Most of the world is confined to their homes owing to the covid-19 pandemic. While many of us were happy to stay at home initially – spending more time with family, taking up new interests and experimenting with new recipes, it isn’t surprising that our consumption of unhealthy foods has also increased rapidly.
But this time has been even more challenging for those dealing with diabetes, trying to manage their blood glucose levels and body weight. “While there is nothing wrong with indulging in snacking every now and then, it is important to maintain a healthy diet which is full of vitamins, antioxidants and protein. People with conditions like diabetes and hypertension, must vary their diets as unhealthy foods are one of the prime reasons behind rise in blood glucose levels during lockdown,” says Sujata Sharma, nutritionist and diabetes educator, BeatO.
But can snacks be healthy? “Thankfully the answer is yes!” says Sharma adding that there is a huge range of healthy snacks that can work wonders in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and managing diabetes if included in our diet.
“If diabetics plan wisely, snacking can prove to be healthy – it can deal with hunger pangs between meals, while providing nutrition and keeping blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. Although, in cases of diabetic patients – one should pay close attention to the carb count while snacking. They are recommended to eat a healthy amount of good carbohydrates, instead of avoiding carbohydrates altogether. Always opt for fresh and natural sources rather than canned or refrigerated ones, and choose baked, grilled or roasted over fried. Important to keep portion size in mind and avoid products with preservatives and high salt content, even while snacking,” she tells indianexpress.com.
To further assist you, here is a list of eight super healthy snacks that anyone with diabetes or not can munch on
Fruit yogurt (fruits advised for diabetics) – Yogurt is a great source of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and adding some fresh fruits (advised for diabetics) into it enriches our diet by providing antioxidants, as well.
Vegetable/paneer/fish tikka or cutlets – For a more filling snack, you can try different cutlets and tikkas made of vegetables, paneer (farmer’s cheese) or fish. These ingredients are rich in nutrition and can be cooked into some delicious and healthy snacks. In general, diabetics should avoid deep frying these and instead bake or grill the same. Skewers are also a great option!
Multi-millet noodles – Multi-millet noodles can be a great choice both for a snack, or a whole meal. With its high fibre content, millet is a whole grain, which is considered a good carb, and often recommended to be added in the diet of a diabetic person. Millets have low glycemic index which helps stabilises blood sugar.
Berry smoothies – Berry smoothies are an interesting way of getting nutrition while snacking. Fruits like berries of all kinds are not only rich in antioxidants, they are high in nutrition and amazingly light in calories. Interestingly, berries are also low on the glycemic index, which is a bonus for people managing diabetes. Just add some yogurt into the berries, and blend it through to get tasty berry smoothies. You can add chia or flax seeds to make it healthier for regular consumption.
Quinoa chips – Quinoa chips are considered as a healthier and tastier alternative for general chips available in the market. Quinoa is a super-grain packed with fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. The dietary fibre content of quinoa is much higher than other grains, making it particularly beneficial for those with diabetes since protein and fiber help control blood-sugar level. It is also gluten-free, so even those with gluten sensitives can enjoy quinoa chips, It is best to enjoy them baked.
Roasted makhanas – Makhana or fox nuts can be roasted dry with almonds, peanuts, and walnuts, or you can toast on a pan with a tablespoon of ghee, and a bit of salt. You can opt for Himalayan or rock salt, instead if that tingles your taste buds. It is also advised that hypertensive patients do not use salt in this snack – a pinch of pepper will be a better alternative. Makhanas are full of nutritional value, with a very low glycemic index, which helps in the effective management of blood sugar levels. Approximately 50 grams of dry roasted makhanas have around 180 calories and no saturated fat or sodium. Further, makhanas have low sodium and high magnesium which is beneficial for diabetics. It is also a popular evening snack for everyone due to its low-calorie count.
Roasted chickpeas – Roasted chickpeas are a timeless snack item that is high in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It is a major source of amino acids, and it beats all the other legumes by providing superior quality protein. On top of that, they have a very low glycemic index, and are significantly low on calorie, making it the perfect snack for diabetics. If you prefer to have them with your breakfast, you can try the boiled or sprouted versions also!
Roasted bajra puff – Bajra or pearl millet puffs can be roasted dry to get another healthy and easy to make snacking option for diabetics. Pearl millet is amazingly effective in controlling diabetes. Its high fiber content makes digestion slow, and releases glucose at a slower rate, as compared to food with low fiber content – making you feel fuller for longer duration. This, in turn, helps in maintaining steady blood sugar levels. In addition to that, roasted bajra puffs taste real good.
“Further, there are tons of other tasty and healthy snacking options, which are quick and easy to make. The list includes numerous recipes of eggs, toasted nuts, vegetable salads, green salads, sprouts, and homemade soups. This list has been specially curated keeping in view the unique requirement of a diabetic patient while trying to provide the right options to choose from when hunger kicks in,” she says.
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