Snacking – is it bad for you? Which snacks are the worst…and the best?
Being diabetic can be overwhelming. What can you eat, and when can you eat? Discover which supposedly healthy snack foods can secretly hurt your health, and which can actually be good for blood sugar control.
1) Snacking can raise your blood sugar, if you mindlessly binge on a bag of potato chips or a box of cookies (or other unhealthy, highly processed foods)
2) Pretzels can sound healthy, but a single serving of small, crunchy pretzels can supply 23 grams of carbs but only 1 gram of fiber. And a medium-sized soft pretzel could hold about 400 calories.
3) Yogurt can be a healthy snack, or horrible for you. Choosing flavored yogurts, or “low-fat” varieties, will most likely mean you’re getting a lot of carbs, plus added sugar content. Authentic Greek unsweetened yogurt, on the other hand, can be a healthy snacking option.
4) Processed meats, like deli meat, bacon, and hot dogs, may be low in sugar, but they are high in unhealthy saturated fats, and they are loaded with nitrates. This gives them carcinogenic properties.
5) Baked potato chips sound like a healthier alternative to their fried counterparts, but their cooking process makes them high in acrylamides – chemical compounds which could raise your risk of certain forms of cancer. Plus, these processed chips are also high in sodium, which can hurt your heart health.
6) Dried fruit does contain fiber, but the normal sugar content of fresh fruit is condensed down, multiplying the glucose load. Basically, 80 grams of fresh fruit is equivalent to just 30 grams of dried fruit. Therefore, it’s much healthier, and more filling, to stick with fresh, water-rich fruit.
7) Crunchy chickpeas are legumes, so they are high in carbs. However, they are also high in fiber. Multiple studies show that regular consumption of chickpeas can help with both weight loss and blood sugar control.
8) Salsa is a wonderful healthy snack, as it tends to contain a wide variety of nutrients and little sugar. You can also try unique varieties, like mango salsa, or white-fish ceviche.
9) Hard-boiled eggs may have gotten a bad rap lately, but they are considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Their cholesterol actually helps your body lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.
10) Nuts can be the perfect crunchy potato chip alternative. They are high in fat, but it’s mostly healthy mono-unsaturated fat. Plus, they contain a vast array of nutrients, so a handful of nuts can keep you full, supply nutrition, and they won’t spike your blood sugar.