on physical activity.  Other past times could be cleaning the house or other house hold chores, reading, art work, journaling and setting future goals. If you have a weight loss or meal plan goal try to keep that in the back of your head. Being focused on other things can help to control the cravings and is a great way to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, if you have not already. Good luck!

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