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Snacks: Healthy Necessity in a Diabetic Diet

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Snacks do play an important role in the daily life of a diabetic, particularly those with type 1 diabetes and insulin-requiring type 2 diabetes. For these people between-meal and bedtime snacks are essential to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible and to help prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Snack Mix

Following are some suggestions for a quick, healthy snack at home.

Peanut Butter Grahams

Spread low-fat peanut butter on a graham cracker. Top with a banana slice and you'll have at least some of your protein and starch exchanges covered.

Fruity Gelatin

Prepare sugar-free fruit flavored gelatin. Add small chunks of fruit before chilling. The gelatin is a "freebie" and, depending on how much fruit you add, you may have to count this snack as a fruit exchange.

Baked Chips and Salsa

Baked chips still have carbohydrates and will count in your starch exchanges, but the salsa adds zip without fat or excessive calories.

Always carry a supply of snacks to eat in case of low blood sugar.

Following is a list of snacks you can purchase at most supermarkets. These are great snacks to take with your wherever you go. They are calculated to supply 12 to 15 grams of carbohydrates or one carbohydrate (1 bread/starch) exchange:

One small apple
Eight animal crackers (not frosted)
Four medium fresh apricots or seven dried halves
1/2 of a banana rolled with 2-tablespoons Grape Nuts cereal
1 cup cubed cantaloupe
Twelve Bing cherries
Two chocolate mousse bars (Weight Watchers)
1/2 cup chow mein noodles
Three dried dates
Two small dried figs
Two sugar-free fudgesicles
Three gingersnaps
36 Goldfish (adds 1 fat exchange)
Three graham crackers (2 1/2-inch square)
1/2 low-fat granola bar
15 grapes
Five kumquats
Three Lorna Doones (adds 1 fat exchange)
12 loquats
Five slices melba toast
One small nectarine
1 cup skim milk
Three thin sliced Norwegian Kavli flatbread (2 thick sliced)
One small orange
One small peach
Three peanut butter sandwich crackers (adds 1 fat exchange)
One small pear
16 Mr. Phipps Tater Crisps (adds 1 fat exchange)
Two small plums
24 oyster crackers
3 cups popcorn (popped by hot air, or low-fat microwave)
Three dried pitted prunes
15 fat-free potato or tortilla chips
3/4 ounce pretzels
2 tablespoons raisins
Two rice cakes (4" diameter)
Seven Ritz crackers (adds 1 fat exchange)
Six saltine crackers
Two Stella d'Oro Sesame Breadsticks (adds 1 fat exchange)
One tangerine
15 Teddy Grahams (adds 1 fat exchange)
Five reduced-fat Triscuits
Six Vanilla Wafers (adds 1 fat exchange)
Six Waverly Wafers (adds 1 fat exchange)
12 Original Wheat Thins (adds 1 fat exchange)
13 Reduced-fat Wheat Thins (adds 1/2 fat exchange)
1 cup nonfat fruit-flavored yogurt (sweetened with sugar sweetener)
1/2 cup of either I Can't Believe It's Yogurt or TCBY frozen yogurt or Baskin Robbins, Sugar-Free Ice Cream

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