Diabetic Snack: This is the perfect time to keep your blood sugar at bay, even if you don't expect it

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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A little before bedtime would help diabetes sufferers stabilize their blood sugar levels at night

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A small, low-fat protein snack eaten before bedtime would help diabetes sufferers stabilize their blood sugar levels at night.

Our blood sugar levels change overnight due to two phenomena: the phenomenon of dawn andSomogyi effect. In the first case, there is an increase in blood sugar levels as a result of the morning awakening process (this phenomenon occurs between 3.00 and 8.00 in the morning); in the second case (which occurs earlier, between 2.00 and 3.00 in the morning) there is a sudden drop in blood glucose levels. It may happen, however, that the body reacts to this sudden drop in blood sugar by releasing excessive hormones that cause the glycemic spike as soon as you wake up, before eating. 

To reduce the consequences of the Somogyi effect, experts suggest taking a low-fat protein snack before going to sleep: this will avoid too sudden fluctuations in blood sugar levels and avoid the risk of overweight. obesity and other diseases related to the onset of diabetes.

(Read also: Diabetic Diet: What to Eat, Weekly Schedule and Foods to Avoid)

The best snacks to have before bedtime

The 'ideal snack' depends on many factors - such as age, lifestyle, food preferences, severity of diabetic disease - and it is good to seek advice from an expert before proceeding with food intake before going to sleep. In general, however, the snack should contain high levels of proteins and 'good' fats and at the same time provide few carbohydrates: such a combination of nutrients can in fact help limit glycemic peaks during the night and keep them lower when you wake up in the morning. Here are some examples:

  • A handful of dried fruit. Walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds are packed with vitamins, minerals and 'good' fats - in particular, almonds contain high levels of vitamin E, while walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • A hard-boiled egg. Eggs are also a very rich source of protein, and at the same time contain few carbohydrates. The ideal would be to consume the egg with a couple of wholemeal crackers, to add fiber to our snack: fiber slows down the digestive process and helps keep blood sugar levels low.
  • carrots. Non-starchy vegetables, such as carrots, are an ideal snack for those suffering from diabetes: low in calories, fat and carbohydrates, they are instead very rich in vitamins and minerals; moreover, they contain antioxidants and fibers for the proper functioning of our intestine. To also add protein to our snack, we can enrich it with a few slices of low-fat cheese.
  • hummus. Source of fiber and vegetable protein par excellence, chickpea hummus is also an excellent snack for those suffering from diabetes. here are some recipes to prepare it at home.
  • Apple. This fruit offers many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and plays a very important role in a balanced diet for those suffering from diabetes. we can add a little peanut butter to the apple slices to fill up with 'good' proteins and fats and thus keep blood sugar under control.

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Fonte: The Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Care

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