22 October, 2015
What do you do to keep your glucose levels steady between meals and over night as you sleep? Over the years I have read seemingly endless suggestions and recommendations for diabetic snacking. There are so many “rules” out there for how to snack I won’t even try to go into them. One thing I have noticed about many of them is, they tend to be generated by non-Diabetics. Granted, they may be Dietitians, Diabetes Educators, Nurses, Doctors, professionals in the field of Diabetes. They are highly educated, experienced, knowledgable. Take their advice. But always discuss with your professional your freedom to experiment and your results with those experiments.
Every Human body is a chemistry lab, and all of us respond differently to what goes into that lab. Most Diabetics need to lose anywhere from 5 to over 100 pounds, so snacking to keep blood glucose levels steady, but NOT to gain weight is a challenge.
Here are some things I have found with my experimentation. For between meal lows, do not chow down on a candy bar. Yes, it’s delicious! However, it is extremely likely to raise your glucose level too high too fast with a rebound “crash” just before lunch. To compensate for that, you eat too much lunch, go too high, take extra insulin, go too low —- and the roller coaster wins. A good alternative mid morning is a small-medium apple and 1 ounce of cheese. This takes planning and thinking through your day before you even leave home in the morning. Tons of people have an abundance of excuses for why they don’t have time for that. How high–or low a value do you place on your life? A good mid afternoon snack is the granola bars I wrote about a few months ago. They are a good balance of ingredients that fill you nicely and hold steady the afternoon glucose levels. Over night is a real problem for many of us. If you go to bed at 10:00 and get up at 6:00, that’s 8 hours of no eating and possibly no monitoring. I have experimented with all manner of bedtime snacks with mixed results, some nearly disastrous. ( bg of 29 at 3:00am is NOT good!)
I found years ago that, if my bg. is 150 or less at bedtime, I need something for a bedtime snack. Extensive experimentation proved that two Wasa Crispbread crackers ( light rye. Two slices have 60 calories and 14 grams of carbs.) smeared with about two Tbs. of either almond butter or peanut butter will get me very nicely through the night. I have used that for so many years I am really tired of it, but I have yet to find anything else as dependable as that. My point here, I guess, is experiment. Know your body, know the calories and grams of carbs in what you are consuming, stay away from the more lethal (albeit delicious) high sugar/ carb. snacks. I have met a depressingly huge number of Diabetics who just don’t care. They take low blood glucose as their excuse to eat a cake ( yes, a cake–not a slice of cake), or a large bag of potato chips, a box of cookies, and on and on. If you care at all about yourself, ditch the lame excuses and do what it takes to snack intelligently. This disease has no mercy, and it does not understand lame excuses.