Snacking use to be required if a diabetic was on insulin, otherwise they were expected to eat only three meals a day. Thank goodness rules have changed. It was finally determined that the diabetic needs to control their diabetes and not have the disease control their lives. So what are the new rules for snacking?
- Snacking for Type II is not required. If you generally snack then continue since your body is adjusted to that eating pattern.
- Protein use to be required with snacks to slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood stream, but now determined no longer necessary. Carbohydrates (CHO) only or simple CHO snacks such as fruit are acceptable.
- For Type 1 diabetes, snacking is usually not necessary. If you decide to snack and it isn’t your usual routine then begin with 1 unit of short-acting insulin for every 15 grams (gm) of CHO eaten. Assess your insulin needs based on your blood glucose response.
- A bedtime snack is warranted if:
- taking Ultra Lente or NPH at dinner
- exercise during the day
- have a history of nocturnal hypoglycemia
- hypoglycemic at bedtime.
So what about the chocolate bar? Carbohydrate counting meal planning allows for any food item. Read the food label to determine how many CHO is in a serving. A 2oz Snicker Bar has 35 gms CHO equal to 2 CHO choices (1choice=15gms CHO), but has 271 kcal and 14 gm of fat = to 2 slices of bread and 3 pats of butter! Instead of having your usual snack of graham crackers and a glass of milk in the evening you can replace it with the candy bar, but beware of the calories and fat!! Fat and protein do not affect the blood sugar but it can play havoc on the waistline if you aren’t paying attention.
So how do you like to snack?
Signature Joanne Slyter, dietitian, in Westminster, CO