Safe snacks for diabetics

HARARE - A health analyst has advised people living with diabetes to consider the impact the snack they choose will have on the level of glucose or sugar in their blood.

Nutritionist Veronica Chikowore says “snacking” is often associated with sweet and salty foods, often containing high amounts of fat.

“Being a diabetic, one needs to look at food in a different light and a safe snack can be another way to fit in extra fibre, fruits or vegetables,” she said.

She said as a diabetic one has to look at the number of carbohydrates in the snack. A diabetic must take healthy snacks with under five grammes of carbohydrates.

“For example, one standard cup of popcorn, five baby carrots, one standard cup of salad with cucumbers and an oil and vinegar dressing,” said the nutritionist.

Chikowore said mindless eating, especially while reading, watching TV or driving is not recommended.

Snacking should always be added to the daily food count and overall menu plan.

“Healthy snacks between 10 and 20 carbohydrates may include three cups of light popcorn, one apple or orange, one cup of chicken noodle or vegetable soup, half a cup of nuts or half a chicken sandwich made with just enough of turkey on a slice of whole wheat bread,” she said.

She advised that keeping healthy foods in the cupboard as a snack on ensures healthy choices.

“If one is to go grocery shopping, they should be on a full stomach to help avoid temptation. Healthy snacks of over 30 grammes are especially recommended. Before exercising, include a banana or a light yoghurt with 3/4 cups of fruit, a muffin with one teaspoon of low-fat margarine or half a peanut butter sandwich on a slice of whole wheat bread with one tablespoon of peanut butter with a cup of milk.”

Close to half of Zimbabwe’s population is diabetic according to the Zimbabwe Diabetes Association.

Diabetes is a non communicable disease.

It develops when one’s body fails to produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin produced.

Without insulin, the body cannot get energy from the food.

According to health experts, diabetes can lead to severe complications such as damage to the retina leading to blindness.

The disease can also cause kidney failure and foot and leg amputations caused by wounds and ulcers?

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