A few months ago, someone I care for told me they found out they had diabetes and asked me “what healthy snacks are there for diabetics?” I thought about it a little and shared some ideas of different healthy foods I knew of, but I really wanted to do more to help them out… So I sat down with my laptop and did a little research.
Some of the healthiest foods diabetics can eat are fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, yogurt, and other foods that are high in nutrients. If you maintain a good balance of all of these you won’t have to give up snacks altogether, and some of those snacks can even help you to manage your diabetes. Let’s look into some more details to make sure we’re picking the right types of foods here.
Surprising Facts About “Healthy Snacks”
One of the main things that comes up when looking at causes of diabetes is eating tons of sugar and sweets, or foods with a lot of carbs. For this reason, raisins have been a very controversial topic. On healthline’s blog article, reviewed by Katherine Marengo - Registered Dietitian / Licensed Dietition/Nutritionist… Jacquelyn Cafasso (Author) writes that “Raisins are naturally sweet and high in sugar and calories, but they’re beneficial to our health when eaten in moderation” She goes on to mention that they can even help us with digestion issues, boost our iron levels, and keep our bones strong and healthy.
I found that a common misconception with diabetes is that you can’t have any more delicious snacks, or that you have to stop eating foods you like so you can stay healthy. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Check out the Sugar Pyramid on Born Fitness’s blog. There’s nothing wrong with a little sugar, or even a little added sugar. Our bodies aren’t going to collapse over one extra teaspoon of added sugar. But the point that they make in their blog is that we shouldn’t be eating too much added sugars. Natural Sugar will not hurt us as long as we don’t go crazy with it.
The main thing to realize about eating healthier in general, is to eat foods high in nutrients and eat them in moderation.
How much is a good moderation?
So how do we know how much to eat in moderation, or how do we even know what moderation means for that matter? Moderation in this case simply means that we want to limit the amount we eat so that our bodies are not getting too much of any certain types of nutrients. We specialize in home grown raisins, so just for fun, imagine what would happen if you started eating raisins today, and you were just shoveling them in mouthful after mouthful, hours go by and you’ve eaten so many raisins that your body just cannot take anymore… Well.. what do you think happens next? My guess is that you will start to feel very sick and your body will probably throw them back up. Now of course that’s a little over the top, but this kind of thing happens in more subtle (but still very dangerous) ways all the time. So, how can we know if we’re keeping a good moderation on the foods we consume?
Knowing if you’re doing a good job eating in moderation can be quite simple… and a fair way to start off is by simply limiting yourself to eating certain things only once a week. Especially things high in sugar or other artificial sweeteners that you find yourself eating daily.
The problem with “moderation” that most people seem to struggle with is that when they start to Have cravings their brain starts to rationalize why it might be okay “just this one time” or how they “have had a really tough week and have earned just a little snack”.
I will admit that I definitely fall prey to those mind games occasionally, and “occasionally” is just fine! The real problem starts when it becomes a habit and we start to consume a lot of one type of nutrient. Sugar is very common in all kinds of different foods, but be careful about which kinds of sugar you’re eating.
Many fruits contain natural sugars and are a great source of nutrients for your body.
What types of raisins are healthy?
Most raisins can generally be considered healthy. Not only can they help lower the risk diabetes but they also provide many other health benefits like helping you sleep better at night, gives extra anti-aging nutrients to the skin that help protect from the harmful cancer-causing UV radiation which cause those dark spots and wrinkles on the skin, Can help to get rid of migraines are healthy for the heart, works as a natural anti-inflammatory and can even help fight off certain types of cancer cells.
Yes, that is a lot of health benefits. But as we talked about above, there’s a quite a few companies putting extra sugars and sweeteners into their foods. Even foods like raisins which already contain a yummy natural sweetness.
So why do companies do this? The answer is simple.
It’s easier for them to pump out more raisins for cheaper by bringing them inside and putting them in dehydrators and treating them with harmful preservatives.
Raisins get much of their natural sugary taste when grapes are allowed to sun-dry out in their natural environment. That’s why the raisins from our family owned farm are vine-dried grapes that bathe in the sun.
So short answer is: The healthiest raisins will be sun dried right on the vine, giving them their natural sweetness.
Different ways to include raisins in your diet?
Now that we know which kinds of raisins are better for us to eat, we also deal with the issue of knowing how to create a healthy balance of nutrient consumption.
Here’s some great ways we’ve found to include these delicious raisins in your diet as a healthy snack:
- Salad Toppings
- One of the first things that people think of when they want to eat healthier is salads. Why not add some excitement to an otherwise boring salad with a topping of raisins.
- Granola mix
- Granola is definitely not everybody’s favorite snack, but a great way to sweeten it up without artificial sweeteners, is to add some raisins!
- Mixed Into Yogurt
- Yogurt is a fantastic treat that we can enjoy without feeling guilty about it. Raisins added some yogurt is an amazing snack.
The list could continue on and on. Check out this blog >>Top 10 Ways To Enjoy Raisins<< by Produce For Better Health Foundation to see even more ways to include raisins in your diet!
If you’re looking for a simple way to snack on some super healthy and yummy raisins, try out these crazy good >>Vine Dried Grapes<<.
There are all kinds of ways to fit these delicious and healthy raisins into your diet. If you have any ways that we didn’t talk about here reach out and let us know your favorites!
Avoid these fruits
If you look online about what kinds of fruits are okay to eat for people that deal with diabetes and which ones aren’t, you'll see a lot of talk about avoiding fruits with lots of added sugar. This is absolutely true. Anything with lots of added sugar is going to be very harmful to not only diabetics, but also anyone struggling with their weight, lacking energy, always having those crashes in the afternoon, and so on. Added Sugar is unnatural and unhealthy. That’s not to say we can’t handle a little bit here and there, the problem is that added sugars in our food is so common, it’s almost become difficult to find anything without it.
So yes, avoid fruits that contain added unnatural sugars. Again, raisins coming from the grapevines that are allowed to bathe in the sun are great because they have that natural sugar that gives us a nice little energy boost without the crash. This is the benefit of natural fruits. Or in this case, Dried fruits.
Overall there are many snacks that would still be considered healthy for diabetics. The most important things we found out are that we need to make sure we are balancing all of our nutrients so that we don’t get too much or too little of anything. Our bodies need these nutrients that come from all different types of foods. The other thing we found was that it’s important not to consume too much added unnatural sugar. A little bit is okay, but we have to remember that there’s so much added sugar already being put in so many foods as it is. So we really have to be careful of which sweets we eat.
Although I do not claim to be an expert on diabetes, after knowing all this I feel a lot more confident telling my friends, family and anyone who’s struggling with this condition about all kinds of delicious snacks available without sacrificing their health! I hope my learning experience has helped you get some great ideas as well!
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