People with diabetes often find it hard to figure out what to eat, with their minds fully focused on avoiding foods that could spike their blood sugar levels. It isn’t just tricky but it can be terrifying for patients if they chose the wrong snack to munch on.
If they did suffer abnormal sugar levels, they may experience loss of consciousness, confusion, and even seizures, which is why it is best that they know the right type of food to eat. According to the American Diabetes Association, the amount of carbohydrates you consume, and your body’s insulin determine your blood sugar level.
Ideally, when people eat carbs, the body will turn them into glucose, which will be absorbed by the cells and used as energy. However, for diabetic patients, the glucose isn't absorbed efficiently, which means it stays in the bloodstream – hence, causes high blood sugar levels.
As carbohydrates tend to cause a spike in blood sugar levels, people with diabetes should limit eating them. Instead, high-protein snacks are one of the best choices because they don’t need too much insulin to be processed, dietitian Amy Stephens explained.
Protein is used to repair and build tissues, so it isn’t converted into glucose. Therefore, it wouldn’t cause high blood sugar. A 2016 study saw that participants who ate anywhere between 12.5 grams to 50 grams of protein as a snack didn’t increase the blood sugar levels.
To help you understand these numbers, two scrambled eggs have 12.5 grams, whereas a 6-ounce steak has 50 grams of protein. Other snacks that are safe to eat are almonds, low-fat cottage cheese, and lean turkey slices.
Snacks Rich in Healthy Fats
Unsaturated fats in nuts, avocado, and seeds are also great for diabetics because they are healthy and slow down digestion, making the rise in your blood sugar more gradual after eating.
The fat molecules aren’t broken down to become a source of energy, instead, they undergo gluconeogenesis, in which fat is converted into glucose for a long time. Apart from this, they are like protein in the sense that they can be directly used as energy without conversion.
Avocados with egg, sunflower seeds, olives, celery, and whole milk plain yogurt are good for you when consumed in moderation.
Foods rich in fiber are also digested slowly, which means it doesn’t cause a spike in sugar levels. Plus, it can make people feel full for a longer period, which is a big help for those who are overweight.
More importantly, it ranks low in the glycemic index, which is the scale on how much foods can raise the blood sugar level. Roasted chickpeas, whole-grain bread, edamame beans, and multigrain crackers are tasty snacks diabetic patients can munch on.