Did you know that nighttime snacking, while not typically recommended, can be beneficial for people with diabetes?
You learn something new every day, right?
There are several snacks that can help raise your blood sugar levels in the middle of the night when levels typically drop.
A key factor in ensuring your bedtime snack will provide the most benefit is ensuring it lasts a long time. If your blood sugar levels are normal, you should avoid snacks that are high in carbohydrates or simple sugars, which digest very quickly.
Look for a snack that has the following:
- A high level of protein
- Healthy unsaturated fats or oils
- Limited carbohydrates
Snacks that meet these metrics will help sustain your blood sugar levels throughout the night, tiding you over until the morning hours when your blood sugar begins to naturally rise again. (3)
“The best snacks for each person will depend on how the body responds to the dawn phenomenon* and the Somogyi effect^, as well as personal preferences and goals.”
* Dawn phenomenon: an abnormal early-morning increase in blood sugar in people with diabetes.
^ Somogyi effect: a counter-intuitive phenomenon that happens when you take insulin before bed but wake up with high blood sugar levels.
With this information, it can be a wonder that you keep your blood sugar under control at all during the day, never mind at night. The body’s natural processes are meant to regulate your blood sugar and keep it stabilized based on how much you are using it, but when you add diabetes into the mix, it can become a detriment.
Our list of the top 8 snacks for diabetics qualifies as good snacks for bedtime snacking as a diabetic, helping your blood sugar rise slowly and steadily. Several snacks that you can eat also include the following:
- Boiled eggs
- Sugar-free yogurt
- Seeds or nuts
Of course, like any healthy snack, it is important to moderate how much you consume at once. Treat your bedtime snack like you just had lunch, but you are feeling hungry and need to keep your energy up until dinner time.
Generally, this means eating more mindfully, pacing each bite, and savoring the taste, giving your body time to adjust to the food. Refrain from snacking while you are distracted to avoid eating too quickly.
If you plan your meals out ahead of time, plan for success and include a bedtime snack as well. Planning for your bedtime snack can help your body become accustomed to the routine and help you adjust how you eat in the evening to accommodate the extra sugars.