With Amrita Choudhury and co-authors (listed at the end)*
It is that big a power of the small, folks!
Consumption of nutrient-rich homemade small meals in-between main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) helps reduce the blood sugar and HbA1c levels of diabetes type 2 sufferers (2). They stretch your satiety and offer stable blood sugar throughout the day.
Along with our personalized homemade diabetes morning, routine, our overall nutrition strategy includes the following snacks in our daily protocol. They are all made at home from ingredients from home produce and local sources.
21+ healthy diabetes Type2 homemade snacks
Top Row Left to Right
Young Kandula beans are boiled with salt.
Other variations of this bean are delicious as well. They are
- Young peanut with skins boiled with salt
- Moong beans boiled with salt
- Soaked Blackgram boiled with salt
Whole wheat flour is kneaded and shaped to perfection. Stuffed with shredded carrots and cabbage. The sauce is really what elevates the taste of dumplings. Here is how we prepared the sauce:
- Boil two medium-sized tomatoes for 5 minutes.
- Peel the skin off after cooling to room temperature.
- .Add 1 dry chili (as per your taste), 5-6 peppercorns, and chopped garlic.
- Grind to a paste.
- Add water ~25 mL
- Add salt to your taste.
- Mix well.
- Enjoy the dumplings with the sauce.
Bottom Row Left to Right
Sauteed Fish: Fresh from a local pond, cleaned, marinated with turmeric powder and salt.
Lightly sauteed with minimum mustard oil over medium flame.
Popcorn from paddy roasted with hot sand in a clay pot on a clay stove. The sand is sieved off leaving the clean popcorn. Sprinkle salt and it is ready to eat. You can take more and save it inside an airtight container.
Finger millet seeds, rice, wheat, and Poha were roasted in a similar way and saved. These are ready-made snacks and are eaten with roasted peanuts, onions, chilies, and ghee or oil. Sometimes we add shredded coconuts to get a delicious mix to enjoy at our snack time. Quick, easy, healthy, and nutritious!
Home Made Healthy Snacks contd.
Picture 2 (Above)
Row-1: From Left to Right
Puffed Brown rice with nuts and seeds. It is seasoned with curry leaves, peanuts, ginger, and onion pieces. Example from #4 how the puffed rice is made at our home premises.
Lentil Sprouts, apple, and Pomegranates seeds mixtures.
While any fruits could be used and no fruits would make it healthy eating as well.
Making of Poha Santula
- Cut ½ of a small onion into small pieces, 6-7 green curry leaves, 2 raw chills to pieces, 5-6 small cashews, 5-6 peanuts, and a spoon of fresh cilantro leaves.
- Soak a cup of poha in 2 cups of water for 2 minutes.
- Wash it and drain the water.
- Squeeze the poha (chewda) as much as possible.
- Keep it aside.
- In a pan on a low flame, add 1 teaspoon of mustard oil.
- When it is warm, Add mustard and 1 teaspoon of oil to a warm pan.
- Add a pinch of mustard seeds.
- Let it crack.
- Add sliced onions, curry leaves, Ginger- 1 inch cut to pieces, raw chilies, cashew, and peanuts. Fry them for a minute or two.
- Add the poha from step 5.
- Sir it and mix it with the nuts and spices.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add chopped cilantro leaves from step 1.
Serve it with pickle or Chutney.
Row 2nd-From left to right
Boil the plantain (No need to peel off the skin if it is young enough). Mash it. Add chopped onions, green chili pieces, mashed garlic, and fresh curry leaves cut into small pieces. Make the pastes into palm size spread. Then sautee them with a lightly oiled warm pan on low flame until both sides turn crispy.
Healthy, tasty, and filling.
Moong-Moringa: Enjoy a Soup bowl of Moog dal and Moringa boiled with added shredded coconut. We always find opportunities to add moringa (4, 5) to our cooking because of its reservoir of nutrients and it is organic coming out of our own backyard. We all enjoy this hearty, healthy, and delicious dish, especially on a winter afternoon.
A no-brainer dish is a salad. It can be a great snack if you are in the mood for that. Pick up cucumbers and carrots and tomatoes from the backyard. Cut them into slices. Add green chilies and limes juice. Add coriander leaves to top off.
Smell and taste the freshness during winter.
3rd Row (From Left to Right)
Mashed Poha With Fruits and Cheese
Toss banana, cheese, mango pieces, and date into moist poha (made by adding raw poha to water, then squeeze it lightly to remove water).
Mash the whole thing. Easy, quick, healthy. One can add ground pepper to it). It’s a typical food of our region. You can add and subtract ingredients depending on your availability.
You made me drool now. I love this one after a heavy lunch. It can be a great mouth freshener too. You can make one with many spices but at home, we add sliced beetle over a thin layer of slacked lime (hint of Chunna paste). The spices range from cardamon, black cardamon, ajwain, and fennel seeds to name some).
Paan is stuffed with crunched beetle, Roasted coriander, coconut, cardamon, Black cardamom, roasted ajwain, and roasted Fennel Seeds (Panmahuri). It serves as a mouth freshener and digestion aid. Paan leaf has medicinal value for diabetes.
Sesame Balls with nuts and spices
Locally procured Sesame seeds with molasses and nuts and spices cooked to make the ball. The recipes are on the internet.
13. Seasonal/Local Fresh Fruit smoothies and fruit drinks
A ripe bael drink or two or a fresh Pineapple drink can make our afternoon snack enjoyable. We Craft our own smoothie with our available fruits from the backyard and/or collected from
#14. Besan Chila
Fresh leaves battered with rice and besan flour and cooked in slow flame till crispy.
#15. Boiled eggs
#16. Fruits- seasonal from the backyard or sourced locally
Ripe Jack fruit, or ripe mango or Ripe papaya, Chikoo, Berries, Guava
#17 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
# 18 Steamed cake: lentil-rice powder cake Stuffed with nuts, coconut-sharded baked or steamed. It can be stuffed Idly from Moring breakfast.
# 19. Chat made with Ghugni peas and small pieces of boiled potatoes and sprinkled with homemade spices. This special spice mix is made from amchoor (dried mango powder), cumin, coriander, dried ginger, black salt, black pepper, asafoetida, and chili powder.
# 20. Boiled chickpeas with sliced raw onions, green chilis, cilantro, powered roasted cumin
# 21 Nuts and Seeds for grab and go
Roasted nuts and seeds are always around with roasted poha to grab between meals if you feel hungry waiting for the next big meal. If nothing else, gulp a couple of spoons of Sattu powder which is always available at home and has rich nutrients.
Some of the breakfasts or saved dinners from the previous night can be great snacks as well. Make a little extra to help yourself.
Slip and slide from healthy food, no fried, no sugary sweets path. It happens.
If you aren’t choosing the right snacks, you may gain weight and negatively impact your blood sugar.
Fried Pakora, vegetable chops along with mouth-watering delicious Elachi Tea made by two of our young members. They really do them well. It’s hard to avoid these delicacies.
Someone visits with sweets to shower love – it happens often.
We are eating here refined grains, oil, and sugars. They all are individually powerful to disrupt and boost diabetes-related unhealthiness.
We try to resist but at times we slip from our path of determination. Then we go to our regular diet
Frequently Asked Questions with Answers
Should people with diabetes eat snacks?
It is recommended that people with Type 2 Diabetes eat high-quality and nutritious snacks.
Why do people with diabetes eat snacks?
Snacks provide energy and stretch you without getting overly hungry while waiting for major meals. In the absence of interim meals, you become overly hungry for larger quantities of your lunch or dinner. It can raise sudden blood sugar spikes.
What snack should a diabetic eat?
Snacks are small meals packed with healthy nutrients: protein, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals.
What are the times to consume your snacks?
It depends on the waking up time in the morning and your bedtime. Spacing these timing more or less evenly between your main meals and snacks consumption helps your blood sugar management and thus the HbA1c, which reflects the average blood sugar over 2.5 to 3 months.
This timing of meal consumption ensures you are not too hungry at any time nor you are overloaded with food. You are satiated all the time.
As a diabetes type 2 patient, you may suffer from low or no insulin release. So sugar is not used well to convert to energy and that rise your blood sugar elevating your odds of getting a chronic illness.
The intermediacy of small snacks keeps you satiated all the time without raising your blood sugar abruptly.
How does snacking affect blood sugar?
Here are some articles from experts about snacking practices.
“Patients who consumed more regularly snacks of better quality exhibited better T2DM control as assessed by HbA1c.
Homemade nutritionally healthy snacks seem to help blood sugar and HbA1C.
In two large prospective cohort studies, frequent consumption of meals prepared at home (MPAH) is associated with a lower risk of developing T2D, and this association is partly attributable to less weight gain linked with this dining behavior.
“Patients who consumed more regularly snacks of better quality exhibited better T2DM control as assessed by HbA1c.”
If you might be thinking about how much we eat in our snacking meals. In fact, it depends. We eat as much to feel good, not overloaded. If we have a smaller breakfast, we go a little big in snacking and vice versa. If we have lunch meal with Paneer or Fish, we go with herbs and spice wrapper paan for example.
Add small snacking practice, if you have not done it already to help your life and lining as a diabetes type 2. It helps you at present and in the future to reduce the severity of the bad consequences of this “silent killer” disease.
This practice does not replace your daily exercise, keeping up with Vitamin-D levels, managing stress, drinking enough water, and living in a healthier pollution-free environment.
Disclaimer: Always seek advice and guidance from your physician, or dietician when following a diet or change of diet to be on the safe side.
*We were a community of people helping each other to cultivate, and procure local grains and produce our own fruits and vegetables in a rural area. We share the crops. The contributing co-authors are Arun Naik, Sworna Prava Sabat, Choudhury Gagan Bihari Mohapatra, Sthita Pragyan Bastia, Truptimayee Panda, Kabita Choudhury, and Dr. Ramakanta Sahoo