Type 2 diabetes means a person’s pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Over time, rising blood sugars can raise a person’s risk of developing deadly complications such as heart disease and stroke. While certain dietary decisions can help to control blood sugar levels, the condition can also lead to weight gain. Here are five diabetes-friendly snacks to keep the risks at bay.
Why does type 2 diabetes lead to weight gain?
As Dr Michael Mosley of www.thefast800.com explained: “Insulin’s job is to bring down the fat and sugar that you’ve absorbed from your meals and which is now circulating in your blood.
“Ideally it would push those excess calories into cells like your muscles to be burnt as fuel.
“The trouble is, your body still craves fuel, so you will soon start feeling hungry again. So you eat, again. But because you are insulin resistant many of the calories you absorb get diverted into your fat cells. You get fatter, but still stay hungry.”
This makes the temptation to snack greater for people with type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, there are a number of snacks which come in under 50-100 calories a serving, explained Dr Mosley.
He added: “This means people with type 2 diabetes can supplement their three small meals with a couple of extras if they need something to fill the hole while keeping their blood sugar levels even.”
Dr Mosley recommends the following five snacks:
“At 21 calories a serving, miso soup is very nutritious, warming, tasty and comforting,” explained Dr Mosley.
It is a great way to fill the gap between meals, he said.
“It is also very convenient to pop a sachet into a work bag – as all you need to do is add boiling water,” he added.
Chopped vegetable sticks
“Crudités are a great option to snack on. There are so many varieties to opt for too – so you could vary your snacks to avoid boredom,” said Dr Mosley.
He recommends trying slices of a tricolour of peppers; carrot batons; celery sticks; or florets of cauliflower and because they are fibrous too, they will make a person feel fuller between meals.
“Berries of all kinds are the best fruits to opt for,” noted Dr Mosely.
As he explained, a serving of 100g of blue berries comes in at 57 calories yet still satisfies a sweetness craving.
“They are also king of the antioxidants and known as a superfood,” he added,
Nuts are a great source of protein and fibre. “However, I would advise avoiding salted or sweetened nuts, which can be moreish,” cautioned Dr Mosley. As he points out, two almonds equal 28 calories while seven walnut halves equal 90 calories.
“The psychology of dieting shouldn’t be all about deprivation,” said Dr Mosley.
He explained: “Two squares 70 per cent dark chocolate (110 calories) is a luxurious ‘treat’ which can be nibbled and create a melt in the mouth comforting feeling.”
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
According to the NHS, symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around a person’s penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision
Here is a major warning sign a person’s blood sugar levels are too low.