My Personal Myths: Snacking

My Personal Myth: Snacking

While I learned a tremendous amount of beneficial information at my sessions at the diabetes education clinic which I attended, not everything held true for me.

What was recommended to me at the diabetes education clinic, and is commonly recommended online, in books and elsewhere was to 'spread out' my carbohydrates throughout the day in many small meals rather than having a few larger meals.

This proved utterly false for me.

When I was first diagnosed it took some time to evaluate where I stood, and to get on track with an acceptable weight (BMI) and to being to learn the essential nutritive values of foods which should be part of the diabetic diet. What I had learned was how much food to eat, and what sorts of foods to eat. I had not learned when to eat these foods, however.

I was told to 'spread out' my carbohydrates. I diligently split up my alloted food for the day into small portions and nibbled and snacked along with 3 small meals. The foods were right. The total calories were right. All that I accomplished was to see a continuously elevated blood glucose level - all day long.

Because of my susceptibleness to the morning effect even if I started the day with a small 8 oz glass of milk and a tiny bit of banana, or a yogurt and the tiniest portion of cereal or fruit, my blood sugar would jump. If I had an extremely small portion of jam on one half of a mini-bagel and a shot glass of juice, it would skyrocket. As long as I kept feeding myself more snacks throughout the day - it would never come down.

This holds true today.

Do not be afraid of larger meals.

If you have this same problem as I do, try to find yourself a meal like the dragon fruit diabetes salad which I eat as my first meal. Take that meal and modify it so it works for you - but above all, do not fear a larger meal as your starting meal of the day. With that starting meal, in spite of the morning effect, in spite of the size of the meal in terms of carbohydrates and calories, my blood glucose level rarely goes into any worry zones. I have at times even no elevation from my fasting glucose level and most frequently only a very modest increase.

It is the mix of foods together that allows this benefit. If I split up those foods into smaller meals with the foods separated out, it does not work.

With the mix of protein and fats in that meal, it carries me many hours through the day with no hunger or desire to snack and my blood glucose stays at a good level for me. When I was spreading foods out as many small meals and snacks, my blood glucose levels would get a new boost from each new snack as soon as they were going down from the previous snack.

It is not the total carbohydrates in a meal, it is what you eat in combination with them and what foods contain them as equal contributors to what your blood sugar levels will be later.

Be wary of even small meals which are not balanced.

The flip side of being open to fewer meals which are larger but more balanced instead of snacking, is that you must be wary of even very small meals that are not balanced (meaning rich in fiber, protein, fats, and a variety of foods).

If I eat a 1/2 of a small banana and an 8 oz glass of milk as my first meal of the day, by blood glucose will shoot up afterwards. If I eat the same banana and twice as much milk along with my salad meal or another suitable meal, my blood glucose will go nowhere.

Snacking for me is the worst thing to do.

The Diabetic Life Diet WebSite | Dietary Control of Diabetes
SAFTEY REMINDER: Always test new foods in moderation and with caution!