What Do String Cheese and Popcorn Have in Common? Keep Reading…
Americans love to snack! Healthy snacks can be beneficial in helping fill nutritional needs that are not always met through regular meals. Snacks can be a double-edged sword for people with diabetes. They may help stave off hunger and overeating, while keeping blood sugar levels from dropping too low. However, serious snack attacks can also derail your best efforts to eat healthy and manage your weight. Read on for the best in d-friendly snacking and sweet treats.
- · MOZZARELLA STRING CHEESE is the new Snickers® bar. Talk about a perfect, portable snack. How do you eat your string cheese? Do you peel it carefully with your fingers or your teeth? Or do you just chomp, chomp, chomp 'til it's gone? With less than 1 gram of carbohydrate, it's a smart snack any way you eat it!
- · POPCORN is a whole grain -- did you know? Popcorn delivers a nice dose of fiber and is a versatile snack. If you want to add a little pizazz, sprinkle a little sugar-free Jell-O on it (a little goes a long way, so use sparingly). Three cups of popcorn have approximately 15-18 grams of carbohydrates.
- · COTTAGE CHEESE & BERRIES will make you feel healthier just by having a dish in front of you. You get all the benefits of dairy protein and fat, plus a good dose of antioxidants. What could be better?
Hint: If cottage cheese has always seemed a little icky to you, try sprinkling cinnamon and sugar substitute on top and sticking it in the oven for a few minutes, berries and all. One-half cup cottage cheese and 1/2 cup blueberries have approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates.
- · WHOLE WHEAT CRACKERS & NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER are perfect for a salty, crunchy fix. Plus, you get protein, fiber, and good-for-you unsaturated fats. Three Triscuits® and two tablespoons have approximately 15 grams.
- · HARD-BOILED EGG. The incredible edible is truly a perfect food -- with a nutrient list that reads like the side of a multivitamin label. It's also oh-so-satisfying. One egg has less than 1 gram of carbohydrate and more than 6 grams of protein!
- · A PEAR (with a handful of almonds) has the added snack benefit of slowing you down a bit. It's hard to inhale a fruit you have to take bites of while navigating around seeds and a stem, and though they're easy to overeat, nuts have to be chewed pretty thoroughly. Eat your almonds one at a time, chew slowly, and savor their buttery goodness. Twelve almonds and a small pear have approximately 16 grams of carbohydrates.
- · SUGAR-FREE JELLO® is arguably the most satisfying zero-carb sweet treat out there. Although it may not win in the nutrients contest, it can at least do a good job making your nails stronger. One cup sugar-free gelatin and 4 tablespoons whipped topping have 4 grams of carbohydrates.
- · HUMMUS & VEGGIES are the healthy replacements these days for potato chips and sour cream dip. This Middle Eastern puree is made from chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans) and garlic. It's high in protein and fiber and many other nutrients and, without a doubt, classifies as a diabetes super food. Add some carrots and celery for dipping, and you know you're doing a good thing for your body. Four baby carrots, 4 small celery stalks, and 5 tablespoons of hummus contain approximately 15 grams.
- · PLAIN YOGURT, to some, is a nectar from the gods. To others, it's as gross as curdled milk. Try eating it with sugar substitute and berries or crushed nuts. The health benefits are stellar -- from the calcium to the friendly bacteria. Six ounces of plain yogurt contain 12 grams.
- · SUGAR-FREE PUDDING is one of the more decadent treats available, and with a dollop of whipped cream can stand in for someone's beloved chocolate mousse dessert. Swirl a couple of flavors together for that extra taste sensation. One-half cup contains 12 grams of carbohydrates.
- · You didn't really think chocolate would be on this list, did you? Yes, authentic, DARK CHOCOLATE (the higher the percentage of cocoa, the better) has been shown to possibly improve health, by way of its plant chemicals. And three dark chocolate truffles will cost you only 15 grams of carbs. However, they also come with 220 calories and 13 grams of saturated fat. By anyone's standards, that's a little over the top. So take a more moderate approach: Have just one dark chocolate truffle, and enjoy every second of it.
Sources for this information came from USDA Nutrient Data Base and dLife Food Finder. For information on "Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes" educational series, or other Extension programs, contact our office at 903-885-3443.
Life is precious. Don't squander it.
Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed.
Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
1200-B W. Houston
P.O. Box 518
Sulphur Springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 - phone
903-439-4909 - fax