3 Snacks for Type 2 Diabetics

3 Snacks Type 2 Diabetics need to keep with them at ALL times!

No blood sugar impact snacks

Most type 2 diabetics struggle with controlling their blood sugar. Since almost all foods seem to raise their blood sugar, they also tend to stress out over what kind of snacks they can eat.

But since they also get hungry, this is a problem. So…what to eat?

Listed below are three different snacks you should have on “your person” at all times. Under most circumstances, they have a zero to minimal impact on your blood sugar, which means you should be able to eat them without worry (at least regarding your blood sugar).

Nuts

Nuts are high in fat, good fiber, vitamins and minerals. While they vary slightly – from one variety to another – in nutrient content, they are all high in fat, which means they will have minimal impact on your blood sugar. Additionally, the fat, vitamin and mineral content will help keep you full (or sated) until your next meal.

They are pretty hardy and travel well, making them an excellent snack choice for just about anyone, but type 2 diabetics in particular.

Eat them raw (our preference) or roasted. Just don’t eat them loaded with sugar or syrup or covered in chocolate (but you already knew that).

And if you happen to be allergic to nuts, seeds are good too. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds do essentially the same things!

Beef Jerky

Another snack high in protein and fat – the combination you need to keep your blood sugar from spiking.

Our preference: Buy it from a meat market or butcher shop (or make it yourself) so you know that it has been minimally processed. Another tip: If you buy from the store, check the label and look at the sugar content. Many types of beef jerky sold at the store have a lot of added sugar. Try to keep it below 5 grams of sugar per serving.

Best bet: Sugar free beef jerky.

A Boiled Egg

This is the least hardy of our recommendations but unless you have to leave these snacks in your car and it’s hot outside, you don’t really have to worry about the boiled egg.

Eggs are a great source of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals and an excellent source of protein.

Our recommendation: Always keep a dozen boiled eggs in the refrigerator. They are great snacks at any time!

Stay away from those…

Those little packets of 100 calorie snacks should be avoided by most people, especially type 2 diabetics. They are little more than sugar-spiking food products. It does not matter that they contain only 100 calories. It matters that they consist of some type of flour and sugar, both of which spike your blood sugar. Who thinks it’s better to eat a 100 calorie pack of cookies over one triple-double-stuffed Oreo cookie, which is also 100 calories?

That is insane

These snacks help you better control your blood sugar

While the 100 calorie snack packs are insane, these three snacks are not. Eat them when hungry. Your blood sugar will thank you!

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As a bonus, there are 3 gifts from the HPI Diabetes Academy included!

Wild Fermentation

Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz is one of our favorite books!

Why? Because fermented foods are good for you.

From the foreword, written by Sally Fallon of the Weston A Price Foundation:

Unfortunately, fermented foods have largely disappeared from the Western diet, much to the detriment of our health and economy. Fermented foods are a powerful aid to digestion and a protection against disease. And because fermentation is, by nature, an artisanal process, the disappearance of fermented foods has hastened the centralization and industrialization of our food supply, to the detriment of small farms and local economies.

There are many things you can learn to ferment from this book, like making beer, wine or vinegar. There are also the standard recipes, like sauerkraut, dill pickles, yogurt, kimchi and kombucha. But the real benefit of this book is learning the technique of fermenting.

For example, it is rather simple to make sauerkraut. You need cabbage, salt and a couple of kitchen tools. That’s pretty much it. Katz takes three pages to explain and discuss this topic. Reading this book, you feel how much he enjoys preparing foods this way.

And if you take the time to read and absorb what he has written, you appreciate it more.

It’s why this is one of our favorite books!

RPE and Determining Exercise Intensity

While heart rate (HR) is a popular way to measure exercise intensity, we prefer Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and will explain why in this post.

When using HR, you workout at some percentage of Max HR; for example between 50-60% or 70-80% of Max HR. The usual way to determine Max HR is by subtracting your age from 220 (Max HR = 220 – age). Once you know Max HR, the upper and lower ends of your HR range can easily be determined.

This seems simple and straightforward but technology doesn’t always get it right. For example, there is a class action lawsuit against Fitbit, claiming their technology and/or algorithms are inaccurate. This can have serious consequences for the user, particularly at the higher end of intensity.

We prefer RPE

RPE stands for Ratings of Perceived Exertion and the key word here is “perceived.”

The “perception” of how hard you are exercising is important for evaluating the overall intensity of the workout. And it is probably more accurate than measuring heart rate only. For example, let’s say you were working out hard – near your maximum capacity. You would certainly “feel” like you were working hard, but if you were using a HR monitor to determine intensity and this HR monitor consistently under-reported your HR, you might think you weren’t working hard enough. This would be in spite of how you “feel” and might compel you to try or push yourself harder. This could lead to a dangerous situation.

The RPE scale takes this into account.

Using numbers on a scale and descriptors for how you should feel at various levels of intensity, a user can accurately identify exercise intensity.

This is probably the most popular RPE scale. If you’ve ever taken a treadmill test – either for a research project in college (or graduate school) or at the cardiologist office, you probably saw something like this.



Notice on the left there are numbers for rating the intensity of exercise and descriptors on the right for helping you pick the most appropriate rating. This is the perception part we refer to and think is important.

While the ratings correlate with HR, they are not 100% accurate.

In both The Academy and HPI Diabetes Academy, we use a slightly different RPE scale – the CR-10 Scale.



We use this version for a couple of reasons:

One, it starts at zero. Notice the scale above starts at 6. We prefer a scale that starts at zero so we have a better anchor point for a resting intensity.

Second, it is much more convenient than any type of HR monitor.

Once a person is comfortable with using the scale, nothing else is needed.

To finish this up, the green areas indicate how we prescribe exercise for those in our programs. We recommend either “light” or “hard” exercise and prescribe intensity using this scale. For example, light workouts should have an RPE of 2-5 while hard workouts should have an RPE of 7+. We skip “6” on purpose and it’s not because there is no descriptor. There is a metabolic reason.

Beyond the two points mentioned above, this also allows our users a lot of flexibility. They can do any activity they’d like, as long as it meets the RPE criteria. This means they aren’t restricted to walking, jogging, cycling or any activity where measuring HR might be problematic (like swimming).

This is why we like to use RPE for measuring exercise intensity.

Reading List 2016: Part 2

The list below contains books that we use on a very frequent basis.

Here is Brian’s personal reading list for 2016. He most recently reviewed Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo.

Reference Resources

Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson

There is so much to learn from this book, it’s hard to pick where to start. If learning about foods, preparing them yourself and doing little things to improve the health impact of a food are important, this book is for you.

Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn

The fine art and science of curing just about any meat in any way imaginable!

Bones by Jennifer McLagan

Your grandparents can probably relate to many things in this book. And there is a reason they didn’t get sick. Bones are healthy. In this book, there are many ways to prepare bones to extract the goodness from them.

Ruhlman’s Twenty by Ruhlman

The 20 refers to 20 1-word techniques, like think or butter or sauté or sauce. With these 20 techniques, there are 100 recipes.

Odd Bits by Jennifer McLagan

From McLagan about this book: “Most of the meat we eat – the tenderloins, racks, steaks, legs and chops – is only a small percentage of the animal carcass.”

Well, I’m not interested in these cuts and you won’t find them here. This book is about the rest of the animal: The pieces we once enjoyed and relished but no longer bother with.

Textbook of Medical Physiology by Guyton

At one point, this was the number one selling textbook on human physiology in the country. I didn’t know a single graduate student that didn’t have a copy! Whether or not it is still the number one seller, I don’t know. But this book is invaluable as a reference. Plainly written, thorough and easy to understand.

Books on Sports / Exercise Physiology (several of them)

This is the “in motion” or “during exercise” equivalent to the Guyton textbook above.

Countless articles through medical/science/research journals

There is always a stack of these to go through, highlight and either write about or decide if we should make changes to our recommendations.

3 tips on dealing with food cravings

3 Tips on Dealing with Food Cravings


Are You Hungry

You’ve probably experienced it frequently. Maybe daily. The mid-afternoon urge to go find a snack. The late night craving for something sweet or salty and crunchy.

We talk quite a bit about cravings in Module 2: Why the body gets hungry (the psychological aspects).

One thing we emphasize, endorsed by many that have gone through The Academy, is the intensity of cravings seems to be related to how well you have eaten throughout the day. For example, most of our users report the mid-afternoon urge to visit the vending machine (or break room ) is harder to deal with after a lunch of Chicken Alfredo versus a grilled chicken breast salad.

This makes sense and we discuss why in Module 1: How the body gets hungry.

But if you know this and still eat the Chicken Alfredo, how should you deal with the cravings? In no particular order, here are three tips you can try:

Tip #1: Do something different!

If it’s the middle of the afternoon and you’ve been sitting at your desk since lunch, that’s too long to be sitting. Start doing something else. Follow up on phone calls. Do some filing. Get out of the chair and do something different.

Tip #2: Take a 10 minute walk!

If you ate the Chicken Alfredo for lunch, make it a 20 minute walk! As we discuss at several points in The Academy, walking does an excellent job of temporarily reducing hunger (for a bunch of metabolic reasons). Think you can’t afford a 10 minute walk? Think again. Nothing is so important that it can’t wait 10 minutes.

Tip #3: Drink some water!

You may be thirsty. You may not be thirsty. But get up and get a big glass of water. And drink it.

Sometimes you might have cravings because you are bored. That’s when you try something different. Sometimes you might really be thirsty, so drink some water.

No matter the craving, a good walk around the office building will be helpful.

And please…stop eating Chicken Alfredo for lunch!

Try any of these the next time you feel cravings coming on. Then let us know how they work for you.

PS. We are partial to the 10-minute walk!