Discover the best solutions for helping children adjust to Type-1 diabetes with our panel of Canadian health experts — a dietician, a doctor, and a fitness instructor.
15 Healthy Low-Calorie Snacks
“Don’t eat between meals.” If you’ve ever heard that advice, you might want to take it with a grain of salt. If you go more than four or five hours between meals, a mid-afternoon snack might be just what the doctor ordered to help you keep your blood sugar steady.
Snacking is also important if you’re taking medication that could cause a blood-sugar low between meals. Discuss with your doctor or a registered dietitian what snacking approach is right for you.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #1: Keep your snacks to 150 calories or less.
The danger of snacks is that they can become more like extra meals if you go overboard. First, make sure you’re truly hungry — and not just bored or stressed or craving chocolate — before reaching for a snack. Then limit yourself to 150 calories per snack. This will help keep your snacking “honest.” After all, it’s hard to find a chocolate bar with only 150 calories. And if you’re hankering for a chocolate bar, but a healthier snack doesn’t appeal, you’re probably not truly hungry.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #2: Beware of low-fat snacks.
Studies show that people tend to eat about 28 percent more of a snack when it’s low-fat because they think they’re saving on calories. But low-fat snacks such as cookies only have about 11 percent fewer calories than their full-fat counterparts. Stick to the same amount you’d eat if you thought the snack was full-fat.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #3: Plate your snacks.
Eat straight out of the bag and you’re guaranteed to eat more, whether it’s chips, pretzels, or cookies. Instead, put a small portion on a plate, seal up the bag and put it away, then sit down and enjoy your snack.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #4: Grab the whole bag.
A single serving bag, that is. You’re much more likely to stop after one serving if you don’t have to measure it out yourself. If paying more for extra packaging that will eventually clog landfills bothers you, separate your snacks yourself into reusable single-serving containers when you get home from the grocery store so they’re ready to grab when you’re ready to eat them.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #5: Pour a handful of nuts.
Almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, and cashews contain the healthy monounsaturated fats that lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. And because they’re packed with protein and “good” fat, they won’t raise blood sugar as much as crackers or pretzels do. Because many nuts are high in calories (almonds are the lowest), stick to an amount that will fit in the palm of your hand.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #6: Have a few whole-grain crackers with peanut butter.
You’ll eat more protein and fewer carbs than if you have a bigger pile of crackers with no peanut butter, and your blood sugar won’t rise as much.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #7: Snack on raw veggies.
Get in an extra serving of vegetables by nibbling on cherry tomatoes, carrots, red and green peppers, cucumbers, broccoli crowns, and cauliflower. Eat them plain or dip them into nonfat yogurt, a light salad dressing, or hummus (stick with 1 to 2 tablespoons’ worth).
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #8: Spread some black bean salsa over eggplant slices.
The salsa has only about 15 grams of carbs, 80 calories, and 1 gram of fat.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #9: Sip a small cup of vegetable soup.
Cook non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, onion, celery, green beans, and squash in some vegetable or chicken stock. It’s filling, full of veggies, and low in carbs.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #10: Indulge in a few decadent bites.
Have a snack of three dried apricots, a small piece of dark chocolate (about the size of a square of baking chocolate), and three walnuts or almonds, suggests Vicki Saunders, RD, who teaches nutrition education programs at St. Helena Hospital in Napa Valley, California. Savour every nibble!
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #11: Blend a fruit smoothie.
Combine half of a chopped banana, 3/4 cup nonfat plain yogourt, and a non-nutritive sweetener, and blend until smooth.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #12: Freeze grapes and peeled bananas.
Seal them in a sandwich bag and throw it into the freezer. Once frozen, they’re a refreshing and healthy treat. You can eat 20 red seedless grapes and still consume only 100 calories.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #13: Eat an apple — and the skin.
An apple with the skin contains about 3 grams of fiber. The skin packs a double whammy, carrying healthy soluble fiber that helps to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease and antioxidants that fight free radicals and lower the risk of diabetes complications.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #14: Try low-fat string cheese.
Each one contains only 80 calories. These are one of the few portable goodies rich in sugar-steadying protein.
Low-Calorie Snack Idea #15: Have your chocolate 'bar' frozen.
By that we mean enjoy a frozen fudge pop. They taste delightfully chocolatey but contain only about 100 calories.
Looking for more great advice? Sign up to our newsletter for more useful tips, delivered straight to your inbox.
These 10 herbs and supplements have shown promise in lowering blood sugar, boosting insulin sensitivity and reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Boss yelled at you? Have some candy. It’s a late night and you’re feeling lonely? You need some ice cream. Food can temporarily make you feel better but it can’t solve the problems in your life. Read on for solutions to emotional eating problems.
What you should know about sex when you have diabetes.
Few people in the developed world are short of food or suffer from a severe lack of essential nutrients. The majority of nutritional disorders and deficiencies in developed countries are caused by poor dietary habits or conditions that prevent digestion and absorption, limiting the body’s ability to draw the required nutrients from food.
Hearing loss could be masking another problem. There's little you can do about it on your own, so you should see a doctor. You need to be checked for conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, both associated with hearing problems.
Although fewer of us take sugar in our tea or coffee, and we sprinkle less on our cereals and desserts, we are actually consuming more sugar, hidden away in processed foods, leading to weight problems and obesity.
When you're feeling low, you don't necessarily need to go to the pharmacy every time. This article outlines some around-the-hosue remedies that might just get you feeling on top of things again.
Over the last several decades, food producers have discovered that we have a seemingly insatiable desire for sugar and salt. They’ve responded by stuffing our food with mind-boggling amounts of these substances. This full-scale assault on our taste buds has the dangerous side effect of making us want more food.
How new technology could replace needle-based diabetes blood tests with only a drop of saliva.
Low-glycemic foods are often rich in fiber, protein, or fat, though it’s not smart to eat fatty foods just for the sake of your blood sugar unless those fats are “good” (unsaturated) fats.
Learn to avoid the common errors consumer often make when choosing their food products.
Diabetes stats just keep spiking — a staggering 350 million people around the globe now have the disease. That means more heart attacks, more strokes, and a shorter life expectancy, even if you're otherwise healthy. Eat right; exercise more — the advice is simple but sometimes hard to follow. What do top experts suggest for closing that gap?
A dinner of tabbouleh, sliced fresh tomatoes, and marinated chickpeas sounds tasty—and the fact that it doesn’t contain meat may help control your diabetes.
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to avoid physical activity. It just means that you need to take more precautions than others do when you work out. Here’s how to get on the road to regular physical activity and stay the healthy course.