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Four tasty diabetic-friendly snacks

by , 15 February 2016

High blood sugar can be life-threatening for diabetics. It can lead to serious medical complications, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, nerve damage, kidney disease, blindness, hearing loss and amputations. But when your blood sugar is high, it's possible to lower it. And you don't need medication to do this…

Eating foods with a low glycaemic index (GI) can slow down your absorption of sugar and in turn help you control your blood sugar. Read on to find out which foods in specific can assist you with this.

Four snacks that help stabilise blood sugar

#1: Peanuts
Peanuts are a legume and among the foods with the lowest GI. Eating peanuts can help you control your blood sugar and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. 
 
Research by Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2008 suggests that peanuts can significantly lower cholesterol levels in diabetics. The research concludes that peanut consumption might have a protective effect against cardiovascular complications of diabetes.
 
When eating peanuts, make sure you opt for unsalted ones. Why? Because salt can increase your sodium and blood pressure levels. Ultimately, this can elevate your risk of stroke. 
 
#2: Soy foods
Soy nuts, soy ice-cream and soy yoghurt are delicious healthy snack foods made from soybeans, a legume with a low GI. Soybeans are a source of complete protein as they contain all the essential amino acids your body can’t produce. They also contain calcium, antioxidants and healthy fats. 
 
Eating soy snacks can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cancer. Research by scientists at Newcastle University in Tyne, England, found that consuming a high-protein breakfast snack with soy-yoghurt results in an almost 40% reduction of blood sugar after breakfast in type 2 diabetics.
 
#3: Soups
Snacking on soups with a low GI can help lower your blood sugar. Soups like split pea, lentil and vegetable made with carrots are particularly beneficial, according to research.
 
Peas and lentils are legumes that contain soluble fibre; an indigestible substance that slows down your absorption of sugar from foods and enable you to control your blood sugar.
 
Veggies like carrots also have a low GI and contain vitamins, minerals and fibre to increase your intake of micronutrients and decrease your risk of disease.
 
#4: Low-fat yoghurt
Low-fat peach, apple and pear yoghurt are healthy snacks to enjoy between meals. Low-fat yoghurt is a low GI food made from cow’s milk, which contains protein and calcium to help you maintain strong bones.
 
Peaches, apples and pears are low GI fruits that contain vitamins, minerals, soluble fibre and antioxidants. Increasing your intake of soluble fibre can help control your blood sugar because fibre slows down the absorption of sugar from food into your blood.

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