Hungry? Full? What To Eat For A Snack

Balancing your plate and eating a complete snack is the best way to keep your hunger at bay, and control your blood sugar during the day.

How many times have you eaten a snack, only to feel hungry just a few short hours later?

You may already know that eating smaller frequent meals with spaced out snacks is the best way to keep blood sugars under control, but what you eat during those snacks is just as important as how often you are fueling your body.

Scientists have shown that different foods lie on what is called “The Hunger Fullness Scale”. This means, that eating certain foods affects your hunger and your blood sugars in a different way!

Your Snack and What It Means:

Carbohydrates:

Eating Carbohydrates by themselves will initially increase your blood sugar and cause a feeling of fullness. Because the increase in blood sugar is so rapid, it drops rapidly also- going below the blood sugar level you began with before your snack. Low blood sugars not only cause unpleasant side effects like headache, feeling tired and cranky; but having our blood sugar go on a roller-coaster of ups and downs actually causes us to feel hungrier.

Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, fruits and vegetables also cause blood sugars to rise and fall to cause hunger, but their roller-coaster slope is a little less dramatic because of the fiber that is found in these foods.

Protein:

Eating protein foods by themselves does not affect blood sugar because there are no carbohydrates.  But, that doesn’t mean that protein doesn’t affect our feeling of hunger. Shortly after eating protein, our bodies feel satisfied and adding protein to our foods causes you to feel fuller faster. But, eating protein by itself will also cause you to feel hungry a few hours after a snack.

Fat:

Fats help slow down digestion, and therefore releases food slowly into your body. For this reason, eating foods with fat will help you feel full longer because what you have eaten is broken down slowly by your body receiving little bits of fuel at a time. However, fats are extremely calorie dense- and eating fats by themselves is not beneficial to overall health.

As you can see, eating one food group by itself doesn’t get you the best results for feeling full, affecting your blood sugars, or staying within your calorie needs during the day.

This is why creating your snack to include all three of these components is the best way to make sure that you are controlling your blood sugars, providing your body with enough energy, and staying fuller longer during the day.

Try a snack made of Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat with 15g Carbohydrates, and a half serving of protein and fat.

You can achieve this by eating:

Make sure that your snacks aren’t just carbohydrates, just protein or just fat, and combine foods together to make your snack fuel you for everything you need to do during the day!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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