February 27, 2017

To Snack or Not Is the Question

I have been reading quite a lot lately on snacking and websites listing low calorie snacks. In the process, I have not read anything about testing to tell you whether snacking is working for you or causing a rise in blood glucose.

I use insulin and have always had dietitians tell me to consider snacking to avoid hypoglycemia (lows). Well, blood glucose testing tells me that snacking does not work for me. A 15-gram carbohydrate snack generally raises my blood glucose level about 25 points. I can consume a 5-gram snack as this normally only rises my blood glucose 5 to 7 points.

Now I will say that snacking does work for some people. A few of my support group members do use snacking and have excellent results with what they do. A few other members are like me and find snacking does not work. This is why we use the words “your mileage may vary (YMMV)” or what works for me may not work for you.

I have received several emails over the last few months asking about snacking with low-carb/high-fat food plans. The answer they all receive is this question – what does your meter tell you. A few have said they can't afford to test. Others have stated they won't waste the test strips for this. I then tell them that if they can't or won't test, then not to consume snacks.

For me, testing is the key to any food plan or snacking. Without blood glucose testing, then you have no knowledge about how different foods or snacks affect your blood glucose levels. If you can't or won't purchase a container of test strips for this, then you are not interested in managing your diabetes. I have purchased test strips several times over the years, even when I had to skimp on food or clothes to be able to purchase test strips. It is worth it for the knowledge and knowing the results. Some of our support group members have helped other members because they wish to help them. This is always appreciated and most have been repaid for their generosity and some many times more.

Note: It has been decided to not have a meeting this month because of the number of people being ill or the number having the flu. Most have now had an illness or the flu this month and we are hoping for two meetings during the month of March.

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