No one should ever go through the day running on empty. It is not only bad for your overall health, it is counterproductive to your energy levels. It is essential to keep energy packed snacks handy for on-the-go days. This may be extremely challenging for individuals who must carefully maintain blood glucose levels. The truth is that diabetic friendly snacks can promote energy and are beneficial to most all health goals.
One of the most important aspects of managing energy fluctuations, is timed nutrition. This is also essential to maintaining blood glucose levels. Most experts recommend consuming several small meals throughout the day. This applies to everyone, not just those with strict dietary requirements. It prevents your energy, sugar, and insulin levels from becoming erratic. The best approach is to eat small amounts every few hours and ensure your choices fit your health goals.
To prevent roller coaster energy fluctuations, you must consume healthy, nutrient filled foods not simply empty calories. This means opt out of fast, junk, and highly processed foods. Replace them with calories that count. Choose those which offer an optimal balance of protein and healthy fat, as well as fiber filled carb sources.
Running on empty results in fluctuating energy levels which can in turn cause physical and psychological symptoms. Fatigue, lethargy, and brain fog are a few examples. While certain nuts are a bit higher in cholesterol than others, they are also an excellent source of protein. They offer a boost of energy and fiber as well. Be careful with nut butters as many of them contain hidden, artificial ingredients.
You must watch out for added, but hidden sugar too. It may be in the form of carbs or lurking under any number of disguises. Most all processed food items contain artificial additives to enhance flavor, as well as promote shelf life, and many of these extra ingredients are some form of sugar or sodium. Routinely consuming substantial amounts of sugar on a daily basis can lead to serious health issues such as an increased risk of diabetes. Treat your body as a fine-tuned machine and power it with clean fuel.
Protein promotes energy levels and wise choices can eliminate many simple sugars and reduce carbs. You can create take along trail mixes with protein packed nuts and fiber filled, dried fruit. Dried fruit is an example of an extremely healthy and diabetic friendly food gone wrong. You are probably aware that it contains fructose; however, some manufacturers also add extra sugar to the processing. Read the label to determine just how many extra ingredients are lurking in your snacks.
Fruit and veggies do contain both carbs and fructose; however, they are rich in fiber as well. Fiber filed carb sources provide energy and fewer carbohydrates. Foods with a high fiber content make you feel fuller because your body requires more time to metabolize it. You are also less likely to overindulge in junk. Your energy levels will also keep sailing smoothly along.
While it is important not to go through your day running on empty, providing your body with clean fuel is just as critical. There are a number of specific ingredients to be on the lookout for, but one general rule is said to apply in many cases. If you cannot pronounce it and/or do know where it comes from, you may not want to consume it.
Some of the ingredients which you should avoid are most commonly used in food products promoted as healthy meal replacements and snacks. A few of the more frequently seen names are listed below. Some may be obvious while others are in disguise. Notice that these ingredients do not fall under clean fuel for anyone.
Ingredients to Avoid
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Trans Fat
- Hydrogenated Oils
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Flavor Additives
- Sodium Nitrates/Nitrites
- Butylated Hydroxy-anisole – BHA
- Butylated Hydroxytoluene – BHT
- Potassium Bromate
- Enriched Grains
Tip: Processed does not necessarily equal bad for your health. Never hesitate to flip the package around or upside down and check out the label.
A Few Alternatives
- Whole Grains
- Unsaturated; Polyunsaturated; and/or Monounsaturated Fats
- Raw Honey or Maple Syrup
- Color; Flavor; and Preservative Free
Fuel Filled Snacks
There are many snack options which are high in protein and fiber, but low in carbs. General suggestions state that you should keep your carbohydrate intake down to about one eighth of your total daily calories. Remember, you must also source your proteins and healthy fats from these snacks. Try replacing high processed package snacks with some of the ideas listed below.
- Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
- Naturally Dried Fruit
- Organic Veggie Crips
- Low-Carb, Reduced Sodium Jerky
- Low Sodium Nuts
- Garlic Hummus & Whole Wheat Pretzels
- Zesty Salsa & Baked Pita Chips
- Lemon Poppy Flaxseed Muffins
- Honey Oatmeal Almond Cookies
- Quinoa Salmon Salad
Tip: You can even throw in a small amount of rich, dark, unsweetened chocolate with your dried fruit. Moderation, proportion, and nutrient count are the keys to tasty, diabetic friendly snacks.