Type 2 diabetes: The best and worst snacks to eat if you have the condition

Feeling peckish? Make sure whatever you graze on is helping – not hindering – your type 2 diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can have dire consequences.

Don’t be fooled by snacks labelled “diabetic”, the charity Diabetes UK has warned as they state they “don’t offer you any special health benefits” and they’re “expensive”.

If you’re aiming to lose weight to help get your diabetes under control, low-calorie snacks are available.

Think fruits – one handful of grapes, one peach, or two satsumas – as a good snack option.

If you’d like to add almond butter onto chopped apples, go right ahead – it’s still less than 150 calories.

It’s not normally necessary to eat snacks between meals if you’re not taking any medication for your diabetes.

However, if you are on medication and you’re at risk of hypos (low blood sugar), then you may need a snack (as well as fancying one).

Beware if you constantly need to snack in order to prevent hypos, though, as this requires speaking to your diabetes team.

Another great snack option is vegetable sticks, which contain a good mix of vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Diabetes UK added that rice cakes, crackers, cereal bars and unsweetened yoghurts can be enjoyed in moderation.

What type of snack do you crave? Is it sweet or savoury? If you wish you could grab a bag of crisps (don’t), try plain popcorn with added spices or cinnamon.

Try to avoid bread and dips, instead sting for carrots or celery with salsa or low-fat hummus.

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Turning to the sweeter options, if you’re a big fan of chocolate, why not go dark?

Dark chocolate is much more appropriate for diabetics than milk chocolate.

And instead of ice cream, try frozen banana or low-fat frozen yogurt for a mouthwatering treat.

Following through with healthy choices in regards to your diet can help prevent spikes in blood sugar.

“People with diabetes must regularly monitor and manage their blood [sugar] levels to prevent spikes,” urged Medical News Today.

Known as hyperglycaemia, early warning signs include thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision and a headache.

As blood sugars continue to rise, ketones may begin to build up in the blood and urine.

Ketones are a type of acid that can cause fruity-smelling breath, dry mouth, weakness, nausea and vomiting.

Persistent blood sugar spikes – which can occur when snacking on the wrong foods – can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis.

This is when the body compensates for a shortage of insulin by breaking down fat for energy.

As a result, toxic waste compounds – known as ketones – are created, which can lead to a coma and, in some cases, death.

What have your diabetics team recommended for healthy snacks? Share details below.

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