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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 19, 2017

Snacks to save the day

By BY MICHELLE KUSTER, RD, LD Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor | Nov 25, 2016

Being prepared for snacks at home or away can be difficult. Snacking has several benefits such as tiding us over until our next meal, allowing an opportunity to provide our bodies with important nutrients, assist with blood sugar control and give us satisfaction and enjoyment. Next time you grab a snack, think like a dietitian with these recommendations.

Diabetic or not, we all can enjoy diabetic-friendly snacks. A smart snack is a carbohydrate paired with a protein. When searching for the perfect carb-smart snack, keep fiber in mind. Fiber helps fill up our stomachs, curving our cravings. A perfect example of this is apple juice vs. an apple. In comparison, one cup of apple juice has 25-30 grams of carbs. One medium apple has about 20 grams of carbs. The cup of apple juice has no fiber and an apple has four to five grams of fiber, making it a good source of fiber and providing you something that will really make a difference in your stomach.

If you drank a cup of apple juice vs. ate an apple, how full do you think you’d feel after each? You’d likely be more full from the fresh apple because of the fiber.

What do you pair your apple with? Protein is a great option because protein takes longer to digest, leaving you fuller longer. Shoot for at least five grams of protein in a snack. Great examples of this include a hard-boiled egg, a cheese stick, or two tablespoons of nut butter; they all provide us with six to eight grams of protein.

Make your snack save the day with these simple tips and tricks. A good rule of thumb is to always be prepared. Dietitians rarely leave the house without a snack. This allows you plenty of time to scout out the best options that fit within your lifestyle.

Granola bars or a trail mix are affordable and easy to throw in a purse or bag and take with you. Make sure you include a protein source in your trail mix such as almonds.

At home, it can be easy to reach for a snack to fill idle time. Stop and think first: Are you feeling real hunger? If yes, contemplate what sounds best.

Fill your craving and consider how long your food choice will keep you satiated (full). You may choose to add a protein food for the fullness factor.

Try this great recipe for Apples with Cinnamon Almond Butter:

Apple with Cinnamon Almond Butter

Serves one


-1 medium apple

-1 tbsp smooth almond butter

-Pinch of ground cinnamon


1. Core apple and cut into eight slices. Spread each slice with a little almond butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 193 calories, 9g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 38mg sodium, 28g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 20g sugars, 4g protein.

Daily values: 4 percent iron.

Recipe source: EatingWell Magazine March/April 2016

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