A good and easy snack for a diabetic

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Snacks! They’re very important to a diabetic. That’s one of the first things I learned after I was diagnosed. Include them in your daily diet to help keep blood sugar even, I was advised.

I’ve followed that suggestion. But the one thing I’ve noticed over almost two decades I’ve been diabetic is this: If I don’t pack my own snack, the choices are not good.

Go to any vending machine and what’s there? Besides the usual goodies are the so-called “healthy” snacks. If I see someone pushing a “healthy” snack, it’s likely about the last thing I should be having.

Take baked chips. What you’ll find on the ingredients list are dried potatoes along with cornstarch, sugar and corn syrup. Carb, carb, carb, carb. And what does that mean to you, the diabetic? You’re downing a bag of carbs that are likely to spike your blood sugar.

Same with pretzels, which, even if they aren’t fried, are nothing more than a bag carbs.

Nuts would be a good choice, and in the old days I’d grab a bag of peanuts. But with the allergies that exist, it’s hard finding nuts in vending machines. Too often the ones you find in convenience stores have been gussied up with some flavoring, which usually means a sugar (carb) of some sort.

If you’re lucky, you’ll find something like hummus with a few carrot sticks. But that doesn’t happen for me much.

So, whenever I’m going to be out, I bring my own snack. I get one of the individual size plastic bags and put a combo of a veggie (sugar snap peas, snow peas or grape tomatoes often show up) and grapes. I like grapes, but too much of any fruit (also carbs) can spike my blood sugar. Then I break up a hunk of cheese (usually a little more than an ounce). The combination of sweet and savory with a bit of fat keeps things even for me. (If you think the cheese will get too mushy for your liking, then put it in a separate plastic bag.)

In a perfect world, it would be great to be able to just buy a snack. But too much of what passes for a good-for-you snack isn’t for diabetics. That includes granola or cereal bars.

Packing your own takes minutes. And this combo does fine without refrigeration. Give it a try.

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